Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Psychological treatment for depression and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder

There are two primary characteristics of depressed mood.

  1. low/blue/sad mood for most of the day almost every day
  2. an almost complete loss of interest in activities that have previously been enjoyable or meaningful.

Do adolescents show different symptoms of depression compared to adults?

For adolescents, the research up until now indicates that there is no great difference in how depression shows up in terms of behaviour and brain imaging.

Is depression the same for people who experience it?

There are associated changes that come with depression that change from person to person, meaning that one’s person depression may be quite different in its experience compared to another. These changes can include high self criticism and excessive guilt, loss of confidence of esteem, significant sleep disturbance, appetite or weight changes, and a pervasive sense of worthlessness/hopelessness/helplessness.

What about psychological treatment for depression?

A recent comprehensive guide to “what works” in approaches to depressed mood commissioned by Beyond Blue endorses a range of psychological approaches, among an array of medical and lifestyle options, that have shown moderate to strong evidence in treating depression.

These approaches are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, problem solving therapy (a set of specific skills within cognitive behaviour therapy), marital therapy, psychodynamic therapy and mindfulness based cognitive therapy.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is one of the treatment approaches utilised in the Adaptability Practice as a way to guide psychological sessions. To find out more about this, feel free to get in contact with us.

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References

Guajardo et al. (2011) Loss of interest, depressed mood and impact on the quality of life: Cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health 11, 826-833.

Jorm AF, Allen NB, Morgan AJ, Ryan S, Purcell R. A guide to what works for depression; 2nd Edition. Beyondblue: Melbourne, 2013.

Thapar et al. (2012). Depression in adolescence. Lancet, 379 (9820), 1056-1067.