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Depression has been referred to as the “common” cold of mental health issues owing to its increasing frequency. Despite the prevalence, depression is an experience that must always be taken seriously and can have an enormous impact on one’s sense of themselves, the world, relationships and the ability to function.
While depression can be a short lived experience, others describe a longer history of protracted (many years) low mood to the point that their experience of depression can begin to feel like part of their identity. Individuals with chronic depression often report the following symptoms:
Changes in appetite and sleep
Feelings of hopelessness
Difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly
The underlying cause of chronic depression is complex and unique to each individual but is more frequently noted where individuals have grown up in trying and adverse circumstances. This may include (but is not limited to) individuals who experienced neglect or abuse, growing up in a chaotic and/or conflictual family environment, parental substance use and/or mental health difficulties, parental loss or divorce, and feeling unseen and misunderstood.
Identifying with a symptom such as depression as chronic in itself can produce potential limiting consequences. Appropriate assessment is necessary. There are too many online tests and self-diagnostics going around the web that may not always benefit someone seeking help. Society demands we “be ourselves” and feeling chronically depressed may be perceived by some individuals as a failure to live up to this imaginary ideal (“be yourself”). Working through such self criticisms and identity descriptions can be a necessary element of psychotherapy for chronic depression.
Chronic depression can be worked through to provide symptom relief, enhanced self-understanding and improved functioning and quality of life. When mood difficulties have been present for many years, it can take a long-term commitment to psychotherapy for symptoms to be worked through in an effective and sustainable way.
Research findings have indicated that psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy is an excellent approach to resolving chronic mood difficulties as the origin of symptoms is commonly tied up in developmental experiences that have led to internal conflicts that have not had a chance to be resolved. Additionally there is good evidence for schema therapy in working with chronic depression. Schema therapy explores the presence of maladaptive beliefs held about the self that evolved in childhood and adolescence that keep individuals stuck in their cycle of depression.
At Bayside Psychotherapy, we privilege the speech of the patient and invite him or her to speak freely elaborating the experience of depression such that something new may become possible through the act of speaking. The first step is to schedule an initial session. Bookings can be made online or by phone.
We look forward to meeting with and helping you.
Reception phone hours
8:30am – 5:30am
Monday – Friday
(closed on public holidays)
Choose your own date and time for an online session
- Monday 8:00am to 8:00pm
- Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Wednesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Thursday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Friday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm