Depression – What is it?

Depression is a condition characterised by prolonged feelings of sadness or despondency that interfere with the sufferer’s everyday life. It often includes feelings of hopelessness and low self-worth. A person with depression can find it difficult to maintain an interest, whether it’s in what’s going on around them or life in general.

Conditions that develop as a result of depression can include an inability to maintain relationships, withdrawal from social occasions or an increase in addictive behaviours. When the repercussions of depression begin to escalate, sufferers can become even more depressed and unable to see a way out of their situation.

Symptoms of Depression

If you or someone you know thinks they might be suffering from depression, common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Isolating behaviour
  • Social anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lost pride in appearance
  • Angry outbursts
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Self-harm
  • Losing motivation
  • Having difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Having feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Talking negatively about yourself
  • Lacking energy and feeling constantly fatigued
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling helpless and overwhelmed
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Eating more than usual or having no appetite
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Having headaches or joint pains
  • Losing interest in sex
  • Relying on alcohol or sedatives as a coping tool

If you or a loved one are experiencing some of the above symptoms, you may have depression and a simple call to our admissions team is the first step in seeing if we can help.

Causes of Depression

There is no single cause of depression and psychiatrists believe it is more likely to be a combination of different influences such as biological factors (genetics, hormones or a chemical imbalance) and environmental factors (life events such as a trauma or loss of a loved one). Depression can occur at any life stage and includes:

  • Childhood depression – can be a result of factors such as neglect or abuse, poor parenting, changes to family life such as the birth of a sibling, bullying or moving to a new school.
  • Teenage depression – can be caused by going through puberty, stresses of study, introduction to drugs or alcohol, bullying, dating or new social situations.
  • Antenatal and postpartum depression – can be caused by rapid hormonal changes and the stresses associated with pregnancy, labour and birth.
  • Depression in the elderly – can be caused by genetics, past life experiences, poor health or social isolation, and loneliness.
  • Depression in the physically ill – can be caused by prescription medications or experiencing traumatic life changing events such as cancer, heart attack etc.

Treatments for Depression

The good news is there are treatments and recovery support available. There are a range of therapies and lifestyle improvements which, alone or in combination, can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression and help sufferers to come out of themselves and reconnect with the world.

Psychological treatments

Psychological treatments are about helping clients identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and change their thinking patterns so they are better able to cope with the stresses of life. Types of psychological treatment for depression include:

  • Positive Psychology
  • Schema Therapy
  • Mindfulness and Mindfulness based therapies such as ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

A treatment based on helping clients recognise that the way they think and act affects how they feel. It involves identifying those negative thought and behaviour patterns that make them more likely to be depressed and teaching them to change them to positive and realistic ones.

  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Therapy that focuses on a client’s personal relationships and teaches them the skills they need to deal with relationship problems. It helps them to identify patterns in their relationships that make them more vulnerable to depression and to find new ways to improve their relationships and get along better with others.

  • Behaviour Therapy

Like CBT, it helps clients to identify the negative thoughts and attitudes that lead to depression, but unlike CBT, it doesn’t teach them to change those thoughts, but rather teaches them to focus on other thoughts that are more pleasant and rewarding.

  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

This treatment is normally given in groups and involves mindfulness meditation, which teaches clients to focus on the present moment. This can teach them to recognise the warning signs early and to prevent their minds from returning to unpleasant thoughts and feelings.

Holistic health treatments

Treatments other than psychological therapies can sometimes be beneficial for sufferers of depression. These can be used alone or in conjunction with therapy and they include exercise and massage therapy.

Regular exercise can increase the brain’s serotonin levels, which regulate mood, sleep, libido and appetite, and increase the level of endorphins, which are known to have mood-elevating properties. Exercise can also increase energy, improve sleep, provide a social outlet, and increase a client’s sense of control and self-esteem.

Massage therapy is also thought to be beneficial for people suffering from depression because it reduces the levels of stress hormones in the brain such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine which can trigger depression. It also produces chemical changes in the brain that result in a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing, which provides a distraction from negative thoughts and helps the client to focus on pleasant and positive emotions.

Seeking Support at Palladium Private Health Treatment

At Palladium Private, our approach to depression is completely different from anything you may have tried before. We assist you to identify and address the core cause of your depression and teach you how to initiate a new way of thinking based on objectivity and reality.

Our qualified therapists are skilled in helping you pinpoint the incorrect beliefs that trigger your depression. This process begins by teaching you techniques for observing an emotion after a depressive feeling is activated.

Trying to stop a painful emotion at best only achieves a temporary fix, so at Palladium Private, we show you simple ways to halt, alter and even reverse this pattern, and to adopt new behaviours and engage in new ways of thinking that can lead to lasting change.

The Palladium Private Program is supported by Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapy (REBT), CBT, ACT and is underpinned by Mindfulness Training. Our approach is accompanied by nutritious meals cooked by our chefs and attention to your whole health by our personal trainers, yoga teachers, and spa and massage therapists.

So if you or someone you know needs help with depression, we invite you to speak with one of our admissions consultants about tailoring a program best suited for your needs. Simply fill in our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you or call us at Palladium Private on 1300 573 095.