Overcoming Depression


Approximately one in five people will experience an episode of depression in their lifetime.


What is Depression?

To many people, being depressed means feeling sad, upset, tearful or unhappy. Feeling this way is often a normal reaction to loss or life’s difficulties. Everyone occasionally feels down in the dumps, but these feelings are usually short lived and do not tend to effect your daily functioning.

When feelings of sadness or unhappiness become intense, last for a long period of time and interfere with your daily life, it may be time to seek help.

Common symptoms of depression

  • Feeling sad, empty, hopeless and tearful
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, once pleasurable
  • Changes in appetite (significant weight loss or weight gain)
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep or excessive sleep
  • Feelings of restlessness or being slowed down
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Depression is NOT a weakness or a character flaw; it is also not something that you can just snap out of. The good news is that depression is not permanent; it is a common and treatable illness.


Seeking out professional advice will help to rule out other medical factors that may be contributing to your depression such as, a virus or thyroid disorder.

After an initial assessment, you and your therapist together should decide whether your depression will be treated by psychotherapy alone or a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication, this depends on the type and severity of the depression.

You and your therapist will together explore the different behaviour patterns and motivations that might be contributing to your depression. Your therapist will also explore how your relationships with other people impact your depression as well as providing you with tools and coping strategies to deal with triggers of your depression.

If you believe that you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and your depression is causing you problems please contact us or a trained professional for help.


About The Author

Sharmeen Shroff

Dr Shroff has worked in the field of psychology for over 14 years in school settings, community mental health centers, medical clinics and hospitals (inpatient and outpatient units). She is one of the few clinical psychologists in Hong Kong that have been intensively trained to practice psychotherapy from a psychodynamic depth perspective.