Depression Counselling in Singapore
Depression is a mood disorder where you may feel persistent sadness and hopelessness. Having depression may negatively impact your thoughts and emotions and even impair your ability to engage in basic functions and activities of life (eg daily hygiene, cooking, and eating).
However, depression is treatable and mental health professionals such as counsellors in Singapore can help you manage and overcome your issues through depression counselling.
Depression can impact anyone, regardless of race, religion, age or sex. Although it is most commonly seen in adulthood, we urge you to seek help if you relate to the symptoms given below.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression encompasses a wide range of symptoms that may vary in severity and duration. The below section delves into the common signs of depression.
How Is Depression Different From Sadness?
Depression differs from sadness in several ways. Firstly, sadness is a natural, temporary emotional response to distressing events or situations. It usually subsides as one adapts to the circumstances or as time passes.
Depression, however, is a chronic condition that can occasionally appear, stay for a long time, or last a lifetime if left untreated.
It often requires professional help, such as depression counselling, to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Evidently, one major difference between depression and sadness is the duration and intensity of the emotions experienced. While sadness is typically short-lived, depression persists for an extended period, often several weeks or more.
In addition, the feelings associated with depression are generally more intense and overwhelming than those experienced during periods of sadness.
Another distinction is the impact of these emotions on daily functioning. Sadness may temporarily affect mood, but it rarely hinders the ability to perform everyday tasks and responsibilities.
On the other hand, depression can severely impair an individual’s ability to work, maintain relationships, and engage in social activities. People may suffer due to these negative impacts, and may struggle to be happy again.
Additionally, major life incidents, past trauma, or co-morbidity with other mental illnesses can also cause depression.
Types of Depression
1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
MDD is a mental health disorder characterised by persistent sadness, distress, and a lack of interest in activities.
Those suffering from MDD may benefit from depression counselling in Singapore or online counselling for depression to help manage their symptoms.
Key symptoms of MDD include a significant change in weight or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, and persistent fatigue.
2. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
PDD was previously known as dysthymia. It is a chronic form of depression and lasts for at least two years. If you have PDD, you may experience a consistently low mood and may find it challenging to handle daily activities such as cleaning or bathing.
Long-lasting depressed mood, along with symptoms such as low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, and indecisiveness, are some of the primary symptoms of PDD.
3. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder causes extreme fluctuations in moods (also known as ‘mood disorders’). However, in bipolar type, you may cycle between two distinct mood states: depression and mania.
Similar to other depression disorders, a depressive state is a low mood where a person may feel sad and low and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy.
Symptoms can also include drastic changes in appetite and sleep, low energy levels, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Mania is the opposite extreme of depression, where a person may experience high levels of energy, feel extremely happy or irritable, have racing thoughts, and engage in impulsive or risky behaviours.
People with bipolar disorder may also have a reduced need for sleep and exhibit delusions of grandeur.
Grandiosities refer to an exaggerated sense of self-importance, power, or abilities that a person may have.
The delusions can lead to a person believing that they are superior to others or capable of achieving things beyond their abilities.
For example, someone with grandiosity may believe that they are a genius, even if they have average intelligence, or may think that they have special abilities, such as reading minds or communicating with the dead.
These beliefs can be harmful, leading to unrealistic expectations and disappointment when the person realises they cannot live up to their grandiose ideas.
People with bipolar disorder may benefit from appropriate treatment, including online counselling for depression.
4. Postpartum Depression (PPD)
You may have PPD if you have given birth recently. PDD usually begins within the first year after childbirth.
PPD can significantly impact your ability to care for yourself and your child.
PPD symptoms can be different for everyone. However, some of the most common signs may include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. In addition, it can also affect your appetite, sleep, and energy levels.
Some people with PPD may also experience anxiety, irritability (eg anger management issues), and difficulty focusing or making decisions. In severe cases, PPD can lead to thoughts of harming oneself or one’s baby.
Several factors, such as physical, emotional and hormonal factors, may cause PPD. Therefore, try to seek treatment or depression counselling if you or somebody you know has symptoms of PPD.
This disorder can be effectively treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.
5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is a disorder that persons that menstruate may suffer from.
PMDD is a severe classification of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that causes several issues, such as mood swings, cravings, irritability, muscle cramps and sores, and depression.
Moreover, symptoms such as anger and increased sensitivity to rejection might also manifest because of PMDD. The symptoms usually occur in the week or two before menstruation.
6. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
You may have SAD if you live far in the north, especially with shorter daylight hours.
SAD is also a type of depression that manifests during specific seasons, most commonly during winter or when there is a lack of natural sunlight.
Research shows that the main reason or cause of SAD may be related to a lack of sunlight.
Lack of sun may cause a drop in serotonin (ie chemical neurotransmitter in the brain) and melatonin levels.
While serotonin regulates our mood, melatonin regulates our sleep patterns. A disruption in both these brain chemicals may cause SAD.
