What is Depression?
Depression is the second health issue after cardiac conditions in the Western context today, contributing to a global burden of disease that impacts many people in communities across the world. It is something we all experience at some point in our lives. Many individuals present to health professionals self-diagnosing themselves with depression. Feeling depressed is a natural response to having a difficult day or hearing sad news. Experiencing loss or bereavement in our lives will naturally cause us to experience reactive depression. However, depression can be more serious and sustained, when our whole energy and concentration is lowered and we struggle to focus, believing ourselves to be worthless and useless. It is a condition which affects a person’s thinking, energy, feelings and behavior. At LifeChange we do not agree with pathologising depression but we believe in line with current research that what is needed is a relationship-based treatment. We believe that each individual has a unique set of circumstances that contribute to feeling depressed.
Freud the father of psychotherapy understood the suffering of depressed individuals as emanating from trying to cope with mourning, melancholy, heartbreak, failure, loneliness and harshness towards the self. In fact he believed that self-hatred was a core element in understanding depression. These supremely judgmental tendencies are targeted towards the self in self-harming and self-destructive ways. Talking about depression is the first step to understanding yourself, your moods and your behavior.