Our Gold Coast psychologists are experienced in treating depression and use a variety of evidence based therapies alongside a holistic approach
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
a holistic look at depression…
Depression is a common condition that affects about 10.4% of the Australian population. It is distinguished by a persistent low mood and/or a loss of interest or pleasure, and it may be accompanied by additional emotional or physical symptoms (i.e. anger, sadness, frustration, weight loss, appetite changes)
Depression is relatively common and often goes undiagnosed. Once diagnosed, it is evaluated according to severity (mild, moderate, severe) and frequency (single episode, recurrent, or chronic if it lasts more than 2 years).
Depression is caused by a variety of factors. Previously linked to dysfunction within neurotransmitter systems (monoamine deficiency), depression is now attributed to disruptions in multiple biological pathways rather than a single cause.
Other factors that contribute to depression include the amount of light exposure, sleep disruptions, social isolation, and nutritional deficiencies, particularly folate and omega-3 fatty acids.
Many patients with depression report a precipitating stressful life event preceding their symptoms, which may have an immediate or delayed onset following a trauma such as loss of a loved one, abuse, or a natural disaster.
Depression can also be precipitated and linked to other medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and pain syndromes.
There are several types of depressive disorders, including:
Major depressive disorder: Involves low mood and/or loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities, often accompanied by additional emotional or physical symptoms
Melancholia: A severe form of depression. Slow movement is a characteristic presentation, in addition to complete loss of pleasure in almost everything
Psychotic depression: Occurs when patients with depression lose touch with reality and experience psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions and/or paranoia
Postnatal depression: Occurs within the year after giving birth.
Bipolar disorder: Patients experience periods of depression and periods of mania, with episodes of normal mood in between.
Cyclothymic disorder: Describes a form of bipolar with mild to moderate level of symptoms that don’t fit the criteria of bipolar disorder
Dysthymic disorder: Symptoms of dysthymia are similar to those of major depression, however these present as less severe and often last longer
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Mood disturbances (periods of depression or mania) that have a seasonal pattern, thought to be related to the variation in light exposure during different seasons.
WHAT DOES DEPRESSION LOOK LIKE?
Depressed mood; or
Anhedonia (loss of interest or pleasure)
Secondary symptoms may include:
Appetite or weight changes;
Sleep difficulties (insomnia or hypersomnia)
Psychomotor agitation or retardation;
Fatigue or loss of energy;
Diminished ability to think or concentrate;
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt; and
WHAT CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION?
There are a number of key drivers that can result in depression, and can include
At The Wellness Emporium our psychologists and naturopaths work independently or if you choose collaboratively to formulate a comprehensive treatment plan to help get you the results you deserve.
THERAPY APPROACHES FOR DEPRESSION
our psychologists & naturopaths take a holistic and individualised approach to depression
PSYCHOLOGY BASED THERAPIES
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of therapy approach that focuses on the relationship between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. When it comes to managing and treating depression, CBT can help with:
Recognising any core beliefs that may be contributing to unhelpful thoughts, feelings or behaviours
Identifying and challenging any unhelpful thoughts that may lead to feelings of low mood and motivation
Gently introducing healthy behavioural strategies to support with building motivation and engaging in meaningful activities
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
As depression can often lead to significant feelings of isolation, another helpful therapeutic approach for depression can be IPT. IPT is a type of psychological therapy that focuses on building skills to cope with any difficulties within personal relationships and identifying any vulnerabilities or patterns that may contribute to signs of depression. The idea of IPT is to help re-build overall social supports and connection.
Mindfulness, which can be described as building awareness of the present moment, can also be a useful strategy for managing depression as it supports an individual to focus more on the present rather than any past unpleasant thoughts or experiences.
Some simple strategies that can be used to practice mindfulness on a daily basis are:
Focusing on your breath (doing belly-breathing)
Bringing awareness to any physical sensations in your body
Using your senses to bring yourself to the present environment
Naming 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste
Practicing mindfully drinking or eating (noticing the specific smells, tastes and textures while drinking water or tea or eating a meal)
Other holistic approaches & tips from our psychologists & naturopaths
Healthy sleep hygiene and sleep routine
Look after our body through healthy eating and regular exercise
Surrounding yourself with close and supportive people
Notice any sensations in your body and using grounding techniques to activate the nervous system in a healthy manner (such as changing your posture or movement)
Practicing deep belly breathing, meditation and mindfulness
Spend time in nature
Implement self care routines
Healthy sun exposure – low vitamin D levels have been linked to depression
Boost omega 3 fatty acids by consuming oily fish 3-4 times per week
Eat adequate protein as it provides essential amino acids for healthy neurotransmitter production.