Depression can present differently from person to person, but some common symptoms include:
-Persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness
-Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
-Changes in appetite or weight
-Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
-Fatigue or lack of energy
-Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
-Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
-Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
-Difficulty finding motivation
Counselling can help with depression in many ways:
Connecting with Values: Many people with depression feel disconnected from their sense of purpose or meaning in life. A counsellor can help you explore your values and goals, and develop a plan to align your life with them. This can provide a sense of direction and purpose, which can be motivating and empowering.
Rebuilding Self-Esteem: Depression can erode a person's sense of self-worth and confidence. Counselling can help you identify negative thought patterns and develop more realistic and compassionate ways of thinking about yourself. Additionally, some forms of counseling, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), focus on helping people develop self-compassion and increase their sense of self-worth.
Increasing Enjoyment in Activities: Depression can make it challenging to find pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable. A counsellor can help you identify new activities or hobbies that align with your interests and values, and develop a plan to incorporate them into your life. Additionally, some forms of counseling, such as behavioral activation therapy, focus on increasing engagement in rewarding activities as a way to improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms.
Improving Distress Tolerance: Many people with depression struggle with intense emotions and have difficulty tolerating distress. Counselling can help you develop coping skills to manage difficult emotions, such as mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and emotion regulation strategies. Additionally, some forms of counseling, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), focus specifically on improving distress tolerance and emotion regulation.
Identifying the Root Cause: A counsellor can help you identify the underlying causes of your depression, such as a traumatic event, a chemical imbalance, or a life transition, and work with you to develop strategies to address them.
Certain styles of therapy like Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you set goals, understand your behaviours and provide practical skills/tools to help you manage depression.
American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Depression: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/depression
Flett, J. A. M. (2021, March 3). How Counseling Can Help With Depression. Verywell Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-counseling-can-help-with-depression-4179356
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, March 24). The Benefits of Counseling for Depression. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression/art-20047725