Deconstructing "Depression"

By Mary Ellen Wierschem, Licenced Clinical Social Worker

Most of us have a good idea what we mean when we use the term "depression".

Uncle John has been irritable and short-tempered, but that's understandable since he's fallen on hard times with the dairy farm.

Mum doesn't seem herself since Dad's doctor diagnosed him with dementia.

The whole fabric of Anne's life seems in tatters since her Walt left her.

Fiona's dog filled such as important place in her life, that it's no surprise she would be inconsolable after the vet put Rufus down.

On their Facebook accounts Sally's school friends let her know she's no longer welcome in their clique; but she'll get over that and make new friends, right?

When life throws us into tough times, it seems logical that we should be able to "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" and get on with it.  That's what pragmatic self-respecting Kiwis do, isn't it?  Then why do we hit the well sometimes, pretending we're okay when inside us lurks a gnawing fear that maybe it won't work this time?

Do you know what constitutes depression? Or how to help yourself or someone else who seems lost in a pit of despair?  Do you know when to intervene, or how?

If you would like to know more, watch this space. We will be posting more short articles that will answer some of your questions about depression.  If you or someone you know needs to learn more now, please contact Central Connect Support and Counselling on 06 858 9891 and we can help.