Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders and is a major contributor to the global burden of diseases. Over 264 million people suffer from this illness. Within Singapore itself, the most prevalent mental disorder is major depressive disorder. This disorder can very negatively impact your life as a whole and can even prove to be fatal in cases where it leads to suicide.
For the normal person, mood fluctuations and a depressed mood last not more than a week or two at the most. However, a depressed individual feels extremely hopeless, unmotivated, drained and has intense feelings of unexplained sadness which persists for a long time. It can even worsen some of the existing conditions that you may have (if any), such as that of arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular illness, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. However, most people who suffer from depression can often be confused as to whether they actually have the disorder or not as it is difficult to identify.
Feeling down in the dumps and sad due to some upsetting events is a normal part of life. It is okay to feel that way sometimes. However, if you feel like that on a regular basis, you might have depression. If you think you or someone you know has depression, check from the list below for signs and symptoms of depression. If you feel you or the person you know display all or most of the symptoms that are enlisted, immediately consult a mental health professional. Book an appointment with us for an online or an offline therapy/counselling session.
Signs & Symptoms of Depression
Some of the major and most common signs and symptoms include the following:
- Mood related symptoms: Persistent depressed mood for a long period of time
- Emotional Disturbances: Agitation, anxiety, stress, loneliness, sadness, helplessness and hopelessness. Other feelings that one may feel in depression are that of excessive guilt, worthlessness, etc.
- Behavioural symptoms: Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities, slowed down behaviour and gestures, a loss of appetite, increased drug/alcohol abuse
- Physical Symptoms: Change in body weight/weight gain or weight loss, tiredness, lethargy, fatigue, digestive problems, pains.
- Change in Sleep Patterns: Constant sleep problems such as insomnia or parasomnia
- Cognitive Problems: Inability to think clearly and rationally, inability to focus or concentrate
- Sexual problems: Reduced libido/sexual desire and sexual behaviour
Suicidal ideation: Thoughts of death and suicide
Causes and Risk Factors
There are several causes of depression and risk factors that may increase the likelihood of you having depression. Common factors and causes include:
- Genetic Makeup and family history: You’re at a high risk of depression if someone in your family has depression. It is known to be linked with many genes as well, however strong linkages haven’t been identified yet.
- Age: Women are particularly at a higher risk of developing depression during the period of young adulthood. In contrast, men have higher chances of developing depression in the middle ages.
- Gender: Women are more likely to report depression than men.
- Lack of social support: A person with a weak or nearly non existent social support system is much more likely to develop depression.
- Experiencing negative life events: Loss of a loved on, divorce, economic problems can also be the trigger for the onset of depression.
- Childhood trauma: Childhood trauma and other events like these can affect the way your body reacts to stressful and sadness-provoking situations
- Brain Structure: If the frontal lobe of your brain is less active, then you have a higher risk of developing depression.
- Medical Conditions: Certain conditions like chronic illnesses, insomnia, chronic pain or ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can put you at a higher risk of developing depression.
- Drug use: A history of drug and alcohol abuse/misuse can also contribute to the risk.
How Does Depression Counselling Work
Psychotherapy and depression counselling in Singapore can be an effective treatment for depression as it can help you understand fully the underlying causes and tackle them properly. It can help you learn new skills and techniques to handle your emotional and problems and develop new coping mechanisms that are much healthier.
It can help you develop better relationships, and understand your current relationship patterns. This will help reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness. It’ll help you set healthy boundaries in your relationships and all sorts of interactions that can help you feel much better in the long run.
Talking with a therapist will help you better handle your life problems as you’ll get positive ways to tackle such challenges.
Features of Incontact’s Depression Counselling
At Incontact, we have dealt with a wide range of issues that people face in depression and use different approaches to handling the disorder well suited to your specific needs. Everyone is unique, and thus the counselling plans that we provide are unique to cater to your distinctive needs as well. We have vast experience and training in helping people overcome their emotional, behavioural and cognitive challenges and each time the outcome is that of a more holistically developed, matured, happier individual with skills that change each aspect of their lives. Our counsellors will help you work through your negative thoughts and empower changes in your behavioural and cognitive patterns which will help you manage your symptoms. We use an eclectic approach which may involve the use of eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, CBT, and humanistic approach that will provide a safe environment to enable change. Towards the end of treatment you will feel a lot more aware, and empowered to manage your Depression.
Frequently Asked Questions about Depression
Q. How is depression diagnosed?
If you think you have depression, you’ll have to visit a doctor for medical evaluation. A doctor will be able to rule out the possibilities of a medical cause of the disorder or symptoms. If such causes are eliminated, they may refer you to a psychologist. Once diagnosed, you can book an appointment with one of our experienced professionals for a counselling plan.
Q. How can I prevent another depressive episode (or depression)?
Depression isn’t exactly considered preventable, however you can develop a few lifestyle changes that therapy or counselling also helps you in developing. These changes help in decreasing the instance of a further depressive episode as well. They’re as follows:
- Regular exercise
- Getting a lot of sleep
- Maintaining treatment
- Reducing stress by practicing relaxation techniques regularly
- Building and maintaining strong relationships
- Seeking a therapist when observing life stressors