Mood Disorders/Depression

by Dr Veerle Van Tricht MD

Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks, months or even years.

Depression is NOT trivial and is a genuine health condition and not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”.

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.

The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.

IMPORTANT – It’s important to seek help from a GP if you think you may be depressed. Continue to take prescribed medication and if you are having suicidal thoughts, contact your GP immediately

Sometimes there’s a trigger for depression. Life-changing events, such as bereavement, losing your job, chronic illness or giving birth, can cause depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

  • Untypical behaviour such as being withdrawn
  • Feeling unable to concentrate
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed/sadness/guilt
  • Unable to make decisions
  • Thoughts of failure/worthlessness
  • Feeling constantly tired/in pain/disturbed sleep
  • Lack of appetite

What Causes Depression?

  • Severe life stress
  • Personal factors
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Genetic vulnerability
  • Drug and alcohol use

Life Events that can trigger Depression:

  • Prolonged work related stress
  • An abusive/uncaring relationship
  • Isolation/loneliness
  • Long term unemployment

Personal Factors that can trigger depression:

  • Family history of depression
  • Low self-esteem/perfectionist/worry
  • Serious medical illness/chronic pain

A Holistic Approach involves:

  • Food and supplements
  • Exercise
  • Talk Therapy

Mood Boosting Food:

  • Whole foods
  • Raw vegetables
  • Legumes/Fish/lean Meat

Avoid – Coffee/Sugar/Alcohol/Processed Food

Mood Boosting Supplements:

Benefits of Exercise:

  • Produces Serotonin
  • Produces Endorphins
  • Reduces Cortisol (stress hormone)
  • Repairs cells
  • More blood and oxygen to the brain

Talk Therapy:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – Goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behaviour that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel.
  • Interpersonal – Focuses of IPT is on relationship problems and on helping a person to identify how they are feeling and behaving in their relationships with others.
  • The Journey – A powerful guided inner healing process which gets to the root cause of emotional and physical issues and clears them out.

Reading a self-help book or joining a support group can be worthwhile as they can help you gain a better understanding about what causes you to feel depressed.

Sharing your experiences with others in a similar situation can also be very supportive.

Contact me by email for one to one coaching. Or for a 15 minute complementary call. 

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