Counselling For Depression

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Common Misconceptions About Depression

According to Beyond Blue, around 1 million Australian adults have depression in any one year, and it’s estimated that 45% of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. The Black Dog Institute has advised that the ramifications of COVID-19 include increased levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, with people already struggling with mental illness requiring more support. Unfortunately, while there is a lot of information about depression out there, there are also many myths and misconceptions floating around. 

Leon Skaliotis started Be Happy Again because he understands what it’s like to struggle with depression, and he wanted to help people take control of their lives and support them through their most challenging times. He provides counselling for depression tailored to his clients’ specific circumstances, teaching people to apply powerful principles that have a firm basis in scientific research to manage and reduce the severity of their depression. He’s here to address the myths and misconceptions surrounding depression and those with depression so people have a clearer, more informed idea of what depression is and how they can work to overcome it.

What Is Depression?

The black dog, the blue devil, melancholia; depression has gone by many names throughout the years, but the symptoms have always remained relatively consistent. 

  • It’s more than just feeling sad. Everyone feels sad, moody, or low from time to time; that’s completely normal. However, some people experience these feelings intensely for weeks, months, or even years at a time without any apparent reason. Depression is far more than just a bad mood; it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health. 
  • There’s more than one type of depression. Depression isn’t a clear-cut, one-size-fits-all condition. There are many different types of depression, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymic disorder, dysthymic disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. Every individual experiences depression and its symptoms differently. 
  • The exact causes of depression are unknown. While we don’t know the precise cause of depression, there is a combination of biological, psychological, social, and lifestyle factors that can trigger a person’s depression. 
  • Some people are more at risk of depression than others. Personal factors that lead to an increased risk of depression include a family history of depression, an anxious or critical personality type, serious medical conditions, and alcohol and drug use. External factors attributing to depression can include long-term unemployment, long-term isolation or loneliness, prolonged stress, and living in an abusive or uncaring relationship.

Some Quick Statistics On Depression

Depression can affect anyone at any time. It doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, or ethnicity. However, depression can disproportionately affect some minority groups within Australia. 

  • In any one year, 1 million Australian adults have depression (Beyond Blue). 
  • One in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime (Beyond Blue).
  • Australian youths aged between 18-24 have the highest prevalence of mental illness than any other age group, with 6% of people in this age bracket experiencing a depressive disorder (The Black Dog Institute). 
  • Every day at least six Australians will die from suicide, and 30 people will attempt to take their own life. Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst 25-44-year-olds and the second leading cause of death amongst 15-24-year-olds (The Black Dog Institute).
  • Men are at the most significant risk of suicide, and in 2011 they made up 76% of all deaths from suicide in Australia. However, they are the least likely to seek depression counselling or help (The Black Dog Institute). 
  • Indigenous Australians experience an overall suicide rate of more than double that of non-Indigenous Australians (The Black Dog Institute).
  • The LGBTI community experience a rate of attempted suicide four times that of those identifying as straight (The Black Dog Institute).  

Myths And Misconceptions About Depression

Leon Skaliotis has been practising depression counselling in Melbourne for many years. In that time, he has come across many myths and misconceptions about the condition, some of which are harmful in their inaccuracy. Be Happy Again aims to address some of these misconceptions right here. 

  • MYTH: Depression is just a chemical imbalance in the brain.
    • While it’s believed that chemical messaging processes between the nerve cells in the brain contribute to depression, factors such as genetic vulnerability, severe life stressors, medications, drugs, and alcohol, and certain medical conditions also increase a person’s susceptibility to depression.
  • MYTH: Antidepressants will cure my depression.
    • Depression is treatable, but it often requires a combination of interventions and strategies to manage the symptoms. Antidepressants affect the brain’s chemical transmitters, in particular, serotonin and noradrenaline, which relay messages between brain cells. While medications will help you physiologically, you can also work with a depression counsellor to better manage the triggers of your depression and improve your coping strategies.
  • MYTH: Depression is all in my head.
    • Depression is a genuine mental health disorder that stems from biological, emotional, and environmental factors. There are many physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of depression; a person dealing with depression can’t simply ‘snap out of it’.
  • MYTH: Depression will go away on its own over time.
    • Without treatment and intervention, depression can persist for months or years, leading to self-sabotaging or self-harming behaviours. Some people benefit from medication, others from depression counselling, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.
  • MYTH: Depression is a weakness.
    • Depression is a mental health condition that affects a person’s health. It is not a defect of one’s character. Over the years, society has stigmatised depression. However, those stigmas are gradually being lifted.
  • MYTH: Depression is only caused by trauma.
    • Sometimes significant events like death, job loss, or a break-up can trigger depression, but more often than not, it isn’t caused by any external event at all. It can happen to anyone, at any time, without any apparent cause.

