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The stigma of depression.

Depression — admin @ 1:49 pm

Here at Counselling Connections this morning we sat for a while to talk about Depression Awareness Week. We would like to add our name to the campaign which this year aims to raise awareness in particular of the stigma surrounding depression. There is no doubt that there has been a stigma associated with depression which holds that a permanent mark of shame is attached to the illness. It seems that the perception is that there is no cure or recovery from depression. We are glad to be able to confirm that this is not the case.
Depression can be a surprisingly debilitating illness. The physical manifestations of depression can take a sufferer by surprise. A cluster of symptoms around loss of interest can leave a person feeling physically unable to carry out some basic tasks which normally would be carried out without much thought. We can lose interest in food and in tastes and textures which we had previously enjoyed. We can lose interest in sex or in our loved ones. We can lose interest also in our occupation and in whatever hobbies normally keep us entertained. Sometimes in depression we can improve these things by setting simple short term goals and trying to complete some tasks even though our normal interest or drive might be absent.
There are different kinds of depression and it could be argued that no two people experience depression in precisely the same way. Our early lives are particularly important in our development and the hopes and dreams we hold to in childhood and adolescence create our adult expectations. If these are not realised we can be left with a feeling of dissatisfaction with life which can over time become depression. Some of us experience traumatic events which result in feelings of shame and guilt which can lead to depression. For others, the causes of depression are more subtle and it can be very lonely and confusing to feel low without really understanding why. It is important, whatever the cause, to be able to talk to someone about it.
Talking about depression can be difficult for lots of reasons and the fear of the stigma is definitely a consideration which might put people off. If that is the case we would encourage you to make contact with a good counsellor or psychotherapist who will listen to you in a respectful and understanding way. It can be helpful in the first instance to talk with a loved one or a trusted friend and it is not unusual to ask someone to make an appointment for counselling for you if you don’t feel you can take the first step yourself. It is also not unusual for someone to come to see us and to say simply that they don’t know what is wrong or where to begin talking about it. We can help you take things from there.
Brave people are coming forward all the time now to reveal that they had at one time or other suffered with depression. Some have experienced hospitalisation, drug therapy or ECT. These events are a difficult part of what some people go through as part of their way out of depression. These can all be put in the past and people can and do get better and live full and complete lives after depression. We welcome the public awareness programme for depression and we would encourage anybody who feels they may be suffering from it in one form or another to talk to someone about it.
Counselling Connections.

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