Skip to main content

Conditions: Depression & Low Mood

What is depression?

Most people feel sad or melancholic at times. Low and depressive mood is a normal reaction to loss or life's challenges or adversity.

However, intense sadness - including the experience of profound despair, helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness - that lasts for many days to weeks and keeps you from living your life, can indicate a more serious problem. Suffering from depression can lead to feeling persistently unhappy and include finding no pleasure in things that you normally enjoy. Depression, however, can affect people in different ways and can also be accompanied by anxiety.

When to seek help?

  • Your mood is depressed, you feel worthless or guilty almost every day

  • You feel tired or have a lack of energy almost every day

  • You feel hopeless and pessimistic

  • You can’t sleep, or you sleep too much, almost every day

  • You feel restless or slowed down

  • You have almost no interest or pleasure in many activities nearly every day

  • You are losing interest in sex or physical contact

  • You have great difficulty focusing, remembering details, and making decisions

  • You think often about death or suicide (not just a fear of death)

Is your depression connected to anything specific?

Seasonal Depression/ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is experienced during seasons or times of year. Symptoms of SAD tend to come and go in seasonal pattern, be wide ranging and lie on a spectrum varying in severity. SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression or winter blues" but some people with SAD may have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter. It's common to be affected by changing seasons and weather but if your low mood keeps coming back at the same time of year and your feelings are interfering with your day-to-day life, it could be a sign that you have depression. You may feel down, grumpy, and tired and you may crave carbohydrates, or you feel your depression becomes more severe and you need to take time off work and limit your activities. Sometimes, this involves sudden mood changes and overactivity (hypomania) in the spring.

The predominant theory around what causes or contributes to SAD is linked to the lack of sunlight in winter, which in turns affects levels of hormones (melatonin and serotonin) in the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling mood, sleep, and appetite (our circadian rhythms). It's also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes as well as other psychological factors.

Bipolar Moods / Bipolar disorder

Everyone experiences fluctuations in their mood, but in bipolar disorder these shifts can be very distressing and have a significant impact on your life. You may feel that your high and low moods are extreme, and that swings in your mood are overwhelming and destructive. Therefore, the term “bipolar” refers to the way the mood can change between two very different states – mania and depression. If your difficulties correspond to bipolar disorder, you are likely to go through times when you experience manic or hypomanic episodes (feeling high), depressive episodes (feeling low) and potentially some psychotic symptoms during manic or depressed episodes. If your mood swings last a long time but are not severe enough to be classed as bipolar disorder, your difficulties may correspond to a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.

#bipolar #cyclothymia #moodswings #mood #mania #depression #SAD #seasonal #disorder

Treatment recommendations

There are many different types of therapy that can be effective in treating depression, depending on the cause, nature, and severity of the problem, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).

The treatment would be individually tailored to your needs following a comprehensive assessment process in our service.

Back to What We Do Page

Back to Top