We can all feel blue, sad, low or moody on occasions, however some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason.
Depression is more than just a low mood – it's a serious condition that affects your physical and mental well-being.
Therapy for depression can help you change your thinking patterns and improve your coping skills, in order to better equip you to deal with life's stresses and conflicts. As well as supporting your recovery, therapy can help you stay well by identifying and changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviour.
There are several types of effective psychological treatments for depression, one such treatment is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is a structured psychological treatment which identifies the way we think (cognition) and act (behaviour) and how these elements affect the way we feel. CBT is one of the most effective treatments for depression, and has been found to be useful for a wide range of ages, including children, adolescents, adults, and older people.
CBT involves working with a professional (therapist) to identify thought and behaviour patterns that are either making you more likely to become depressed, or stopping you from getting better when you’re experiencing depression. CBT works to reframe your thoughts and behaviours by teaching you to think rationally about common difficulties, helping you to shift negative or unhelpful thought patterns and reactions to a more realistic, positive and problem-solving approach.
There are other effective treatments for depression and they include, but are not limited to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Narrative Therapy. The chosen therapeutical approach is based on individual needs and circumstances, and can be integrated to maximise efficacy.
Diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are an important component of mental health and overall wellbeing. What we eat matters enormously for every aspect of our health, especially our mental health. There is a plethora of research that indicates a direct link between what we eat and our risk of depression.
Diets high in fruit, vegetables, whole grain, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy and antioxidants and low amounts of animal products is associated with a decreased risk of depression.
Conversely, a diet which consists of a high consumption of red and/or processed meats, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes, and low intakes of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression, disease and cognitive decline, including alzheimers, cancer, cardiac issues, dementia and diabetes.