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression

As a depression counsellor offering depression treatment in Melbourne, Leon is asked many questions about the condition. Here are some answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about depression and depression therapy. 

  • What are some of the signs and symptoms of depression?
    • The symptoms of depression can usually be divided into four categories; behaviour, emotional, physical, and mental. Not everyone experiencing depression will have all of the signs at once. 
      • Behavioural
        • Not going out anymore
        • Not getting things done at work/school
        • Withdrawing from close friends and family 
        • Relying on alcohol and sedatives
        • Not doing usual enjoyable activities
        • Unable to concentrate
      • Emotional
        • Overwhelmed
        • Guilty
        • Irritability
        • Frustrated
        • Lacking confidence
        • Unhappy
        • Indecisive
        • Disappointed
        • Miserable
        • Sad
      • Mental
        • “I’m a failure.”
        • “It’s my fault.”
        • “Nothing good ever happens to me.”
        • “I’m worthless.”
        • “Life’s not worth living.”
        • “People would be better off without me.”
      • Physical
        • Tired all the time
        • Sick and run down
        • Headaches and muscle pains
        • Churning gut
        • Sleep problems
        • Loss or change of appetite
        • Significant weight loss or gain
  • How is depression diagnosed?
    • You’ll need to visit your GP to take a DASS 21 test, which is a series of questions about your mood over the previous seven days. From this, your doctor will be able to give you a diagnosis and recommend further action such as antidepressant medication and depression therapy.
  • How will I know if treatment is working?
    • Whether you’re taking antidepressants, undergoing therapy for depression or both, there are ways to measure your progress accurately. At Be Happy Again, Leon does weekly assessments to measure your depression levels so he can make adjustments in your therapy to maximise your results in the shortest possible time.
  • What should I expect from Be Happy Again?
    • Your sessions with Leon will be very solutions-focused, as he looks to provide you with the tools and skills you need to take control of your thinking. The practices you’ll learn will be tailored to your unique situation, and Leon is committed to supporting you through your recovery process.
  • Can I prevent depression?
    • At Be Happy Again, Leon will talk you through the strategies you can use to manage and prevent depression, including a healthy diet, healthy sleep routines, regular exercise, enjoying social activities, mindfulness exercises, and regular counselling for depression. 
  • How can I help someone who has/might have depression?
    • If you think someone close to you may be experiencing depression, your support could make a massive difference. You can help by;
      • Educating yourself on depression
      • Respecting their boundaries and their right not to want to talk
      • Being an active listener, not a lecturer
      • Encouraging them to reach out to a professional such as Leon at Be Happy Again
      • Taking care of your own mental health so you can be there to support them

If You’re Seeking Counselling For Depression, Contact Be Happy Again

Be Happy Again’s very own anxiety and depression treatment specialist, Leon Skaliotis, aims to help his clients free themselves from the pain of anxiety and depression so they can live rich, full, meaningful lives. He is an executive member of the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT), accredited in behavioural therapy, positive psychology, mindfulness and life coaching. In addition to these qualifications, the many grateful reviews of his former clients are testament to Leon’s successful therapeutic approach acquired from many years of researching and applying the most effective treatment strategies. Leon has also struggled and fully recovered from his own anxiety and depression, giving him a genuine insight into the day-to-day struggles of his clients. If you’re looking for counselling for anxiety that allows you to take control of your mental health and make lifelong, empowering change, contact Leon at Be Happy Again today.

64 Clyde Street, Thornbury, MELBOURNE
info@behappyagain.com.au
0414 020 090