Depression

Feeling dispirited as a result of not being able to act on ones intentions, feeling of failure, feeling blocked, lost, hopeless and helpless, without a plan and without love, is a state of being that can describe the clinical picture of being depressed. Depression can also be experienced as a result of loss and grief, where there is a danger of a person losing themselves and their identity in the object of loss, often being someone they have loved and now lost.

Feeling depressed is also a feeling of ones personal values being in crisis. At a personal level, people experiencing depression can also become self-critical, experience self-hate, feeling inadequacy and irresponsible. Often, life and living seem overwhelming and the constant pressure from these symptoms tells the person that they can never achieve anything.

A combination of factors can contribute to depression and some of these are:

  • Having a genetic predisposition if it runs in the family.
  • Developmental family dynamics with trauma attached to ones experiences.
  • Having a personality with traits of low self-esteem, excessive worry, perfectionism, being highly sensitive to others views and making them personal criticisms and being highly self-critical and pessimistic.
  • Substance and illicit substance use and abuse. Often the impact from substance use and abuse become a co-morbid feature in your life, complicating the management of the condition.
  • Disability and chronic illness can impact on one’s life style. An impaired quality of life can often lead to adjustment disorders and depression.
  • Loss of employment or failure at achieving a goal can contribute to depression.
  • Life style factors – stress or difficulties in the workplace, boredom in the work place, lack of meaning, difficulty in relationships or feeling that there is no way out from a constricting traumatic relationship and the difficulties associated with caring for and raising children.

The feelings of depression can be experienced at different levels:

  • A person may perceive their lived experiences are so unredeemable and consequently their sense of self is seen as BAD, that they cold verge on experiencing on being at a psychotic level, or remain melancholic.
  • Their emotions are locked into despair, emptiness and significant abandonment where they can be seen to being on a borderline level.
  • The neurotic level is more about a belief that the depressed person develops about not feeling entitled to experience a sense of well being or happiness.

Types of Depression: Minor; Major; Bipolar Disorder (previously called Manic Depression), Cyclothymic (chronic fluctuating moods for at least two years, including hypomania {a milder form of mania}, with brief periods of feeling intact or ‘normal’, for no more than two months); Dysthymic (bordering on a major depression, but with symptoms that are less severe, and which have lasted for at least two years); Post natal Depression.