Depression affects about 350 million people worldwide. According to an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) research done during the pandemic, 8.7% of the surveyed Singapore population met the criteria for clinical depression, while a nationwide survey indicated that one in every three Singaporean youth had internalised mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
Sadness is a common precursor to depression, leading to feelings of gloominess and emptiness. Other symptoms may include a lack of interest in once-loved activities, changes in appetite, sleep issues, and suicidal ideation, which shows how important depression counselling is in Singapore.
Depression can strike at any time–yet, it doesn't have a clear cause. It can run in families, arise after a stressful event like a death or divorce, or can occur for no apparent reason.
If you think you or someone you know is depressed, here are some signs to look out for: • Feeling sad or hopeless almost every day
• Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
• Having trouble sleeping or staying awake
• Being irritable or angry most of the time
• Not eating or overeating
• Crying easily
• Thoughts of harming oneself or suicide
If you or someone you know exhibits these signs, then you might want to consider depression therapy in Singapore and seek professional help.
1. What is depression?
2. Causes of depression
While anyone can suffer from depression at any time, it tends to occur when an individual is going through a shift in life seasons. These changes could be unpleasant, such as the loss of a loved one or a job; positive, such as starting university or making a significant move, or physical, such as hormonal changes or the onset of an illness.
Common causes of depression include:
Chemical imbalance in the brain
Changes in hormone levels
Family history of depression
Certain medical conditions
Major negative life events
3. What to do when you are experiencing some depressive symptoms
Find something positive. Everyone feels down sometimes and it is important not to wallow in misery. Change your perspective and view your situation in a different light. Even if everything appears to be going wrong, choosing to focus on the positives, such as friends, family and having a roof over your head may help raise your spirits.
Exercise regularly. Beyond physical health, exercising improves your mental health as well! Try taking walks outside or doing some stretching exercises at home. As you exercise, you'll notice that your mood steadily improves, especially when the endorphins kick in.
Eat healthy foods. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies every day and cut back on unhealthy meals such as fast food. Eating right will help keep your mind clear and happy.
Learn something new. Take online classes, read books, learn a language, and get involved in hobbies– pique your interest and watch your mood improve!
If you’ve tried the steps above and find that your symptoms are not getting better, then consider scheduling an appointment for depression counselling.
4. Interventions for depression
Help is available for those suffering from depression and can come in the form of medication and depression counselling in Singapore. Medications are prescribed by medical professionals such as a psychiatrist. Talking with a therapist or counsellor and learning how to manage depressive symptoms are also parts of psychotherapy in Singapore. Both medication and depression therapy work in tandem to bring out the best benefits for the individual by reducing the severity and frequency of depressive episodes.
5. When should I get help?
If you notice that your depressive symptoms seem to last more than 2 weeks, or if you are entertaining thoughts of self-harm and suicide– it may be time to seek professional help from a mental health professional. Discussing your symptoms with a mental health professional (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor) can help you get the right treatment and support that you need.
Seeking depression counselling is also a good way to help your depression. During your session, you can work with your counsellor to identify your triggers and how to manage them, as well as bring to light any circumstances that may have contributed to your condition, such as a family history of mental illness, trauma, and unhelpful styles of thinking etc.