Dave’s Journey Through Depression

  • Jun 06, 2023
  • Posted by Dr Bisi Laniyan

Dave’s Journey Through Depression

Dave was an outgoing, funny, and social man. He was passionate about sports and had a great relationship with his children. However, in recent months, Dave noticed a significant change in his behavior and mood. He had become withdrawn, started lacking enthusiasm for activities he once enjoyed, and felt a persistent sadness and a deep sense of hopelessness. Dave also noticed slight weight gain, he found that he was eating a lot more than usual. His sleep had become erratic; he was waking up constantly during the night, thinking about work, his relationship with his wife and children.

Dave had experienced significant changes in the last few months, due to a restructure in his workplace he was demoted and was now in a junior role. Dave had held a senior position for many years, this change had a significant impact on his sense of self-worth and confidence.

Dave felt worthless, inadequate and like a failure. He felt physically exhausted and emotionally drained.  His concentration at work started to become impaired, which did not help his performance.  This understandably added to worries that he may lose his job, therefore intensifying his depressive symptoms.

At the same time Dave was experiencing issues in his relationship with his wife.  The arguments were increasing, he found it difficult to talk through his problems and share how he was truly feeling with his wife.  His wife often made comments that he didn’t care and seemed unbothered about the state of their relationship; this was far from the truth.  Dave struggled to find the right words to express his feelings and the internal turmoil he was experiencing. This communication barrier was contributing to misunderstandings and frustrations within their relationships and Dave’s mood.

Do you relate to any of these symptoms?

If you do, you’re not alone – it could be a sign that you’re going through a depressive episode, just like Dave and could benefit from seeking professional help.

Is therapy the next step for Dave?

Therapy could be a good next step for Dave.  As a psychologist I would meet with him for an initial appointment to better understand his difficulties.  We would work together to identify the contributing factors to this episode of depression, the impact of this recent role change on his mood and self-esteem and his interpersonal difficulties with his wife.

What would therapy look like for Dave?

Based on the difficulties described above, I might suggest Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Dave.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is an evidence-based treatment for depression that focuses on the connections between your mood and significant life events, particularly those related to your relationships.

Therapy sessions with Dave would explore the challenges and emotions associated with the recent changes in his work, how to adjust to his new role, whilst rebuilding confidence and a sense of identity.  Sessions will also look at specific skills to improve his communication.  I would focus on helping Dave identify and express his emotions and needs, assert himself and utilise the support of those within his interpersonal network.

Benefits of Interpersonal Psychotherapy

IPT has a solid evidence base for treating depression and improving relationships.

It is a limited and structured therapy, which is beneficial for someone like David who has a hectic work schedule and limited time to attend therapy.

IPT focuses on reducing symptoms of distress whilst improving social functioning.  By simultaneously addressing these issues, we hope that Dave will see improvements in his mood, quality of relationships, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.

If you can relate to any of the difficulties that Dave has been experiencing, it’s important to recognise that seeking professional help and getting therapy can be beneficial for your well-being. Just like Dave, therapy can provide you with a supportive and safe space to explore your emotions, address challenges in your life, and develop effective coping strategies.

Written by: Dr Bisi Laniyan
Clinical Psychologist at Sage Clinics

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