Joanne Gilhooly - Psychotherapist & Counsellor - Dublin City
Counselling and Psychotherapy for Depression and Low Mood...
We all have bad days or feel sad, agitated, or low sometimes. Experiencing these emotions is a part of the human condition and for many people they pass within a short period of time.
But the experience of depression is different. The sadness, numbness, or agitation continues, sometimes unabated, and the person who is feeling this way may feel powerless to change their situation. Recovering from a period of depression is not as simple as ‘snapping out of it’ or just ‘cheering up’, and this, in itself, can be very frustrating for the person experiencing depression. Other common symptoms of depression may include changes in appetite and sleep patterns, and/or a general lack of motivation, lethargy or fatigue. Feelings of guilt are often present also, and for some people, there may be thoughts of death or suicide. Self-reproach, or a strong inner critic, is often very present and finding some space from the inner critical voice can be extremely difficult.
The symptoms of depression, such as a lack of motivation or fatigue, can prevent a person from engaging in activities that may be helpful, for example, regular exercise and eating well. Likewise, it can feel tempting to withdraw from others, which may exacerbate the problem further. This is the catch 22 of depression, and so making changes can feel like monumental effort. It is important to find ways to support yourself through a period of depression, but a counsellor will recognise that this takes time.
In counselling and psychotherapy you are offered support during depression and a non-judgemental space in which you can be as you are. You are given the time to express and reflect on what is happening for you and offered the safety to explore your emotions as they are. Counselling offers a space in which you can be open about what you are genuinely feeling, for as long as you feel this way. Ways of managing an episode can be explored and strategies for self-care built upon. With time, counselling and psychotherapy may help you to deepen your understanding of the underlying issues and support you in developing greater self-acceptance and ease with your emotions.