Some of the most common symptoms of SAD include suicidal thoughts, reduced performance in school or work, social withdrawal, depression, mood swings, food cravings, and a need to oversleep.
7. Atypical Depression
Atypical depression, as the name implies, manifests in ways completely different from common depression types.
If you have atypical depression, you may notice a temporary improvement in your mood, especially in response to positive events that may happen in your life.
Since the type is quite uncommon and has unique symptoms, it may be challenging to diagnose. However, TYHO Therapists in Singapore can help you cope with the symptoms.
Common signs of atypical depression include increased appetite or weight gain, excessive sleeping, and a heavy, leaden feeling in the arms and legs.
Myths and Facts About Depression
Depression is a widespread condition that affects millions of people globally. However, its prevalence does not shield it from misconceptions perpetuating stigma.
In this section, let’s look at some of the most common myths about depression.
Depression is just feeling sad.
Depression encompasses many emotional, cognitive, physical, and behavioural symptoms, extending beyond mere sadness.
Depression indicates personal weakness.
Depression isn’t a character flaw or weakness but a complex interplay of genetic, biological, and environmental factors.
One can simply “snap out” of depression.
Depression isn’t something to overcome with sheer willpower. It often requires professional support like depression counselling in Singapore.
Depression is solely due to traumatic events.
While stressors can trigger depression, they can also occur without an identifiable external cause.
Depression is inevitable if it runs in the family.
A family history of depression increases risk but does not guarantee its onset.
Depression isn’t a real illness.
Depression is a legitimate medical condition recognised and diagnosed based on a specific set of symptoms.
People with depression are always visibly sad.
Depression manifests differently in everyone. Some may hide their symptoms, seeming fine outwardly.
Note: At TYHO, we use the term ‘Therapists’ to collectively refer to counsellors, psychologists, and psychotherapists.
Depression counselling at TYHO is a therapeutic technique that our professional Therapists use to identify the root causes of your depression and help in managing the several different symptoms.
Therapists in Singapore work with clients to develop effective coping strategies (eg learning how to manage your emotions instead of avoiding them) and provide tools from approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to improve self-esteem, thinking patterns, and joy in life.
Online counselling for depression offers the added convenience of accessing therapy remotely. You can book a session with one of our Therapists and join therapy through video or audio calls.
We also offer in-person sessions for those who prefer face-to-face therapy.
Benefits of Depression Counselling in Singapore
You may think, “How effective is counselling for depression?” before starting therapy for the first time. Read this section to understand how seeking counselling at TYHO can help you.
At TYHO, psychologists in Singapore use several approaches, such as solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), to help you manage your:
However, remember that how well depression counselling works for you usually depends on your active participation in therapy and your therapy goals.
We encourage an open discussion with your Therapist about your needs and preferences when starting therapy, as it may help set the foundation of your therapeutic alliance.
The therapeutic alliance is when you develop a positive relationship with your Therapist. Research shows that a strong therapeutic bond will typically produce positive therapy outcomes!
At TYHO, depression counselling in Singapore can help with the following:
Techniques and Interventions for Depression
Below are some of the approaches used at TYHO for treating depression:
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy (also called Talk Therapy) is a space where you will exchange in an open dialogue with your Therapist to understand your emotions and yourself better. TYHO Therapists may use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you replace unhelpful thoughts associated with depression. For example, your Therapist may use cognitive restructuring to replace a negative thought, such as “I am not enough”, with something factual and practical.
Mindfulness and meditation: Practising mindfulness tools and meditation can help you handle symptoms of depression and help you become more self-aware. At TYHO, Therapists may use mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to provide guided meditation and body awareness exercises. MBCT can help you develop a non-judgmental awareness of what you are feeling.
Some of the other alternatives you can try alongside therapy in Singapore include:
Antidepressant medication: SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are a commonly prescribed type of antidepressant medication. Your medical doctor may recommend taking SSRIs as they work by boosting the level of serotonin (ie a neurotransmitter that influences mood in the brain). For instance, fluoxetine (Prozac) is an SSRI that helps reduce depressive symptoms by blocking serotonin reuptake, thereby increasing its availability in the brain. Please note that this is not medical advice. Consult with your doctor for medical guidance.
Alternative treatments: Some people may find relief from depression through alternative or complementary therapies, such as acupuncture or herbal supplements. For instance, in an acupuncture treatment, fine needles are inserted into specific areas of the body. By doing so, it stimulates the release of endorphins and relaxes the body and mind.
Support groups: Engaging in support groups can provide a secure environment for people with depression to share their experiences, learn coping strategies, and receive encouragement from others who understand their struggles.
What Do Therapists Do During Depression Counselling?
During the first therapy session, your Therapist in Singapore will focus on building rapport with you. To do so, they will create a safe and supportive environment for you to open up about your feelings, thoughts, and experiences.
At this stage, you may be talking about your academic background, work experience, family history, personal history, past and present relationships, couple goals, and so on.
Try to be as open as possible when you share about yourself, as the first few sessions may give the Therapist a complete picture of your life experiences.
