Depression counselling

Depression is a mood disorder that is characterised by significantly lowered mood and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that are normally enjoyable.

Fast facts of depression in Australia and the world.

  • Equal numbers of men and women develop depression.
  • Mood disorders are overall more prevalent among men in the 35-44 age group, while women in the 18-24 age group are more at risk.
  • Depression can be inherited. The genetic risk of developing clinical depression is about 40% with the remaining 60% being due to factors in the individual’s environment.
  • Women are more likely than men to experience mood disorders.
  • Suicide accounts for slightly more than one-quarter of all male deaths among the 20-24 age group.
  • Between 1995 and 2005 in Australia, the rate of suicide among men was four times higher than that of women.
  • The highest suicide rate for men in Australia in 2005 was observed in the 30-34 year age group (27.5 per 100,000)
  • According to a World Health Organization study, the countries that reported the highest rates of adults experiencing a mental disorder during any 12-month period (prevalence) were USA (26.4%), Australia (23.3%), and Ukraine (20.5%), in comparison to China (4.3%), Nigeria (4.7%) and Italy (8.2%).

(Black Dog Institute, 2007)

The most common emotional, behavioural and physical symptoms of a major depressive episode are:

  • markedly depressed mood
  • loss of interest or enjoyment
  • reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
  • feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • bleak and pessimistic views of the future
  • ideas or acts of self-harm and suicide
  • disturbed sleep
  • disturbed appetite
  • decreased libido
  • reduced energy leading to fatigue and diminished activity
  • reduced concentration and attention.
    (WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, 2000)

Approximately 10% of people do not recover without treatment. With appropriate treatment, the majority of individuals will experience a complete recovery from the current episode. (WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, 2000)

Counselling, non-judgmental understanding, compassion, and a professionally appropriate response can be extremely healing for people suffering depression.