Feeling depressed irrespective of age, gender, culture or social status, is a natural response to many of life’s difficulties. Experiencing loss or bereavement in our lives will naturally cause us to experience what Freud called “reactive depression”. A normal response to loss is to feel depressed.
However, depression can be more serious, when our whole energy and concentration is lowered and we struggle to focus, believing ourselves to be worthless and useless. One in ten Irish people at any one time are struggling with debilitating depression. It is a condition which affects a person’s thinking, energy, feelings and behavior. People with depression may struggle to get out of bed in the morning, eat well, sleep well and be well. Individuals feel sad, anxious or apathetic. Their whole body may feel sluggish, indeed the person may experience deep fatigue and low self-esteem. There is a loss of interest in usual hobbies or in their social life and the individual may being to retreat or isolate themselves from life. This loss of interest in living may accelerate into suicidal and self-harming thoughts. Sometimes people with depression can experience very real pain in their chest or tummy of joints. It’s important to recognize that some women suffer from postnatal depression after the birth of their babies.
At LifeChange we do not believe in pathologising depression but we believe in line with current research that what is required is a relationship-based treatment. The talking-cure that Freud advocated is vital. Talking through your concerns and worries with a nonjudgmental therapist can be a huge help at such a distressing time.