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Depression

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You largely constructed your depression.

It wasn’t given to you.

Therefore you can deconstruct it”

Albert Ellis -American Psychologist and Psychotherapist
Very rational words for a very irrational issue that plagues many people today.  We often hear “I don’t want to feel like this”  This isn’t me – I just want to feel happy (again)” or as  “Just pull yourself out of it” .    But if you get into a deep depression it has been said that time virtually stands still.  Everything becomes like old black and white movies played slowly.  Just talking sometimes takes supreme effort.    However rationally, as it is “all in our heads” the above does make some sort of sense and provides hope that there is a way forward out through the fog,  if and only if,  we can unravel and deconstruct our thoughts that led us to feel this way. 

So what is depression?  As it isn’t a physical ailment like say malaria (although it will most certainly have physical symptoms) it is difficult to nail it down perfectly.  Wikipedia notes it as “a state of low mood and aversion to activity“.   Does that mean that people who have  an aversion to activity are at least a little depressed?  Seriously though,  depression is a debilitating condition and I have the utmost respect for its darkness and intensity but as it is such a serious subject I think we tend to think that we have to be very serious when we talk about it which only adds to the  darkness.   One of the first things people in depression lose is their sense of humour (probably caused by black and white thinking and selective depressive memory operating).   We all laugh – it is a basic human emotion and laughter can break through into a depressive state so I make no apologies here, or in my sessions,  for trying to introduce some of it into the subject of depression.

Depression,  I think it is safe to say,  starts when we find ourselves feeling down and are unable to detach ourselves from these feelings. One person’s depression can be far blacker than another’s so we could see it as being on a sliding scale.   Sometimes we can feel down, are able to acknowledge the reason for it, deal with it in a time limiting way  and then resume our lives again.  But sometimes we can’t do that and this feeling develops into a blackness that is depression.  Situations at work, life changes, loosing someone or just the stressful times we live in all can contribute to periods of when we can can’t see the way forward and when there seems little point in anything.

Whilst acknowledging again its seriousness I would like to just offer a different view that depression can also be our friend.   It is telling us that something in our lives is not right. By looking at these feelings we can put our thoughts back into perspective allowing us to see the good life has to offer.   Counselling can unravel the causes and effects of your depression in a way that we cannot do yourself.  It would be like looking at ourselves in a mirror that has been distorted by our own thoughts.    Counselling helps to suspend black and white thinking and to think of alternative ways veiwing ourselves and situations that have caused our depression.

 

Am I Depressed?

Depression symptoms are commonly associated with lasting feelings of sadness & hopelessness, a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, frequent tearfulness, constant fatigue, insomnia, poor appetite and a reduced sex drive.

Depression is an intensely debilitating condition that can make the world seem very bleak and meaningless. It can make an individual feel as if everyday life is entirely futile and that happiness is just a distant, unobtainable, memory. Essentially, it is much more than a feeling of being unhappy and will drag all aspects of an individual’s life into darkness. The severity of such episodes can be affected by situations at work, life changes, loosing someone or high levels of stress from our modern lives.

 

Fight Depression!

You may want to take our Depression Test for a better understanding of how anxiety might be affecting you. Counselling is one of the prime therapies for depression, as it can unravel the causes and effects in a way that you are unable to do yourself.  It helps to suspend ‘black and white thinking’ and develops alternative ways viewing ourselves in a positive way.  Counselling can help you think outside of your regular thought patterns and remove some ‘distorted thinking’ and will help develop a new perspective on your experiences, giving you the tools to cope. I work with clients in a variety of ways including CBT and REBT (a similar form to CBT using rational thoughts to look at thinking patterns) and my counselling style is conversational and informative as you can see from my video on the home page.

If you would like to work on the issues that make you depressed , please just contact me to make an appointment.  Email jean@justonesmallstep.uk.com

 

 

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