Professor Menzies has been providing specialist CBT treatment for depression for over 20 years. He was a past member of the Mood Disorders Research Centre Advisory Committee at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney.
Depression is an often overlooked, serious mental illness with highly debilitating consequences. It is an extremely common illness which affects a large percentage of the population at all levels of society, regardless of age, race or socio-economic status.
Depression is typically characterised by a deep, overwhelming sadness. Sufferers of depression can feel exhausted, disillusioned, and overwhelmed by life. They may feel that life no longer holds meaning for them, and that they lack control over their own future. Whilst widespread, patients should remember that depression is highly treatable, and should seek assistance as soon as possible.
In technical terms, depression is diagnosed if a person experiences persistent, overwhelming sadness, or a loss of interest in his or her daily activities, in addition to experiencing several (although not necessarily all) of the following symptoms:
- Changes in appetite resulting in weight fluctuation which has not been a result of deliberate changes in diet
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Exhaustion, fatigue, lack of energy
- Restlessness or irritability
- Low self esteem, a sense of worthlessness, or inappropriate guilt
- Concentration problems, or an inability to make decisions
- Suicidal thoughts or tendencies, or attempts at suicide