Depression is a common and serious mood disorder. Those who suffer from depression experience persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed. Aside from the emotional problems caused by depression, individuals can also present with a physical symptom such as chronic pain or digestive issues. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling tearful
- Feeling worthless or guilt-ridden
- Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- Having no motivation or interest in things
- Finding it difficult to make decisions
- Not getting any enjoyment out of life
- Irritable mood
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Thoughts of harming yourself
Depression is not the same as sadness, although there is a lot of sadness in depression.
Sadness is a normal emotion that everyone will experience at some point in his or her life and is usually caused by a specific situation, person, or event. When it comes to depression, however, no such trigger is needed. A person suffering from depression feels sad or hopeless about everything. This person may have every reason in the world to be happy and yet they lose the ability to experience joy or pleasure.
People who have depression may have thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
People who are depressed usually block off their feelings or sub-consciously do not allow certain feelings. When they are not expressed, they are turned inwards and affect how a person feels about themselves.
Psychotherapy can be very useful for depressions. It provides an outlet where a person can explore and face feelings and emotions that they have otherwise avoided.
Often people who are depressed do not like making mistakes, want to be perfect, and when they don’t live up to their standard they feel hopeless. In the therapeutic relationship there is room for expression and for looking at these expectations.
Relationships involve two people with different views of the world and different ways of being in the world, coming together.
Relationships require work and face many challenges. There are everyday stressors, and big life events, which test a relationship and can put a strain on it.
The way a person is in a relationship depends on their culture and on how they were brought up. Subconsciously, people are in relationships the way their parents were in their relationship. Think of a person who said that they would never marry someone like their mother or father, to end up with someone who is very similar. We are attracted to what is familiar.
It is sometimes difficult for us to see how we are in a relationship unless we look at ourselves and our assumptions.
Communication and acceptance of the other person is vital in a relationship. There will always be challenges which need to be overcome. However, if a relationship becomes stuck and rigid then these issues do not get addressed and the relationship becomes problematic.
Psychotherapy can help when this happens and the relationship becomes stuck in a cycle of tension and arguments. A therapist can observe the dynamic within the relationship which the couple might not see. It can allow a safe place for expression and communication. It allows for a clear expression of wants, needs and boundaries.
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