Furthermore, your Therapist may also ask you about your symptoms, any contributing factors to your depression, the duration of the symptoms, and your goals for therapy.
The information you provide to your Therapist will help them tailor a treatment plan most suitable for your unique needs.
In the following sessions, your Therapist may inform and psycho-educate you about their therapeutic approaches. You can share your feedback and thoughts about anything related to therapy during this stage.
Be assured that if something does not work well for you, your Therapist will modify and adjust the chosen methods based on the feedback.
Throughout the counselling, your psychotherapist may also recommend mental health resources and tools that you can refer to to understand your condition better. Additionally, educating yourself will also help you identify your triggers outside of therapy sessions.
For example, if you prefer socialising with people with similar experiences, the Therapist might recommend group therapy or activities focusing on your emotional needs.
The frequency of depression counselling may vary for everyone based on the severity of depression and personal goals. Your Therapist will work with you to determine how many sessions per week you may need.
Therapy sessions at TYHO lasts for 60 minutes.
Counselling vs Psychotherapy
At TYHO, we use both counselling and psychotherapy interchangeably. This is because all TYHO Therapists have similar qualifications and can help with a wide range of emotional issues and mental health conditions.
However, there can be a slight difference in both interventions.
Counselling is typically short-term and focuses on immediate issues such as divorce, low self-esteem, and anxiety – that might coexist with other symptoms of depression as well.
During sessions, your counsellor in Singapore may help you identify specific issues and help you develop strategies to:
- Manage your emotions
- Stabilise your mood
- Improve your confidence
- Improve sleep and appetite patterns
On the other hand, psychotherapists in Singapore may conduct long-term sessions and explore the underlying psychological patterns that may have contributed to your condition.
For example, if you had faced bullying when you were young, you might develop a fear of abandonment. Your psychotherapist may help explore the root cause and then provide therapeutic tools to manage your current issue.
Psychotherapy may help you:
- Increase your self-awareness
- Improve your lifestyle and habits
- Help with major conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder
- Provide tools to express your emotions in a healthy way
Most importantly, at TYHO, it is not required to select a specific professional to help you with depression.
You can visit each Therapist’s profile and check their therapeutic approaches and issues they can help with to determine who might be the best fit for your needs.
While both modalities can treat depression, your choice between counselling and psychotherapy should depend on your needs, goals, and requirements.
How to Find a Counsellor for Depression?
One of the most crucial steps to finding a counsellor for depression is to pick someone with whom you can genuinely connect. The most important element of getting the most out of therapy is to find the right Therapist match!
At TYHO, you can look for a counsellor based on several factors, such as:
- Issues they can help with
- Therapeutic approaches
- Languages they speak
- Mode of therapy (ie in-person, audio or video)
You can shortlist a few professionals based on the above points. Additionally, watch short videos to get to know the Therapist better. Click the video icon beside the Therapist’s profile picture to watch the videos.
Lastly, you can also read the client reviews to make an informed decision.
On the other hand, you can also turn to friends, family, or colleagues who may have had similar experiences. Your loved ones can give you recommendations based on their experiences and therapy outcomes.
Finally, if you are already seeking support from other professionals, such as medical doctors or social workers – you can also ask them to provide you with recommendations.
At TYHO, we share all the information you might need to choose a Therapist. Hence, you can also do your own research.
For example, you can learn more about your shortlisted Therapist’s specialisations, expertise, educational background, and even personal interests before booking a session.
Remember that finding the right counsellor may take some time, but it is worth the effort and may positively contribute to your journey towards healing!
Online Counselling for Depression: How Effective Is It?
Modern technology has introduced many features and conveniences in different aspects of life – which is also true for the field of mental health and psychology.
At TYHO, we utilise the advancements and aim to provide you with affordable and highly accessible mental health services. Hence, we have Therapists in Singapore who offer both offline and online depression counselling services.
Online counselling for depression is just as effective as in-person therapy. In fact, research conducted in 2021 showed that several respondents to the survey found significant benefits of online therapy.
Below are some statistics related to the survey, which assessed the benefits of online counselling:
- 65% found online therapy easy to access
- 63% found it convenient and comfortable to seek therapy online
- 41% found online counselling safe
- 37% found online counselling affordable
- 32% preferred online counselling due to privacy and anonymity
Therefore, online counselling may benefit you if you find it uncomfortable to share your problems face-to-face with a therapist.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy, and what may work for one may not work for someone else – mainly because each person experiences depression differently.
We hope you find the help you need at TYHO. Reach out to us through email at [email protected] or WhatsApp us (click the WhatsApp icon in the bottom right) if you need help selecting a Therapist!
Know the signs.
Our Therapists Who Can Help
Have you considered counselling for depression in Singapore? Below are some of our Singaporean Therapists who may be able to assist.
Psychotherapist & Counsellor
Joseph specialises in depression, mood instability, work stress, burnout, BPD, health issues, LGBT issues, habit change & suicidal ideation…. View more
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