Counselling for Depression
'Black Dog'; 'Tunnel'; 'Hell'; 'Black Cloud'
Depression is an alarming and very unhappy state. It affects body, mind and spirit, with lots of debilitating physical symptoms, affecting our ability to concentrate and think, often leading to loss of confidence, and a potentially negative impact on our relationships. Depression is not something you can snap out of easily. Being depressed doesn’t mean that you are deeply flawed in some way, nor that you are lazy or self indulgent. Unfortunately depression is often still a taboo – something is awry with our system, just like with many other conditions we suffer from. Many people get depressed at some time, and many people recover.
Depression feels like the most isolated place on earth. ... We withdraw, isolate or shut down completely. We lose ourselves in our selves, and in the illness. - Sally Brampton
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists one in five people become depressed at some point in their lives. Ten times more people suffer from depression now than in 1945. Sometimes people have felt low for much longer than they have recognized or admitted to themselves. Other people have never experienced anything like this before and it comes out of the blue. Depression affects people of all ages, social class, profession, race, and gender.
How depressed do you need to be for it to be more than the blues?One way of telling the extent to which you are suffering from depression, is if the bleak feelings don’t go away and if your day-to-day functioning is affected. Each person’s experience is different, with big differences in how intense the feelings are and how long they go on.
If you are suffering from depression, some or all of the following you may ring true for you:
- Feeling empty, bleak and in persistently low mood
- Lacking energy especially at the start of the day
- Having difficulty getting up or out
- Not enjoying things that you used to
- Disrupted sleep, typically waking in the early hours
- Having an aching body and/or upset digestive system
- Maybe thinking about death and dying
- Being irritable, and/or angry or tearful
- Being off your food or having bouts of comfort eating
- You may also feel anxious - anxiety and depression often come together.
Different types of depression such as post-natal, bi-polar and Seasonal Affective Disorder have their own characteristics.
- Click here to see Stephen Fry talk about experiences of being bi-polar - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKiAz6ndUbU
- This health promotional video from Australia depression provides an overview of depression – click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ3uqjpb014
- I had a black dog, his name was depression’ Click here to see this World health organization video -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc
What kind of support will help?If you are suffering from depression, you would probably benefit from getting support and help with this problem. Despite all the research into depression and much better understanding of the condition, it is not known exactly what causes depression. Likely causes and triggers may include current circumstances, your life history, suppressed emotions such as anger, stress, loss, and for some people genetic predisposition. Many people with depression will ‘ruminate’ – endlessly turning thoughts over, or replaying scenarios, which tends to stimulate the triggers for depression.
In many instances it is possible to get better. Some people prefer medication; others prefer therapy or other non medication routes. It is possible to use a combination of therapy and medication. Different forms of ‘talking therapy’ are available via the NHS. Many people choose paying for independent therapy to give immediate access, and to have the option of longer term work and your personal choice of therapist and therapeutic approach. If there is a 'silver lining' to the overwhelm and bleakness of feeling depressed, it may be to use the depressive crisis as a time to explore factors that may have contributed to the depression and make some changes to improve your well-being.
The bottom line is this. Antidepressants and rest can get you better, but if nothing changes it's a matter of time before you get ill again. - Dr Tim Cantopher
Choice of 'talking therapy'?You may wonder which type of ‘talking therapy’ would help you with your depression. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been commonly used in the NHS and can be very effective in helping you to recognise patterns of thinking and underlying beliefs, which you can then change. Mindfulness (Based Cognitive Therapy), which borrows principles from meditation, helps people to stay in the present rather than get drawn into pre-occupying thoughts. More Exploratory types of counselling can help you unpack experiences, patterns of relating and deeper issues. In many ways these are all different routes to help you heighten self awareness, take care of yourself, and both make and experience changes for yourself. Finding an approach and therapist you can trust and work collaboratively with, will help you with these tasks and keep hope.
The most important thing is not to become trapped in fear. Depression is a paralysis of hope. One thing I know is true. Try never to abandon hope for if you do, hope will surely try to abandon you. - Sally Brampton
Counselling for depression: Annie RobinsonI have worked with many people suffering from depression.
In my therapy I offer you somewhere to explore your experiences, person to person connection, support and an environment to address your habitual beliefs and strategies: 'old friends' who have served you well, but which may also be contributing to your depressive condition. Please contact me to make an initial appointment.
I provide counselling for depression in North Somerset, on the city boundary with Bristol; my practice is in Long Ashton, North Somerset, within easy reach of many parts of central and south Bristol: Southville, Clifton, Ashton Gate, Hotwells, Totterdown, Knowle, and Windmill Hill; and the North Somerset towns & villages of Backwell, Nailsea, Failand, Wraxall, Flax Bourton, Pill, Abbott’s Leigh.