Clinical Psychologists
Sydney CBD, Wynyard

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Depression, Dysthymia and Bipolar Disorder

Depression and Dysthymia
Depression and persistent low mood (also known as Dysthymia) has become very common. According to the World Health Organisation it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

People experience Depression in many different ways. It can occur suddenly or gradually; in response to difficult life circumstances or 'out of the blue'; and can vary in severity and symptoms. Some people may be able to do everything they usually do but feel less energy, pleasure or find it difficult to concentrate. Others find it difficult to get out of bed, dress, eat and take care of themselves.

There are a range of treatments for Depression including antidepressant medication. However, some people find that medication is not effective for them, or do not wish to take that treatment option. Even if you do decide to take antidepressants, scientific research suggests that medication is only effective in the long-term treatment of Depression if combined with psychological therapy.

Psychological therapy for Depression will teach skills and techniques to recover energy and good feelings as well as help rebuild any areas of your life that Depression has damaged. Psychological therapy will help you manage depressive thinking; engage in behaviour that is proven to lift mood; improve your interpersonal relationships; improve your sleep; help you make any changes necessary to feel good about your life; and help you feel better about yourself, more hopeful about your future and prevent a relapse of Depression.

Bipolar Disorder
Everyone has mood swings from time to time. However, some people experience extreme mood swings, in between their normal moods, that interfere with their personal and professional life. Bipolar Disorder comes in two forms.

Bipolar I Disorder is more severe and associated with longer highs, psychotic experiences and hospitalisation. Bipolar II Disorder is less intense and severe, where episodes can last from only a few hours to days.

The pattern of Bipolar Disorder is very individual. People can experience a mixture of both highs and lows at the same time, or switch during the day; a small number of people (5%) experience only the 'highs'; some people may only have one episode of mania once a decade, while others may have daily mood swings.

Psychological therapy for Bipolar Disorder can involve: learning how to manage the unhelpful thinking patterns associated with both high and low mood; help improve behaviours and biological rhythms to better regulate mood; help manage low mood and tolerate distress; improve interpersonal relationships, impulse control, problem solving and decision making.

Symptoms of Depression are:
Feelings of worthlessness and excessive guilt.
Feeling sad, down, overwhelmed or miserable.
Loss of interest & pleasure in your usual activities.
Increase or decrease in appetite, loss or gain of weight.
Sleeping too much or insomnia.
Feeling slow & sluggish or excessively agitated & restless.
Feelings of tiredness & lack of energy.
Apathy and general de-motivation.
Social withdrawal.
Difficulty concentrating & making decisions, memory problems.
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Symptoms of Depression are:
Feelings of worthlessness and excessive guilt.
Feeling sad, down, overwhelmed or miserable.
Loss of interest & pleasure in your usual activities.
Increase or decrease in appetite, loss or gain of weight.
Sleeping too much or insomnia.
Feeling slow & sluggish or excessively agitated & restless.
Feelings of tiredness & lack of energy.
Apathy and general de-motivation.
Social withdrawal.
Difficulty concentrating & making decisions, memory problems.
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.