Depression can happen to anyone, in fact 1 in 16 people in Australia are affected by depression1 in any given year.

Every now and then it’s normal to feel sad or “down in the dumps”. Life is full of uncertainty and this can contribute to low mood. Depression occurs when we are not only sad but have a loss of interest in most activities in our life. Other symptoms may include: insomnia or more sleep than usual, weight loss or gain, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fatigue, poor concentration, indecision, agitation or a slowing of thoughts and movements. People may also experience recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. These symptoms usually last for more than a few days and have an impact on our everyday life such as work, relationships and general enjoyment of life.

The good news is that with help you can recover from depression. Evidenced based therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ( ACT), for example are helpful. The best place to start is with your GP.

Anxiety, worry and stress

Anxiety is a normal human emotion which is important and adaptive. Everyone worries or gets anxious at some time in their lives. When worry becomes a problem is when it is out of proportion, pervasive and difficult to control. It is very likely that you may have been struggling with anxiety for a long time, possibly for months or years. Some of the symptoms of feeling anxious include: feeling restless, keyed up or on edge; being easily tired; difficulty concentrating or mind going blank; irritability, muscle tension; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope, feeling demoralised and depressed. As a result the anxiety may be interfering with the normal functioning of your life, at work, at home, and in the community. You can learn to manage and control it.

Similarly with depression, therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy are helpful.

Grief and loss

Loss is a universal phenomenon but people respond to it with varying degrees of grief. People grieve in different ways, for different durations, and with manifestations that range from depression to rage to avoidance. Grief and bereavement involve reconciliation, a process in which the bereaved individual works to integrate the new reality of moving on with life without the physical presence of the person who has died. Worden2 proposes that adaptation to loss involves navigating specific tasks that include (1) Acceptance of the reality of the loss (2) Working through and experiencing the negative emotions associated with the loss (3) Adjusting to an environment in which the deceased is no longer present; and (4) establishing continuing bonds with the deceased.

Although most people are able to cope with and navigate the grieving process without complication, some are unable to do so. Sometimes people require assistance from a psychologist.

Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a mental disorder in which the person has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving3. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school. There are several types of personality disorders and many people with one personality disorder also have signs and symptoms of at least one additional personality disorder.

Individual therapy is the primary treatment for Personality Disorder.

Other Psychological Issues

I can also assist with Panic, Obsessions and Compulsions, Social Anxiety, Assertiveness, Problem Solving, Perfectionism, Interpersonal Skills, and Substance Abuse.

I use evidenced based therapies such as the following: