Addictions & depression

What is depression?

addictions & depressionDepression can hit anyone at any time: men, women, old, young, married, single, rich, poor, anyone! It affects different people in different ways, but the common factor is a loss of enjoyment in life coupled with a loss of hope or ‘spark’.

One feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of a deep dark well, utterly helpless – Vincent van Gogh

Depression Symptoms

Symptoms usually builds up over a long time through repeated stress, relationship problems, grief, disappointments or setbacks. It can also sneak up unnoticed leading to long-term, low-grade condition (clinically known as dysthymia).

Symptoms vary and include the following:

  • Frequent sadness or tearfulness
  • Often physically tired, dull, heavy, or slow
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in life
  • Loss of meaning and a feeling of hopelessness
  • Loneliness or loss of connection
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

The gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain – William Styron

Other symptoms include:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Loss of confidence
  • Foggy thinking or poor concentration
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope
  • Big swings in mood

I do suffer from depression, I suppose. Which isn’t that unusual. You know, a lot of people do – Amy Winehouse

Clinical Depression — Major Depressive Disorder

Everyone feels down from time to time. However, if a down mood hangs around for more than a couple of weeks, it can play havoc with brain chemistry and body hormones. These chemical changes cause a Clinical Depression (Major Depressive Disorder) and have a serious impact on mental and physical wellbeing. When such widespread changes ‘lock in’ it can be very difficult to get out of this without assistance. Indeed, it can seem a bit like quicksand — the more one struggles, the deeper one sinks. It’s time to reach out for help!

I’m so broken that I can feel it. I mean, physically feel it. This is so much more than being sad now. This is affecting my whole body – anon

This can also be very frightening and very painful. It can feel like you are cut off from the world, sometimes described as like being in fog, trapped in greyness, darkness, a black hole or a cave. Many people struggle to go on doing what they need to do, their depression largely unnoticed by those around them, while immersed in feelings of hopelessness and pointlessness — very painful and debilitating.

Depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key – Elizabeth Wurtzel


The good news is that depression is normally responsive to therapy — even complex or severe cases. Therapy can help in many ways including:

  • Working with a professional who has a deep understanding of the disorder
  • Understand the underlying biological, relational, emotional and thinking patterns
  • Making sense of whatever is going on in your life
  • Addressing issues from the past
  • Practical help in making constructive change
  • Ongoing support to help you cope at your own pace
  • Improving communication and relationships
  • Reconnect with your hopes and dreams
  • Rediscover hope and joy

Please note : For more severe cases, especially if there is a suicide risk, both medication and therapy is normally recommended.

Why Addictions Counselling Auckland

Depression is robbing hundreds of New Zealanders of their lives each year and many thousands more of the joy of living including far too many teenagers. More New Zealanders die of suicide each year than die on the roads. As psychotherapists, we recognise the agony of depression and the deep understanding of its complex causes.

One of the wonderful things about us humans, is that we can heal and recover psychologically. Never forget that. – Lynn Charlton

Our team have the skill, experience, dedication and passion for working with and standing by you on the road to recovery and beyond. We will treat you like a human being, not a number. Our caring and training in unconscious process, human development, relationship dynamics, as well as the interplay of feelings, thoughts and behaviours make the difference.