Happiness is NOT a perpetual state of being, despite the glossy magazines! If happiness was a 10 and a low mood was 5, then severe depression is 0. Sufferers often feel nothing, just a persistent deadness; as if the world is going on around them or in a separate place. Unlike a normal low mood, this feeling doesn't go away. We feel frightened and it can feel as if there is no hope of anything ever being any better.
If you've been diagnosed with depression, you may wonder why it has happened to you. The fact is that anyone can get depression; but anyone can get the help they need for treating depression! So many of us these days have so much stress in our lives, due to work pressures, family situations, relationship issues that it eventually wears us down. Some people say that depression feels like a black curtain of despair coming down over their lives. Many people feel like they have no energy and can't concentrate. Others feel irritable all the time for no apparent reason. The signs vary from person to person, but if you have been feeling "down" and these feelings are interfering with your daily life, you may be depressed.
Depression may not have a single cause; often, it results from a combination of things. You may have no idea why depression has struck you.
Everyone feels "down" sometimes. To feel discouraged or sad sometimes is perfectly normal. Having passing moods of dissatisfaction with life is a normal human condition. To feel grief or sadness during times of loss is expected and understandable.
Depression can often begin with our mental attitudes and our outlook on life. For many, depression becomes a constant problem, a continuous battle with everyday living. Millions of lives that could be directed towards fulfilling relationships, joyful employment and healthy families are currently being clouded by daily feelings of depression or anxiety and stress.
Sometimes depression starts in adolescence and it is believed that some form of depression will affect one-out-of-three adults and one-out-of-five children at some time in their life.
It is a word used to describe a variety of states and habitual ways of thinking, feeling and behaving in the world. Typically people who are given the 'depression', or 'depressed' label can have some or all of the following symptoms - sadness, despair, tiredness, lethargy, grief, frustration, guilt, anger, inability to sleep, overeating, no appetite etc, and these symptoms, or patterns of thinking/feeling, tend to go round and round in loops in a person's mind.
Then, often there is shame and self-blame or a feeling that the person is inadequate or stupid because they are not able to break out of the depression patterns themselves and stop feeling depressed.
Sometimes the person knows, or believes they know, how the cycle of thinking/feeling began (the cause of the depression), sometimes they don't and go on a search to find out why they feel this way.
My approach to working with a person who feels depressed is multi-faceted and each client will receive a 'tailored' therapy to suit them.
A natural and alternative treatment for treating depression using psychotherapy and psychonutrition, sometimes also utilising clinical hypnosis, can show greater therapeutic outcomes than drug therapy alone. When we take a look at the mind and the body, we begin to see how one affects the other, often causing all kinds of negative ideas to flourish in our minds.
Everyone has the ability to think and feel differently, and to be able to heal themselves with the assistance of therapy and a good clinician. Integrative psychotherapy (meaningis a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies) is well established in treating depression and incorporated with psychonutrition (nutrition that supports your mood) provides positive outcomes.
Any person young or old, male or female can become depressed. It is increasing in all age groups, but particularly in the younger teenage group. Females tend to experience depression twice as frequently as males, and depression is estimated 25 - 40% more common amongst children, that have grown up with a parent that is depressed.
There have been many misconceived ideas about depressed people, that they are weak, or they just feel sorry for themselves. They are told to 'snap out of it' or 'there are other people worse off than you'. This is certainly not an answer and often makes the person feel guilty or even worse about their condition.
Depression has many causes, and as a result has many viable avenues of treatments and cures. Mildly or severely depressed client's find themselves in situations that are enormously painful and who need help to find a way out. It can affect you physically, causing problems such as eating, sleep disturbance, your sex life, a decrease of pleasure or interest, fatigue and anxiety. Cognitively, depression can affect your ability to think clearly, making it difficult to concentrate, including poor memory, which can include errors in judgement and decision making.
Day to day living has become more stressful for some people, changes in society, a higher divorce or separation rate, and the general break-up of families, job insecurity, being too fat or too thin. Those who do not perceive themselves as successful, even with a nice car, house, or family. Pressures on children to do better at school, with the now increasing vast array of subjects, can lead to despair, frustration, which may cause anxiety, helplessness or hopelessness. Feeling lonely and simply not good enough is enough to trigger this dark mood. Of course not everyone who experiences these problems or stresses becomes depressed. However, there are numerous amounts of people, who go untreated because either they don't know they are depressed, or a consultation with a doctor fails to diagnose depression. But somehow, they know they just don't feel right. Treating depression shouldn't be difficult!
There can be many underlying medical, physiological or psychological disorders that create depression where a full investigation is required and it is always advisable to seek medical assistance to rule out any medical or physiological causes. So I advise you go and see a good, sympathetic doctor to rule these out. Once these concerns have been ruled out and it is considered a mind related problem, then this is where I can help you get the best for yourself and plan a route to a better life and start working towards treating the depression.
There has been research to show that chemical imbalances such as serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine usually return to normal levels, when there is an interaction with psychotherapy and psychonutrition for depression. This can sometimes suggest that the imbalance is the body's physical response to psychological depression, rather than the other way around. 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 (through no fault of their own) 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, for instance.
Drugs can often suppress underlying problems, only to find when the patient stops taking the anti-depressant drug, they become depressed again and issues can resurface. Anti-depressant medication cannot teach coping skills, problem solving skills, resolve interpersonal issues, or protect against reoccurrence of depressive episodes. That is not to say however, you should stop taking medication without your doctors consent. They often can support a client while working through the reasons that caused the depression.
Some therapists prefer their clients to be on medication; I recognize that it can create an instant lift by helping you feel less anxious, so that therapy can have a more immediate effect. Also, once therapy is complete, cessation of medication shouldn't cause any problems.
It would be unfair to say that all people do not get relief from medication, and in some instances it is definitely required. Whether it is clinical depression, reactive depression or post natal depression, mild, severe; an individual has the ability to work through it if they want to.
It is a very important step to recognise depression and then to obtain suitable help. Everyone is an individual, therefore mind related/psychological/reactive depression therapy is individualised to pertain to that person.
A person who is depressed, does the same old things, day in and day out, more than likely ruminating over the same old negative thoughts and problems. When you do something differently, you may get a different and much better result. It is knowing what to do differently that counts, providing a better future.
Depression is manageable and recovery is highly likely if approached seriously and with a skilled therapist. It can be such an isolating condition, and many of us are afraid of seeking help because we fear the treatment almost as much as the feeling depression gives. You really don't have to suffer in silence or fear any longer.
(Part of this article is credited to David Kato)
Why don't you give me a call for a chat? It costs you nothing for a confidential, initial consultation over the phone, and we can both see if therapy is the right way for you to go forward to the happy life, you deserve!
I look forwarded to speaking with you.
Depression is a term to describe a wide range of mood disorders that create psychological distress in the sufferer.
It can ebb and flow, the severity of the symptoms can often be erratic - sometime mild, sometimes bad, sometimes very bad, sometime bearable. Symptoms recede and return. This can last a few weeks, or months or even years.
Depression is, to feeling low; as having the flu, is to the common cold! If you have ever had true flu, then you know what I am talking about.