Depression, Eating Disorders Developmental

Depression, Eating Disorders

Depression is the most common psychological condition, and most people experience it at one point or another in their lives.

Symptoms of depression include lethargy, low self esteem, a feeling of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety, dysphoric mood and even suicidal thoughts. People who are depressed usually feel a lack of energy and a lack of pleasure and they may be agitated or irritable.

Since there are so many causes to depression, which boils down to a natural response to life experiences (a defence mechanism), each situation warrants a thorough investigation into the exact catalyst. Depending on what causes a specific incidence of depression, a treatment plan can be developed to help the individual deal with his or her emotions.

Some people are predisposed to depression in that it can run in the family. In many cases, it is learned when someone is constantly exposed to it.

Counselling can help a person to adapt to life changes that are causing grief, particularly with bereavement or marital issues. Systemic therapy is helpful in family therapy, where the efforts of the whole family can help the individual. Psychodynamic therapy helps a person to find the hidden psychological defences that cause problems to manifest. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the problem at hand, providing solutions to day-to-day issues and finding ways to restructure negative thought patterns.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who has training and experience in depression counselling you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Eating disorders comprise a range of attitudes and behaviors relating to food and body-image. The three main eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, and ED NOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). These conditions manifest to different degrees in different people and can sometimes be mistakenly judged as poor eating habits, or a lack of willpower.

People with eating disorders don't eat in harmony with their bodies' needs, instead, people with Anorexia Nervosa eat much less than they need, while Bulimia sufferers binge and then induce vomiting. They may also do other things to compensate for overeating, including exercising or fasting. ED NOS combines any combination of the other two conditions.

Apart from the physical symptoms and behaviors above, someone with an eating disorder will generally also have poor self-esteem and obsessively research or talk about food, dieting or exercise. Poor body image will cause them to either wear clothes that cover up every inch of their bodies, or flaunt  in order to attract attention. They will find it hard to accept criticism and compliments.

Therapy for eating disorders depend on the patient. While some people respond well to short term outpatient treatment, others respond better to long-term inpatient treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are long term treatments that have been proven to be effective, while group therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapies and feminist therapies work for people who will respond well to short term therapy.

Family therapy is often advised for children and adolescents who are experiencing eating disorders. Research has also shown dialectical behavioral therapy to be effective.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who addresses eating disorders, you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

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Stephanie Pugsley

M.A., RCC
I have over 20 years experience of working with individuals, couples, families and groups in private practice, the Health Service, the Social Services and voluntary organisations.  I am a registered Clinical... Read more