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Depression and depressive disorders

What depression is

Depression is characterised by low mood, lethargy, lack of motivation and a feeling of emptiness that lingers and leaves you feeling stuck in sadness. You can’t shift your energy. You feel vulnerable, unsafe, disconnected.


Why depression happens

Stressful life events, especially in childhood, disrupt our ability to regulate our emotions so that they resolve naturally. If anger is not supported in childhood, it can turn inwards to become depression.


When depression turns to anger

This is suppressed or frozen anger that finally turns outwards and is directed at others. It’s an attempt to down-regulate out of depression.


Why depression makes you tired or lazy

Depression is a kind of surrender whereby you withdraw from overwhelm to try to heal. Every stimulus that meets your exhausted nervous system is too much. There’s no serotonin to support your vitality. Your nervous system stops you from acting and feeling. You may feel empty. That can look like laziness and tiredness to you and others.


Are depression and anxiety-related?

Yes. They both come from a felt lack of safety. Anxiety feels very loud and takes a lot of our energy to navigate it. Depression can look very still and slow. It’s a low energy freeze state that we move into after the exhaustion of running from our anxious fears becomes too much.


What are depressive disorders?

This is a medical term that makes distinctions between bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and so on. As a humanistic counsellor, I see all of these as being related to problems of living and as existing on a continuum of human suffering. All can be supported through person-centred counselling. Do call Audrey O’ Carroll Counselling as your first step.


What is the difference between depression and depressive disorders?

The degree of emotional dysregulation is greater in the more severe depressions. There is a very human life story reason for this dysregulation and I’m here to help you work through this.


How does counselling help depression?

Counselling helps a person to emerge from depression. The key is the holding space of a safe and warm personal relationship. In that safety, you begin to experience the emotions underneath the depression. Then you can understand and process them.


Depression in men

In our society, men have traditionally not been encouraged to live as emotional beings. Suppression of their natural feelings has caused an epidemic of depression in men and, along with it, alcohol and drug abuse. If you are a man reading this, please know that I will welcome receiving your call.