Depression & Mood

Depression & Mood disorders

Feeling down when difficult life events happen is normal. Everyone experiences dark moods every now and then, usually when something upsetting or stressful occurs. These feelings usually fade over time and we move on with life. Sometimes these feelings don’t go away. DepressionWhen they persist and moving on doesn’t seem possible (even after personal circumstances improve), this could be a sign of something more serious – they may be suffering from clinical depression.

What is depression?

Depression is considered to be a mood disorder, a category of psychological disorder that includes depressive disorders and bipolar disorder. Key signs of depression include constantly feeling down or hopeless, and having little interest or pleasure in things that were previously enjoyable. Other possible signs of depression include:

  • Low self esteem
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of emptiness or loneliness
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight changes
  • Morbid thinking
  • Unstable moods

Depression is common – even for young people

By the age of 24, one in seven young New Zealander’s will have experienced a major depressive episode. Depression is a mental disorder characterised by a persistent and intense low mood, often accompanied by low self-esteem, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities and feelings of anxiety. Depression adversely affects every aspect of an individual’s life and can be very disabling. It is important to note that not everyone experiences depression in the same way. This can make it hard to know what to look for.

Potential causes of depression

In some cases the cause of an individual’s depression is easy to identify, but often it is a mixture of events, lifestyle and genetic or biological factors. This can make it hard to tell where it all started. For others, there may seem to be no clear reason for them to have become depressed. It is important to consult the appropriate professionals to identify what the causes may be and using that information, how best to overcome the difficulties. Common causes of depression include:

  • Family history of depression
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Bullying or abuse
  • Death or loss of someone close
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Ongoing health issues
  • Rejection and isolation
  • Some medications

Suicide

For some people, their suffering becomes greater than they feel they can bear and they may attempt to or succeed in taking their own life. Not all who are depressed are suicidal, just as those who are suicidal are not always depressed. However, depression and other mental illnesses are often the greatest risk factors. By knowing what to look out for, you can act quickly and potentially save someone’s life.

POSSIBLE SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS:

  • Danger signsConstantly talking or thinking about death.
  • Talking about killing oneself.
  • Clinical depression that continues to get worse.
  • Acting in dangerous or life threatening ways.
  • Making comments about being worthless and hopeless.
  • Sudden change from being very sad to appearing calm or happy unexpectedly.
  • Talking about saying goodbye to people.
  • Making comments such as “the world would be better off without me”.

If you are worried that someone is thinking about or planning to commit suicide, it is important to urgently seek help from a professional. If someone has attempted suicide or you’re worried about their immediate safety, do the following.

  1. Call your local mental health crisis assessment team or take them to the emergency department (ED) at your nearest hospital.
  2. If they are an immediate physical danger to themselves or others, call 111.
  3. Stay with them until support arrives.
  4. Remove any obvious means of suicide (eg, guns, medication, cars, knives, rope).
  5. Try to stay calm and let them know you care.
  6. Keep them talking: listen and ask questions without judging.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is a recurrent depressive disorder that occurs at a specific time of year, but symptoms are otherwise absent during the remainder of the year. Typically these episodes occur during the winter months, although they may occur in the warmer seasons also.

Bipolar disorder

Previously known as manic depression, bipolar individuals experience episodes of intense elatedness or agitation (mania) often alternating with episodes of depression. People with bipolar disorder may be relatively stable for a few days, weeks or even months between episodes of elevated mood and depression, or they may cycle rapidly between the two moods. They key component of bipolar disorder is the shift between excited states to depressive states.

Characteristics of Bipolar Disorder

The cause of bipolar varies greatly between individuals. Genetic, physiological, environmental and neurological factors may contribute. Onset of bipolar disorder peaks during the adolescent and early adult years.

Seek professional help

If you are concerned that your child may be struggling with depression or a mood disorder, seek professional help – people rarely get better on their own. It takes the support of others to help them pull through. Depression can be a life-threatening condition so it important to seek help as soon as possible. A qualified professional can help your child to get through this difficult time in their life.

The Grief Centre

The Grief Centre is a Charitable Trust providing transformative support through all forms of loss and grief.

Location

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Depression & Mood
  • Trauma & Grief
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Seasons for Growth

Seasons for Growth is an internationally successful, innovative education programme which assists people of all ages to understand & manage experiences of change, loss and grief.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • East Auckland
  • North Shore
  • Rodney
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Bullying
  • Depression & Mood
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Trauma & Grief
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Lifeline Aotearoa

Lifeline offers 24/7 free helplines and low-cost counselling to support the emotional and mental wellbeing of New Zealanders. We listen and work with them to understand what's going on, help them identify change they could make and bring a sense of peace, hope and strength back into their lives.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • East Auckland
  • North Shore
  • Rodney
  • South Auckland
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Bullying
  • Depression & Mood
  • Family Relationships
  • Trauma & Grief
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Totally Psyched

Totally Psyched offers a friendly, supportive team of mental health professionals with solid credentials and evidence based practice to address a wide range of mental health challenges for children, adolescents & families.

Location

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • ADHD & Other Behaviour Disorders
  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Depression & Mood
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Michael Vaughan

I'm a fully Registered Psychologist with 30+ years experience working with children's emotional & behavioural development in U.K. and N.Z. My light-hearted, positive approach can help your child and your family.

Locations

  • East Auckland
  • North Shore
  • South Auckland

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Bullying
  • Depression & Mood
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
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Tough Love

TOUGHLOVE is a non-profit, self-help organisation that provides ongoing education and active support to families, empowering parents and young people to accept responsibility for their actions and stop destructive behaviours.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • East Auckland
  • North Shore
  • South Auckland
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Behaviour Concerns
  • Bullying
  • Depression & Mood
  • Family Relationships
  • Parenting Skills
  • Pre-employment, Careers & Life Skills
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Social Skills
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Bays Youth Community Trust

Our team provides mentoring, counselling & youth coaching services to youth aged 11-18, helping to build quality relationships based on hope, care, forgiveness & support.

Location

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Depression & Mood
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Social Skills
  • Trauma & Grief
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The Totara Clinic

Totara Clinic helps young people affected by a wide range of anxiety and depressive disorders including OCD, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety and mild to severe depression. Using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) which is a practical approach and is the most widely researched therapy with proven success. A safe, supportive and confidential therapy that aims to children and young adults to become independent and self-managing.

Location

  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Behaviour Concerns
  • Bullying
  • Depression & Mood
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
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The Boatshed Counselling

I offer specialist counselling with children and adolescents from the age of 7 upwards. I also offer support to parents, in particular around behaviour and can offer the Triple P programme. I also work in schools offering specialist group work, crisis response and mindfulness. I am passionate about supporting your child to reach their potential.

Location

  • Rodney

Specialities

  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Depression & Mood
  • Trauma & Grief
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