© 2014  -  GINA LEE COUNSELLING

DEPRESSION & ANXIETY 

How does counselling help people recover from depression?

There are several approaches to counselling - including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, psycho-dynamic and other kinds of "talk therapy" - that help depressed individuals recover. Counselling a offers people the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to their depression and to deal effectively with the psychological, behavioral, interpersonal and situational causes.

 

A skilled therapist can work with depressed individuals to:

  • Pinpoint the life problems that contribute to their depression, and help them understand which aspects of those problems they may be able to solve or improve. A trained therapist can help depressed patients identify options for the future and set realistic goals that enable these individuals to enhance their mental and emotional well-being. Therapists also help individuals identify how they have successfully dealt with similar feelings, if they have been depressed in the past.

  • Identify negative or distorted thinking patterns that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that accompany depression. For example, depressed individuals may tend to overgeneralize, that is, to think of circumstances in terms of "always" or "never." They may also take events personally. A trained and competent therapist can help nurture a more positive outlook on life.

  • Explore other learned thoughts and behaviours that create problems and contribute to depression. For example, therapists can help depressed individuals understand and improve patterns of interacting with other people that contribute to their depression.

  • Help people regain a sense of control and pleasure in life. Psychotherapy helps people see choices as well as gradually incorporate enjoyable, fulfilling activities back into their lives.

 

Having one episode of depression greatly increases the risk of having another episode. There is some evidence that on going psychotherapy may lessen the chance of future episodes or reduce their intensity. Through therapy, people can learn skills to avoid unnecessary suffering from later bouts of depression and treatments of depression - and what you can do to help yourself or someone you know.

 

If you are depressed, you may feel that nothing can help. But this is untrue. Deciding to do something is the most important step you can take. Most people recover from bouts of depression, and some even look back on it as a useful experience which forced them to take stock of their lives and make changes in their lifestyle.

 

What is depression?

We often use the expression "I'm feeling depressed" when we're feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually, these feelings pass in due course. But if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back, over and over again, for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you're depressed in the medical sense of the term.

 

You can feel detached from the world around you. Emotions – love, affection, anger –feel like they disappeared. Emotion can seem desperately negative. Most involved fear. Fear that you would never escape the condition.

 

In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits. It doesn’t stop you leading your normal life, but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile. At its most severe, major depression (clinical depression) can be life-threatening, because it can make people suicidal or simply give up the will to live.There are also various specific forms of depression:

 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

If you usually become depressed only during the autumn and winter, it could be due to not getting enough daylight. You may benefit from spending time sitting in front of a special light box.

 

Postnatal depression

Many mothers have ‘the baby blues’ soon after the birth of their baby, but it usually passes after a few days. Postnatal depression is a more serious problem and can appear any time between two weeks and two years after the birth.

 

Bipolar disorder (manic depression)

Some people have mood swings, when periods of depression alternate with periods of mania. When manic, they are in a state of high excitement, and may plan and may try to execute grandiose schemes and ideas.

 

Causes of depression.

There is no one cause of depression. It varies from person to person. Broadly speaking there are three main triggers for developing depression. Social factors such as losing your job, isolation, divorce, or bereavement can trigger depression in some people. For other people, the trigger may be psychological factors such as chronic anxiety, relationship problems, low self-esteem, childhood rejection or family background. A third trigger for depression may be physical factors such as infectious diseases like influenza or glandular fever; having a long-term physical health problem like multiple sclerosis; or as a side-effect of medical treatments like chemotherapy. It is also thought that some people may have a genetic predisposition towards depression.

 

At least one person in every six becomes depressed in the course of their lives. One in 20 is clinically depressed. Figures suggest that it is women more than men who become depressed, but men may find it harder to admit to or talk about their experience. All age groups can be affected, and it’s important to take symptoms seriously and not to dismiss them as an inevitable part of growing up or growing old. By recognising and treating the symptoms and getting help, it’s possible to overcome depression, and prevent it coming back.

 

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression shows itself in many different ways. People don't always realise what's going on because their problems seem to be physical, not mental. They tell themselves they're simply under the weather or feeling tired. But if you tick off five or more of the following symptoms, it's likely you're depressed:

  •  being restless and agitated

  • waking up early, having difficulty sleeping, or sleeping more

  • feeling tired and lacking energy; doing less and less

  • using more tobacco, alcohol or other drugs than usual

  • not eating properly and losing or putting on weight

  • crying a lot

  • difficulty remembering things

  • physical aches and pains with no physical cause

  • feeling low-spirited for much of the time, every day

  • being unusually irritable or impatient

  • getting no pleasure out of life or what you usually enjoy

  • losing interest in your sex life

  • finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions

  • blaming yourself and feeling unnecessarily guilty about things

  • lacking self-confidence and self-esteem

  • being preoccupied with negative thoughts

  • feeling numb, empty and despairing

  • feeling helpless

  • distancing yourself from others; not asking for support

  • taking a bleak, pessimistic view of the future

  • experiencing a sense of unreality

  • self-harming (by cutting yourself, for example)

  • thinking about suicide 

 

Anxiety

People who are depressed are often very anxious. It's not clear whether the anxiety leads into the depression or whether the depression causes the anxiety. A person feeling anxious may have a mind full of busy, repetitive thoughts, which make it hard to concentrate, relax, or sleep. They may have physical symptoms, such as headaches, aching muscles, sweating and dizziness. It may cause physical exhaustion and general ill health.

Difficult emotional experiences out of our control can cause us to worry, 

Just a few examples;

Parents separating, or family or friend getting sick or dying

one of our parents,or partner leaving us

being involved in an incident like a car accident

experiencing some sort disaster

unemployment, being made redundant or retired

change of school, job

moving to different area

being bullied or teased

being repeatedly hurt or harmed by people in our lives

being very ill

money problems

so many more reasons,list could just go on, and on.

 

Talking to counsellor , can help you understand your depression or anxiety and give you tools so you can help you manage your thoughts, reactions and emotions so you feel calmer and more able change your negative mindset and lift you mood. 

Give me a call, we can work together to help you manage your Anxiety or depression. Text or call; Gina 07947300015