Depression Therapy London Guide
While living and working in London might seem like many peoples dreams, the realities can be far from ideal. Long working hours, stressful jobs and burn out can take their toll on your mental health.
Are you suffering from depression?
Have you been feeling low for some time? Or just feeling sad, for a reason you can’t figure out? These are common signs of being depressed, along with a sense of hopelessness.
Depression is extremely common, and the main reason why people come for therapy and counselling. It’s estimated that about 1 in 5 people in the UK experience depression at some point in their lives.
If you’re suffering from depression, it can be difficult to reach out and seek help. You might be in a low mood, and feeling there’s no point in trying to make things better.
Psychological symptoms of depression
The psychological signs of depression are prolonged feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or irritability. You might find yourself regularly becoming tearful, feeling negative, or prone to angry outbursts.
Pastimes and hobbies that once excited you might have lost their allure. You might not remember things as clearly as you did, and your brain might be working at a slower pace.
Depression is often accompanied by anxiety. Maybe you’ve been experiencing a sense of dread and panic for no reason? Or can’t stop worrying about the future?
It’s easy to stay in a depressed state, because depression is often accompanied by a lack of motivation, extra self criticism, and a general sense of futility.
Physical symptoms of depression
Having depression can also lead to health problems. It can effect your ability to sleep well, sometimes sleeping too much, but also not being able to get to sleep, or waking up in the middle of the night. You might find yourself eating much more than normal, or loosing your appetite and struggling to eat enough.
You might find that you have less energy, even when you’ve had a lot of sleep. There may be extra niggles, aches and pains in your body. And your body and speaking voice might be operating at a slower pace than they normally do.
What causes depression?
There’s a popular myth that depression is ‘all in the mind’, or something you need to ‘get over’. But depression can be caused by a variety of factors, not all of them immediately obvious.
Sometimes the cause might be an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, in which case medications may be able to help.
But it can also be the side effects of other medications that are causing the depression, or a symptom of a physical illness.
In many cases, depression is caused by three factors: deep rooted issues, a response to a current situation, or a combination of the two.
Situational depression is caused by a stressful event such as a bereavement or redundancy, or due to an unexpected health diagnosis or financial problem.
There’s also depression which is triggered by an incident, such as a marriage breakup, but has roots roots in the past making it more difficult to get over. You might struggle with maintaining a good support network. Or you may have been feeling depressed before the marriage, which has now returned.
Deep rooted depression stems from childhood trauma or abuse, and can be the result of parental alcoholism, neglect or bullying. This type of depression can take some time in psychotherapy to get to the root of.
Depression Counselling in London for men and women
Depression is reported more often by women than by men. But it’s unclear if that’s because men aren’t experiencing as much depression, or if they’re not able to talk about it. If you’re a man, and you feel depressed, it’s important that you tell someone.
Depression can cause suicidal feelings, and when left untreated can lead to suicide. Three quarters of all suicides in the UK are men, and suicide is the most common cause of death for men under 35.
While the suicide rate among women has approximately halved since ONS records began in 1981, this hasn’t been the case for young females. Suicides amongst females aged 24 or under has been steadily increasing.
Of all the UK regions, London, which used to have by far the highest suicide rate in the in the country, now has one of the lowest. This is surprising considering the levels of stress in London, but some researchers believe it’s related to the prevalence of ethnic groups in London who have very low suicide rates.
Help for suicidal thoughts
If you feel like you want to die, you may not know who to turn to. I’ve listed two numbers below that I can personally recommend. You can phone them or email them and let them how you’re feeling.
Phoning the Samaritans will get you through to someone you can talk to in confidence. They’ll listen with compassion, and without judgement: Call 116 123, or email email@example.com.
There’s also the Maytree, a residential centre for anyone with suicidal thoughts. They offer a free 5 day stay in London. You’ll have a chance to talk about your feelings and thoughts without fear of judgement.
I used to work there – It’s an intimate, warm environment where you’ll be able to connect to others in your situation. Call 020 7263 7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why therapy for depression is important
No one deserves to live with depression – it can have a huge effect on the quality of your life. Your relationships will come under extra strain, both at home and work. And you might be tempted to hide away by yourself rather than show people what you’re going through.
If you’re depressed, you’re more likely to take risks, in an attempt to feel more alive and lessen the pain. This can lead to financial problems and addictive behaviour like excess drinking, too many drugs, or unsafe sex.
Depression can also take its toll on your body. There’s studies that show a link between depression, inflammation in the body.
Arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease are examples of inflammatory disorders, called ‘autoimmune’ diseases. It’s where your immune system goes into overdrive, and attacks your own body’s cells or tissues. Other chronic conditions can also get worse when you’re depressed.
You might find yourself making poor choices around hygiene and diet when a lack of motivation and energy are holding you back.
And if you stop doing any exercise, and eat the wrong types of food, it can have a detrimental effect on your heart health. There’s studies that show an elevated risk of depressed people developing heart disease.
How do you treat depression?
Many people who’ve been diagnosed with depression by their GPs are prescribed anti-depressants. But not everyone wants to take them, as they can have side effects, and there’s the risk that they may be treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the depression.
When people choose to try antidepressants, they find that they’re not always effective, and it can take some experimentation to find one that works. When they do work, they may be all you need, or you might choose to combine them with talking therapies.
Many cases of depression, especially low to moderate level depression can be successfully treated solely with talking therapies such as depression counselling or psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy can help you understand what’s causing the depression by making you aware of unconscious patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. It’s a gentle but powerful method of depression therapy, which can get to the root of the problem.
The benefits of depression therapy
Many clients that choose psychotherapy or counselling for depression find that it affects many other areas of their lives as well.
As well as lifting your mood and optimism, depression therapy can help you handle stressful situations without feeling anxious. You can find yourself communicating more effectively in social situations, making friends and forming fulfilling relationships with a natural confidence.
What happens in the sessions?
The sessions provide a safe space to talk about your feelings and thoughts, and look at how they’re affecting your behaviour. You’ll learn to recognise patterns in the way you think, and how that influences the way you relate to others.
Once identified, these patterns can be looked at with your therapist, to see if they’re accurate, or if they’re potentially causing your depression.
Psychotherapy sessions are 50 minutes long, and are held every week at the same time and place. The number of sessions you have is up to you, and isn’t something you have to decide before coming.
Sometimes issues are resolved quickly, sometimes they take an extended period of time as explore in more depth. Your needs and goals can be revisited regularly to make sure you’re getting what you require from the therapy.
How IN Therapy London can help
If you’re feeling depressed, it can be hard to reach out and make that first contact. Get in touch by email to arrange an initial consultation and start your journey towards healing and a brighter future.