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Written by Lorraine Mitchell

The problem with depression is a skyrocketing crisis in our society today. Lorraine Mitchell, a psychologist with a practice in Bedfordview who provides family counselling and runs workshops to the general public regarding suicide, the warning signs, and prevention of suicide says:
It is safe to say that everyone becomes depressed at some point in their life.

Psychologists in South Africa are seeing children as young as ten years old presenting symptoms of depression while motherhood can be clouded with postpartum depression and the workplace is filled with men and women who feel a loss of energy and enthusiasm for their work because, underneath a successful demeanour, they are subject to ‘the blues ‘and minor mood swings that leave them feeling tired and strung out.

Others struggle with more severe symptoms of depression which can range from a short unhappy interlude, to a prolonged struggle with feelings of overwhelming sadness, dejection as depression can vary in intensity from mild, moderate to severe. Depression is so prevalent these days, in cultures ranging from the sophisticated societies of The Netherlands and Scandinavia, to the Orient and Japan. It affects all age groups, racial and ethnic groups and every economic level of society. Therefore, we need to accept that this is an experience that we are likely to encounter at some point in our life.  Fore warned is fore armed, so let’s discuss its symptoms, causes, effects and the help available in a frank discussion. Let’s not hide from the conversation. The more we understand the more empowered we are to receive help should we suffer a case of the blues or a more severe, acute depression.

The important thing is to realize that if we do feel depressed for a short or longer season, we are not alone and that there is help for sufferers of depression. There needs to be more forums where depression can be discussed openly without shame or embarrassment because there is so much that can be done to provide relief for this all too common human condition.

It definitely helps to have the support of family and friends especially if the symptoms of depression persist. Being told to’ snap out of it’ by friends and colleagues is so unhelpful. Do they not realize that you would so love to ‘snap out of it’…? if ONLY you could…. THEN you would.

However, having an understanding person to just walk through the mood swings, the blackness, the greyness with you without judging but just being there is very helpful.

Should you be suffering from clinical depression, the blues or would like to know more about depression come along to the workshop with Olga Fredericks on 25 March. She has been through it and she now counsels those who are experiencing symptoms of depression. If you would like to learn more about depression in order to provide support for someone going through depression come to this workshop. You can learn so much from Olga’s insight and the open discussion that will take place. DEPRESSION… THERE IS HELP FOR THE HURTING AND THOSE AROUND THEM.

Hilary and The Team