The type and severity of depression can vary from person to person. Even if a person appears to be functioning normally, they may experience extreme fatigue, pessimism, worry, lack of ambition and a general feeling of being low.
The origins of depression can be varied. For some it’s a genetic or biochemical condition; for others it may be a reaction to environmental stressors, such as financial or relationship stress; others suffer from cognitive distortions, or pessimistic thinking, that encourage them to see most things in a negative light.
No matter what the initial cause for the depression, the treatment options are basically the same: medication or psychotherapy. There are many antidepressants on the market that have offered depression sufferers varying degrees of improvement. While medications are relatively fast acting (3-6 weeks) and not overly expensive, some people build a tolerance to the drug and they stop working eventually. For others, they find once the medication stops working the original source of the depression remains and is often worse than originally.
Psychotherapy – a generic word for most “talk” therapies – may take more time to become effective, but the changes are usually permanent and the client does not have any issues with side effects that may exist with medications. There are several choices of therapy for depression and other mood disorders, but CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is currently the most effective, popular and solution-focused option.
If you feel you may suffer from depression or another mood disorder, a brief assessment with a qualified psychologist can identify if there is something that can help you.