Are you suffering from Depression?
It may have started following a stressful or painful period in your life or it could have occurred out of the blue for no reason you can think of. Perhaps things you previously enjoyed doing hold no interest or maybe you can’t remember the last time you felt genuinely happy. You might still manage to get through the day, but the sense that anything is meaningful has drained away. You probably feel tired and low a lot of the time and, as a result, it might be affecting your relationships with others.
Maybe you can’t concentrate on anything without being distracted or you don’t see the point anyway. It could be that the depression comes and goes or is more noticeable at certain times of the day. You might find sleep a struggle to achieve, or perhaps a refuge where you sleep for hours only to wake exhausted and unmotivated. Maybe your emotions are dulled and you feel surrounded by a thick fog that refuses to lift. On the other hand, you may feel overwhelmed by the slightest thing. You may have unexplained aches and pains or feel physically weighed down.
Feeling motivated to do anything can seem like a distant memory and you may have lost confidence in your abilities. Perhaps you feel anxious or you're experiencing panic attacks, as well as being depressed. Your biggest fear might be that this depression will never end. While suffering with depression is a horrible experience, with the right type of help it is treatable. Recent research over the past 10 years has completely changed what we know about depression. This has shed new light on what causes depression, what maintains it and, most importantly, how to lift it, fast.
Depression Rates Are On The Rise
If you’re suffering from depression, you are not alone. It is estimated that half of all women and a quarter of all men in Ireland will experience depression at some point in their lives. For some, the onset can occur around stressful life experiences such as a relationship break-up, job loss, illness, bereavement or trauma. For others, it can happen seemingly out of the blue; yet depression is always about emotional needs not being met in balance. This can often be something that’s outside our conscious awareness.
Today, we live in a world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get our needs met. Traditional structures are collapsing and many people don’t have the close-knit communities they once had to turn to for real connection, intimacy and support. That’s why in seemingly primitive cultures anxiety and depression are virtually non-existent. People living in these cultures get their physical and emotional needs met adequately, while many of us living in developed countries struggle to do the same.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no conclusive evidence that depression is biological in nature. Treatment with antidepressants, while helpful for some, doesn't address the causes or provide a long term solution, and in some cases can worsen the symptoms. Neither is depression caused by difficult life experiences. Rather it is the way that we respond to experiences that will determine whether we become depressed.
If we take events personally by engaging in negative thinking, we extend the misery of the experience and can develop depression which simply adds to our problems. The good thing about knowing this is that it means that we can also learn to challenge our thinking patterns and find more useful ways for dealing with difficult circumstances. By changing how we think about them, we can learn to react in healthier ways.
Depression Is Not A Life Sentence
When you are suffering from depression, it can seem as though you will never feel joy again, but this is simply not true. As human beings, it is in our nature to change and find solutions; this is how we have evolved. If you are reading this page, you are already engaged in looking for a solution. This is where I can help. I use a range of different therapies that are evidence based and solution focused. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, Human Givens Psychology and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Through these I can help you to identify the causes of your depression and work towards recovery.
Drawing on the latest recent research in psychology I can show you ways to relieve your symptoms of depression to bring you rapid relief. By working together we can pinpoint and tackle the issues that are causing you distress to improve your quality of life. During our sessions you can learn how to focus and develop strategies to assist you in resolving any long standing issues and begin to take back control. By putting these into practice you will find a noticeable shift in how you feel in both the short and long term and in tackling the underlying causes, depression can be effectively and permanently treated
You may still have some questions about how treatment for depression can help you...
I’ve had counselling before and talking endlessly about my past didn't help? How is your approach different?
The focus with traditional forms of talk therapy tends to be ‘it gets worse before getting better’, which can be counterproductive to producing lasting change. This is because reliving or endlessly discussing issues from the past can actually deepen depression. When you're depressed you might seem low, but in actual fact you have high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) flowing through you mind and body. This means your are in a continual state of high emotional arousal. The reason for this is the amount of time spent worrying about things from the past, future scenarios that haven’t happened yet, or difficult times in the here and now.
Perhaps you feel angry, guilty or anxious about stuff that has happened and as a result spend a lot of time ruminating about ‘what if’ scenarios. Maybe you find yourself thinking in black and white or all or nothing ways. All this worrying, ruminating and negative introspection completely exhausts your brain and drains vital energy. Understanding the cycle of depression is truly the first step to beating it. By calming the negative emotions and thoughts that are limiting your life, we can work together so you can manage your depression symptoms and rediscover your joy for life.
Doesn't the ‘talking cure’ take a long time and end up costing a lot?
The latest research shows the most effective way to break the cycle of depression is, firstly, to learn to relax in order to stop worrying and start to engage the rational brain. It is the rational brain’s job to problem solve, so getting it back online is crucial. Also it's important that anyone suffering with depression learns to challenge their negative thoughts and use their imagination in more beneficial and positive ways. Identifying what needs are not being met, and finding healthy ways to meet those needs, helps put meaning and purpose back into your life.
My approach focuses on using newer techniques that help use your existing strengths to empower you to create lasting change. By looking at the areas of your life where you have experienced a sense of achievement, I can help to motivate you in areas where you are struggling. This process is far more effective at inciting change than other forms of talk therapy and noticeable improvements can be seen in a few sessions. If your depression stems from a trauma or harmful conditioning in the past, I can help you process the emotions from those memories without you having to re experience the pain associated with them. This is something I am trained to do and usually takes just a session or two.
I’ve heard that if you just ‘tough it out’ you can get through depression without help?
There is an element of truth in this, without any intervention many people find that bouts of depression naturally pass after a few months. However, if the underlying problems that caused the depression are not dealt with, the greater the likelihood of it returning at a future date, particularly when life throws up challenges and you will be least able to cope with it.
Depression is extremely common and, given the right set of circumstances, anyone can find themselves suffering to varying degrees. We are all human and go through a range of emotions and life experiences, at some points in your life you may be able to manage difficult situations but at others it can be a struggle. It’s ok to ask for help if you are finding dealing with depression a challenge.
A brief course of therapy that focuses on finding solutions can help refocus your view into seeing that life is for living. Taking steps towards treating your depression is something that you can do to help improve the quality of your life and those around you.
Tackle Your Depression Head On
You do not need to suffer in silence. Depression is treatable and it is worth tackling it head on to improve your quality of life.
If you would like to avail of a free 20-minute phone consultation, I can answer any questions you might have on the approach I take. If you would then like to set up a meeting, we can have a discussion in relaxed surroundings about how my approach can help you in overcoming depression.
Call today on 087 1954046 to put yourself on the road to recovery.