Depression is a huge and growing problem. indeed, you may have been affected yourself, or know someone who suffers from it.
But what IS depression? After all, the word ‘depression’ doesn’t really tell you much. Weather forecasters talk about ‘depression over the Atlantic’ or whatever and we know what they mean by that phrase, but what about when the word is applied to someone who has gone to their GP complaining about being tired and listless all the time? Or when someone just finds talking to others to be hard to cope with? What do we really understand about the condition called depression?
Getting a handle on what depression really is, and where it might stem from is a big first step in getting well again.
The old name for depression is maybe more helpful; nervous exhaustion was the term used until quite recently, and perhaps we should think about depression in those terms; a tiredness of, or stemming from the nervous system.
In most cases of depression, one of the main symptoms is tiredness, even exhaustion. There can be a feeling of hopelessness or ‘flatness’. Sometimes people suffer physical symptoms too and almost universally sufferers report that they spend time and energy worrying.
So what can hypnotherapy do to help?
First and foremost, hypnotherapy; and particularly hypnotherapy combined with coaching or counselling, gives the sufferer a chance to talk through how they feel with someone who won’t judge, and who really understands what’s going on.
Secondly, hypnotherapy allows the sufferer to focus on practical things that will help ease the condition; things like better regulated sleep and deeper relaxation which improve energy levels.
Of course, depression is a complex condition, and every person who has ever felt or been diagnosed as having depression experiences something different, so what will work for one person may have the exact opposite effect for another. That’s why working with a hypnotherapist and coach is often more successful that other treatments, as the therapist is able to be flexible in their approach, and find the best way forward for the client rather than simply relying on one method or one course of action.
If you would like to know more about treating depression through hypnotherapy and coaching, please feel free to call or email for a no-obligation chat.
The chances are that we all know someone with depression, whether we know it or not. Around 1 in 5 older people will be experiencing some sort of depression or mental health problem and women are more likely to seek treatment than men.
Depression is an illness. However it is impossible to tell whether someone has depression just by looking at them and often sufferers will choose to keep the illness to themselves due to fear of being stigmatised.
It may be that someone you love or care for deeply suffers from depression themselves and perhaps they have shared with you their feelings and diagnosis. If you have never experienced depression yourself it can be hard to know how to react or what to do to help them. So, how to support someone with depression? Below are just a few suggestions, which can help you to support your loved one.
Create a calm environment
To someone with depression, keeping on top of the routine chores can become overwhelming. Simple things such as keeping on top of washing and tidying can seem like a mammoth task and yet clutter or mess can create frustrations. Helping to keep on top of these things can be a big help in making them feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Depression can suppress the appetite, or it can cause the person to want to overeat and eat foods that are not providing the essential nutrients. Helping to prepare simple, healthy, balanced meals can help keep the body and mind as healthy as possible. Mood boosting foods such as seeds and nuts make good snacks.
I have deliberately not used the term exercise as the thought of physical activity can be very daunting to someone suffering with depression however being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, even if just sitting on a seat and reading can help lift the mood. Light exercise begins to release Serotonin and dopamine (or the ‘good mood’ hormones). Even a small amount of fresh air and exercise can help your loved on to feel a little better.
Speak to them
Talking to your loved one can help alleviate the feelings of loneliness that depressed people often feel. It may help them to tell you in their own words how they are feeling and help you gain a better understanding of their situation.
Encourage them to love themselves
Often when suffering from depression, people stop looking after themselves. Personal hygiene begins to suffer as they may feel worthless to others let alone themselves. Encourage them to care for themselves, run them a bath and help them to organise hair cuts, dental appointments which may make them feel more comfortable and confident.
A simple hug
A genuine hug lasting over 20 seconds can release feel good chemicals in the brain. Often depressed people lack desire for intimacy but a genuine hug can make them feel better.
Share a joke
Laughing released endorphins and watching a funny movie or comedian together or even just sharing a joke can help relieve the symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Reassure your loved one that you will not be scared away by their illness. Often there is a fear that those they love will leave them due to their illness, which makes the depression worse. Remind them of the good things they have accomplished and how much you love them as depression causes negative, painful and destructive thoughts.
Most of all remind them why you love them, remember the good times you have shared and reassure them that you can get through this together.
It is almost certain that you know someone with depression. You may not know who they are and yet figures from the Office for National Statistics show that nearly one fifth of adults in the UK experience some form of anxiety or depression. Perhaps you yourself have been diagnosed with depression or maybe you have feelings that you can’t explain but which make you feel out of sorts, tired, emotional or angry.
But what does depression feel like? If you have never experienced depression, you may find it hard to understand why perhaps someone you know is occasionally withdrawn, perhaps snappy from time to time, not wanting to go out or take part in activities they usually enjoy. Depression is not like physical injury. If someone breaks an arm or a leg, there is a visible plaster cast or even an operation. It is possible to imagine what that pain might feel like. We have all experienced physical pain at some point in our lives. We might not have broken an arm but we may have trapped a finger in a door and we can imagine how we think the pain might compare.
How does someone with depression feel? This video produced by The World Health Organisation gives you a very good insight into the world of someone experiencing depression.
Studies have revealed that prolonged use of antidepressants can actually worsen the symptoms they have been prescribed to relieve. Although people with depression can find it hard to talk about how they are feeling, it is often the case that by speaking to a suitably experienced practitioner, over time the feelings of anxiety or depression become more manageable and have less of a negative impact on their life. I am trained in both CBT and NLP and have successfully used these techniques combined with hypnotherapy to help people with anxiety and/or depression to feel more in control and more positive and in one recent case to finally come off antidepressants after nine full years on medication.
I offer a completely confidential service and I am very happy to have a no-obligation chat with anyone who feels that they may be experiencing any form of depression or anxiety to discuss how I can help. If you would like to talk with me about this, please do call 01243 251627 or 07778 287119.