Depression is a common mood disorder characterised by low moods. Depression is an illness which can quickly or gradually take place and can be brought on by a life event and /or changes in the body's chemistry.

Depression can be hard to spot as there are many different symptoms, some of which are physical, others emotional. Some of the most common include:

  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Persistent sadness
  • Loss of confidence and self esteem
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Becoming isolated
  • Finding it hard to function at work, school or college
  • Self-harming
  • Physical aches and pains

Individuals who are experiencing depression may live through feelings of guilt or frustration and lack the motivation to do things. Many individuals find they experience feelings of anxiety alongside other symptoms such as nausea, breathlessness and headaches.

Depression in its mildest form can be managed effectively, allowing individual's to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. On the more severe end however, depression can be devastating or even life threatening. Therefore spotting the signs of depression early is vital.

Depression is a serious medical condition that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way the feel about themselves, and the way they think about everyday things. Depression is therefore a brain disorder that can lead to much emotional anguish, but also have a big effect on the body.

Major depressive disorder is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with an individual's ability to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy once pleasurable activities. A major depressive episode may occur once, but more commonly, several times in an individual's lifetime.

A less severe type of depression, known as dysthymia, involves long-lasting symptoms that do not seriously disable an individual, but keep them from functioning well or feeling good. Most individuals who experience an episode of dysthymia will also experience at least one episode of major depressions in their lifetime.

Our Occupational Therapists have the knowledge and skills to provide effective treatments for those individuals who experience difficulties completing everyday activities due to their depression. Our Occupational Therapists can help individuals develop an understanding of their condition, in doing so this not only allows empowers the individual but also enables them to make informed decisions about their treatment programme.

Our Occupational Therapists can examine the life roles that are meaningful to an individual with depression and help adapt their responsibilities to give them the opportunity to participate and gain a sense of accomplishment. Firstly our Occupational Therapists will go through the roles important to the individual and explain how each of these roles have set responsibilities that, when met, have an outcome which is both desirable and rewarding.

Problems associated with Depression

Depression is a very common mood disorder with symptoms that affect an individual's abilities to complete day to day living activities such as the ones listed below:

  • Wash
  • Dress
  • Driving
  • Feed
  • Complete leisure/ social activities
  • Sleep
  • Complete work activities
  • Complete household duties- cooking and cleaning

Our Occupational Therapist have the skills and knowledge to identify the difficulties an individual with depression is having for example, getting washed and dressed, going to the shops or cleaning and will provide practical solutions. Our Occupational Therapists work with individuals to help them improve upon or regain their independence by utilising different strategies, changing the environment and use of new equipment.

Once our Occupational Therapists have identified the challenges an individual faces they can help by:

  • Practicing activities in manageable stages.
  • Teaching individuals how to grade activities appropriately.
  • Recommend changes, to make activities easier to complete.
  • Provide aids to help individual's complete daily activities successfully.

Each of the above modifications allows individuals with depression to maintain and improve upon their abilities to complete day to day tasks, and increase their overall health and wellbeing along with life satisfaction.

How can these difficulties impact on function?

Depression can affect an individual's mood, motivation, ability to communicate, eat, sleep and learn. All of which can impact greatly on the different aspects of an individual life as demonstrated below:


  • Difficulties maintaining a personal hygiene routine
  • Difficulties maintaining a healthy diet
  • Difficulties completing household duties


  • Difficulties expressing emotions appropriately
  • Stigma
  • Difficulties completing social activities
  • Difficulties participating in leisure activities
  • Feelings of anger and upset
  • Lack of motivation

Depression can impact greatly on an individual's ability to participate in social events. For example, individuals with depression often find it extremely challenging to access public places such as restaurants or activity centres due to their low mood and anxiety levels. As a result of this they miss out on important opportunities to socially interact friends, family and work colleges. Our Occupational Therapists can reduce the impact depression has on an individual's social life and provide effective treatments programme to enable them to manage their condition much more effectively.

What exactly is Depression?

Unfortunately, it is not fully known what exactly causes clinical depression in one particular individual. There are many theories about causes, such as biological and genetic factors, environmental influences and childhood or developmental events. However it is generally believed that clinical depression is most often caused by the influence of more than just one or two of these factors. For example, an individual whose mother had recurrent major depression may have inherited a vulnerability to developing clinical depression. This combined with work/life pressures can put a greater risk of developing the disorder than for someone else who does not have such influences.

The number of individuals living with depression in England has increased by nearly half a million in three years. Depression can affect individuals from all backgrounds and ethnic groups and effect both male and female equally.

Occupational Therapy assessments suitable for Depression

Our Occupational Therapists use both standardised and non-standardised assessments with individuals with depression. This allows our Occupational therapists to gather all the relevant information required to develop a fitting treatment plan for each individual treated. Listed below is the most common assessment used with those with depression:

  • Cognitive assessments
  • Functional assessment
  • Activities of daily living assessments
  • Aids and adaptations assessment
  • Risk assessment
  • Workplace assessment
  • Return to work assessment

Ournon-standardised assessments can involve interviewing the individuals themselves along with their family members. Our Occupational Therapists may also observe the individuals functional abilities, coping strategies and care needs. In doing so our Occupational Therapists can take various factors into account when assessing individuals. This allows assessments to be accurate and pure and tailored directly to the individual's needs.

Occupational Therapy treatment available

Our Occupational Therapy treatments provide support to individual's whose health prevents them from participating in activities of everyday living. Our treatments are client-centred and aim at enriching the lives of those with depression. Our treatments for individuals with depression purpose to enhance the following:

  • Functional independence
  • Social interaction
  • Increase safety
  • Pain management
  • Improve self-care
  • Condition management
  • Mood management

Our Occupational therapy treatments have been recognised to be really effective amongst individuals diagnosed with depression. Our treatments have the flexibility to be completed here in one of our clinics or in the comfort of your own home.


Depression is one of the most common mood disorders in the UK affecting around 4.7 million individuals. The condition impairs an individual's ability to complete day to day activities and can impact greatly on their quality of life. Our Occupational therapists aim to inspire individuals with depression to develop their independence, confidence and achieve their full potential in life.

How to arrange to see aoccupational therapist?

If you or someone you know would benefit from our Occupational Therapy assessments then please feel free to contact us at or Call us on 02033 937 332 for further details.



London OT offer and provide a range of Occupational Therapy services for individuals with a variety of conditions.

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