What is depression?

Often, we say “I am feeling depressed” if we are feeling miserable or sad about our life. These feelings usually pass in time. However, if the feelings begin to interfere with your life and they do not pass after a few weeks, or if they return time and time again for a couple of days at a time, it could be that you are “depressed”; in the “medical” sense of this term.

Major depression (called clinical depression) at its worst can be life-threatening, as it can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts and feelings, or put simply, to giving up on the “will to live”.


At your IPSA depression consultation

Treating your depression holistically, your IPSA physician will work through a full-length depression consultation with you, discussing all of your presenting symptoms with you in our private and conducive setting. Your IPSA clinician is skilled at enabling you to talk and ask any questions about your symptoms and he or she will discuss different methods of depression treatment with you, where the focus of the treatment will be on reducing your depression symptoms so that you can function on a daily basis. You IPSA physician will recommend that you see him or her for reviews on a regular basis in order to monitor your on-going medical condition. Your IPSA doctor will book you in for those regular sessions and you will be given reminders prior to your appointment. You will have instant access to an IPSA practitioner on a 7-day-a-week basis if you should need any further advice.


What causes depression?

Depression varies from person to person, with you feeling sad or feeling negative, to the extreme of giving up on the will to live, and it can happen for one or for many reasons. Occasionally, depression might appear for no obvious reason.


Life events

Often, the first time that you experience being depressed is because your depression has been triggered in you by an unwelcome or traumatic event, such as getting divorced or being sacked, or when you have been physically or sexually assaulted.


Often, events or experiences that can trigger depression can also be viewed as stemming from a loss of some kind, such as following the actual death of someone who was close to you, or from a major life-changing event.


Sometimes, people call depression a form of “frozen anger”; this is where the anger you hold is internalised and is expressed externally as depression.

Childhood experiences

If you have had an event in your childhood that was traumatic, or if you were abused either physically or emotionally, it can leave you with difficulties in coping as an adult.

Physical conditions

  • Conditions affecting the nervous system and/or brain
  • Hormonal problems (particularly problems relating to the thyroid and parathyroid)
  • Some menstrual cycle or menopause symptoms
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Sleep issues


Both a general lack of fitness and a poor diet can contribute to depression.


Depression has been shown to run in families to some degree, although no specific “depression” genes have yet been identified. It does seem that some of us are more “prone to depression” (to what we term a “low mood”) than others are.

Chemical changes in the brain

As antidepressants work by changing the chemistry in the brain, many people assume that depression must be caused by changes in the brain’s chemistry; changes that are then “corrected” through the use of antidepressant drugs.


Antidepressant medication: A treatment for depression

Antidepressant drugs are those such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These drugs work on specific brain chemicals (such as noradrenaline and serotonin) and“lift” your mood. It can take from two to six weeks for the drugs to take effect. These medications do not cure depression, but they can make you feel much better. In this way, you may then feel able to take action so that you can deal with the problems that are at the root of your depression.


At IPSA, we usually recommend staying on any antidepressant medication for six months after you feel better to prevent the return of your depression.

If you would like to have a depression consultation with a skilled IPSA practitioner, then book online or phone IPSA today to arrange your full-length IPSA depression consultation.



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