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Counselling For Depression In Southampton

Depression is best described as a low mood, loss of pleasure and motivation that can last a long time or occur regularly. It affects your everyday life and is different from feeling sad or fed up for a few days.

In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can leave you feeling suicidal.

Depression can impact your relationships, work, finances and overall health, so it's important to get help as early as possible.

Symptoms you may experience

  • feeling down, upset or tearful

  • restless, agitated or irritable

  • guilty and worthless

  • empty and numb

  • unable to relate to other people

  • finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy

  • low self-confidence or self-esteem

  • hopeless and despairing

  • loss of appetite

  • dwelling on perceived failings and negative experiences

  • reliance on alcohol &/or drugs

  • suicidal

What causes Depression?

There are varying opinions about what causes depression. The common area of agreement is that people have an inherited vulnerability which can be increased through childhood experiences, loss of a relationship, physical health problems, a death, medication, life events or extended periods of stress. Depression can also be caused when you feel unable to be your true self, you have become another version of yourself maybe for the sake of others or to feel accepted.

How can you help yourself?

Experiencing depression we know can affect your energy levels and motivation. However, taking steps towards increasing activity and making contact with others can make a big difference to how you feel.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Keep active  Find an activity suited to you, try walking, swimming, yoga, dancing, running etc. Activity releases endorphins which in turn boosts your energy and mood.

  • Sleep hygiene  Establish a bedtime routine. Make your bedroom a calm and peaceful environment. Avoid heavy foods and reduce the intake of stimulants. Getting a good sleep improves your mood and boosts your energy levels. 

  • Eat well  Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly and increase your energy levels.

  • Keep active. Many people find exercise a challenge but gentle activities like yoga, swimming or walking can be a big boost to your mood.

  • Engage with others This may be challenging when all you want to do is withdraw from others but the human species are social beings, designed to be around others. Reach out to someone whose company you enjoy. 

  • Remember what has worked for you before What have you found before that could help now. This will be very individual but useful to remind yourself and try it out again. 

  • Be kind to yourself  Don’t feel defeated if you don’t do something you planned to, or find yourself feeling worse again, there is always tomorrow. Try to treat yourself as you would treat someone important to you.

  • Gratitude It has been found that identifying things to be grateful for can contribute to overcoming depression. Each day write down three things to be grateful for e.g. today I am grateful for ......  the sun is shining, I enjoyed my dinner, I have a roof over my head etc.

How can therapy for Depression help?

Depression isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s not something you can just “snap out of.” It’s a condition that requires professional support. Antidepressant medications maybe helpful for reducing depression symptoms in some people, especially in people with severe depression. However, this is most effective when combined with  therapy. For many, talking therapies such as counselling have been shown to be an effective alternative to medication.

The focus of depression therapy would be to:

  • Provide you with the space to express your thoughts and feelings, to be heard and not judged.

  • Identify what is contributing to the depressive episodes

  • Establish ways to change, accept or respond to those situations.

  • Develop skills to cope with symptoms and problems, and identify or prevent future episodes of depression.

  • Explore how to improve relationships with others

  • Develop self-esteem and self worth 


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