Depression is a syndrome characterised by low energy levels, low motivation and the inability to experience pleasure. When people experience this mood state they often lose their appetite or comfort eat, their sleep becomes erratic (difficulties falling asleep and then difficulties getting out of bed), they withdraw socially, becoming negative in their outlook on the future, themselves and the world and often consider or act on urges to self harm.
There are two broad categories of depression that can effect people. The most common form is referred to as unipolar depression. This consists of episodes of depression that fit the description described above. These episodes last for weeks or months, they remit and then episodes may occur in the future. The other category of depression, called bipolar disorder, consists of similar depressive episodes to those experienced in unipolar depression, but also includes contrasting periods of elevated or “manic episodes” characterised by increases in energy, extremely high motivation and goal directed activity, euphoria or irritability, impulsiveness and increased self-esteem. These manic episodes often cause damage to relationships, work stability and an individual’s reputation.
There are a range of treatments that are used to treat mood disorders and prevent relapse. This includes medications, lifestyle changes, such as exercise and healthy eating and psychological strategies. At Peter Walker & Associates we have a number of clinicians with a great deal of experience at treating unipolar and bipolar disorder.
The following evidence based treatments are routinely used within our practice for the management of mood disorders:
- Behavioural activation
- Cognitive therapy
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Social Rhythm Therapy
- Mindfulness meditation
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Schema Therapy
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
At Peter Walker and Associates we are fortunate to have a number of clinicians’ with interest, experience and specialised skill in the treatment of mood problems in adolescents. The practice maintains close professional ties to the Prince of Wales Hospital Mental Health Program, which assists a great deal in managing risk.