Gaynor Mitchell

Analytical and Cognitive Hypno-Psychotherapist

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Depression Symptoms

According to the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a major depression is marked by a combination of symptoms that occur together, and last for at least two weeks without significant improvement.


Symptoms from at least five of the following categories must be present for a major depression, although even a few of the symptom clusters are indicators of a depression, but perhaps not a major depression.

Persistent depressed, sad, anxious, or empty mood 

Feeling worthless, helpless, or experiencing excessive or inappropriate guilt

Hopeless about the future, excessive pessimistic feelings

Loss of interest and pleasure in your usual activities

Decreased energy and chronic fatigue

Loss of memory, difficulty making decisions or concentrating

Irritability or restlessness or agitation

Sleep disturbances, either difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much

Loss of appetite and interest in food, or overeating, with weight gain

Recurring thoughts of death, or suicidal thoughts or actions

Other symptoms that are not necessarily DSM specific criteria include, but are not limited to: work problems such as absenteeism, decreased production, lack of concern about work and accidents at work.

More symptoms to look for are:


decreased need for sleep

racing thoughts

grandiose notions

easily distracted



Causes of Depression

Biochemistry can play an important part, however, the lack of genetic make-up in identifying biochemical imbalance that creates depression, has not been fully established. We are biological and sensitive to the environment, family and cultural influences. Most people overestimate the biological contributory factor when evidence is far stronger for depression having its origins, in the way people think about and respond to life experiences. (There has been no specific depression gene found).

Chemical imbalances such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine usually return to normal levels, when there is an interaction with psychotherapy for depression. There is no further need to take any medication to correct the imbalance. This suggests that the imbalance is the bodys physical response to psychological depression, rather than the other way around.

Sociology. There is a more important and established understanding that in a social setting, the product of family environment, plays more relevance in producing depression. Learnt responses from a depressed mother, father or other family member can provide that child with negativity at a later time. It is now a faster, more complex life, with higher demands placed on the individual, most jobs are not as secure as they were, there is more information technology, hours spent watching TV or on the Internet can produce poor socialisation.


Treatment plans have to be drawn up on an individual  basis following an initial consultation during which Gaynor assess the nature of the depression, the underlying cause(s) and develops a treatment protocol which will provide safe, effective, solutions to the clients' problems.

Call Gaynor for more information or an informal chat.




Copyright 2010 Gaynor Mitchell, Analytical & Cognitive Hypno-Psychotherapist,  Witney, Oxfordshire, UK