According to the World Health Organisation, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Depression is on the rise, particularly amongst young people, due to the fast pace of sociological change, ever-increasing demands and expectations on people and less community support.
As a result of a massive amount of research we now know the causes of depression, how to treat it and how to prevent its recurrence.
Depression is not a biological illness only treatable by drugs. Neither is depression necessarily the result of negative life events. Susceptibility to depression varies – some people are quite resilient and others more vulnerable. This depends on how we have learned to respond to adverse life experiences. Blaming ourselves when things go wrong, believing bad times to be permanent and all-pervading contribute to a cycle of depression – where worry and rumination affect quality of sleep and lead to exhaustion, lack of motivation, withdrawal.
If you are suffering from depression you may have a combination of the following:
- Low mood
- Feelings of exhaustion, with no energy or motivation
- Feeling overwhelmed by your problems and that there is no possible solution
- You may find you get little or no pleasure from anything, even activities you used to really enjoy
- You may also have changes in appetite and sleep
- You may have feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- You may have suicidal thoughts
The symptoms are very similar in post-natal depression and in the depressed phase of bipolar disorder. In post-natal depression there has been a massive life-style change often with unmet emotional needs, worry and feelings of overwhelm.
It may seem to others that you are deflated and flat, but in fact you have raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which means that you are in a highly emotional state which makes it difficult to think rationally, which in turn leads to difficulties in concentration and even simple decision-making. It also makes it difficult to think clearly and see ways of improving your situation.
I can help you deal with depression by:
- Demystifying depression – explaining the depression cycle and how it relates to sleep and motivation
- Helping you to control worrying, sleep better, prevent brain exhaustion and rebuild your energy and self-confidence
- Helping you to deal with your negative thoughts and to learn to recognise and change unhelpful thinking patterns
- Helping you to overcome whatever difficulties are preventing you from getting your emotional needs met
- Helping you to focus on solutions to problems and set realistic goals
- Helping you to visualise success and look forward with hope
- Helping you take control and prevent relapse