Most of us experience mood fluctuation as a normal part of life. We all have ‘down’ days, can’t be bothered getting out of bed or socialising from time to time. Sometimes we may feel grumpy or irritable. These problems are often transient, lasting minutes, hours or sometimes a day or two, and do not significantly impact our lives.

If mood disturbance is more severe and persistent, however, it may indicate a mood disorder. Although there are different types of depression, there are a distinct set of characteristic symptoms that include:-

Feeling sad, down, blue, teary, crying more than usual

Sleep disturbance – difficulty falling asleep, broken sleep, waking early and struggling to go back to sleep, low energy on waking, sleeping too much

Loss of interest and pleasure, changes in libido

Feelings of guilt and regret

Feeling worthless, helpless, hopeless, apathy

Negative thoughts about failure, being self-critical

Low self-esteem

Loss of energy

Problems with concentration, attention and memory

Appetite disturbance, weight loss, weight gain

Agitation, irritability, frustration, anger

Social withdrawal, shutting yourself off from others, isolation, refusing offers of help

Suicidal ideation

People often tell me that it has been suggested they see a psychologist, and sometimes report “but I don’t feel depressed”. The reality is that depression has many faces; there are different types of depression and people experience different symptoms to varying degrees. A psychologist will thoroughly assess for symptoms of depression, paying attention to thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Persistent symptoms that are resistant to change and begin to interfere with work, study, social functioning, or life satisfaction, may indicate a depressive disorder.

The good news is that there are a number of treatment options for depression, including, but not limited to, CBT and MBCT.

Evidence-based psychological care delivered by a dedicated, nurturing and empathic team.