Depression and anxiety are common mental health problems that affect many people. While everyone experiences some anxiety and sadness from time to time, if these feelings persist for weeks or months, and start to impact your health and day-to-day activities, it may be a sign of depression or anxiety.
Symptoms of depression:
• Feeling sad, upset, grumpy or irritable most of the time
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
• Changes in appetite
• Changes in sleep
• Lowered energy levels and fatigue
• Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
• Loss of concentration, distractibility and forgetfulness
• Becoming withdrawn
• Thoughts about death and dying
Symptoms of anxiety:
• Feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness
• Feeling restless, keyed-up or on edge
• Physical signs such as trembling, sweating, racing heart, feeling faint, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest
The psychologists at the Listen and Learn Centre can work with you to treat these symptoms.
Anxiety and Depression Assessment Interview
Depression and anxiety affect people in different ways and many different factors can contribute to the onset of symptoms. An assessment interview provides an opportunity for a psychologist to gather important information about your background, history and unique experiences of depression and anxiety in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the difficulties you are facing.
Screening questionnaires can also aide in the assessment of an individual’s experience of depression and anxiety. The psychologists at the Listen and Learn Centre utilise several widely used and well-respected self-report scales to further help evaluate symptoms.
It has been found that the activity in certain parts of the brain becomes altered in individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. A quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) assessment can highlight how the brain’s function is being affected and can subsequently assist in the establishment of neurofeedback intervention protocols.
Your doctor can play a vital role in the assessment and treatment process:
You may be eligible for a Medicare rebate to assist with the costs of a psychological assessment and subsequent counseling. Your doctor will need to assess you, prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan and provide a referral to a psychologist. You can request for the referral to be made to one of the psychologists at the Listen and Learn Centre. You can then receive up to 10 subsidised individual sessions in a calendar year (1 January – 31 December) and your doctor will assess your progress after the first six sessions.
As psychologists do not prescribe medication, you should discuss options for pharmacological treatment with your doctor.
Sometimes, a referral to another professional may be appropriate to provide an individual with the optimal treatment options (e.g. for specialised counselling, psychiatry). The psychologists at the Listen and Learn Centre can provide recommendations and assist with the referral process.