Depression is a clinical condition which affects an individual’s ability to engage in life and have an accurate perception of themselves. It often involves significant and persistent alterations to one’s mood (sad, low, blue, disinterested), cognitive functioning (poor focus and sustained attention), sleep-wake cycle (usually poor, fragmented sleep) and thought process (persistently negative and self-defeating thoughts). Being persistently depressed also increases the chance of feeling chronically hopeless, a risk factor for suicide.
The diagnosis of depression itself is less clinically meaningful then accurately understanding what is happening for a particular individual. Two people with the same diagnosis (depression) can present with very different symptoms. One may experience a profound lethargy and lack of drive, sleep more than usual and over-eat sugary and carbohydrate rich foods, whilst another may present with persistent tearfulness and agitation, with profoundly lowered appetite and poor sleep. Both of these individuals are depressed but because different mechanisms are involved in their depression, both require an individualised treatment approach.
At Vital Mind Psychology, we have the skills, experience and expertise to accurately assess and treat depression.