We all have moments when we feel down but when you feel depressed over a sustained period of time, you may need to seek help.

Depression can show up with a range of symptoms. Some of them are:

low mood, finding it hard to do your usual activities, poor sleep with change of sleep pattern, loss of weight and appetite, loss of interest in sex, self-critical thoughts, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, feelings of being worthless and hopeless about the future, feeling suicidal and believing that people would be better off without you, feeling shame that you cannot "snap out of it", withdrawal from people.

Sometimes medication is helpful in lifting your mood enough so that you can look at what the depression is about. A visit to a doctor may be helpful to obtain relief from some of the symptoms.

Psychotherapy seeks to uncover the root causes of depression. Building resources to support you through this time and finding ways to respond to depression are important first steps. People often find relief in being able to speak openly to someone who is seeking to understand and is able to be with them in this dark, lonely place.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is among the therapies that have proved helpful with depression. Paying close attention to what is going on within you - what you are thinking, how you are feeling, and how you respond to those thoughts and feelings - can reveal self-critical and unhelpful patterns. Working with those patterns can build new and healthier responses.  

Sometimes referred to as the "dark night of the soul", depression can seem very bleak, however, over time, a way can be found through the darkness.  People can and do recover from depression and go on to lead lives with purpose and inner peace.   

Agnew Counselling and Psychotherapy,
Brenda Agnew, Counsellor and Psychotherapist,
Address: Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3.
Call: 01-4452139, 086-0661030.