Working through depression

“For some it is like, wading through treacle and living in a thick black fog or dark deep well with no light and no way out or even looking in a cracked mirror.”

The first thing I want to say is that, be it that my thoughts and opinions are based on long held trusted theory and evidence from mine and worldwide practice, they are not intended in any way to: undermine or contradict other views or the vital role that medication plays in helping those who suffer from symptoms of depression. Indeed they are meant to add to the body of what is available as I work with many who benefit from medical support.

About depression?
Depression is not feeling “blue”, or down or even depressed. Suffering from depression means you are stuck in a “deep” constant feeling. Flat lining into a single feeling where symptoms can, Include: a complete lack of energy, anxiety, being detached from your life, even to the point you may not connect with who you are or others.

Life can seem pointless and often the desire to hide or sleep can become overwhelming. You cannot think or exercise your way out of feeling depressed. Yes they both can help but are not the answer alone.

In fact many who are depressed are often seen as not doing enough to help themselves. In fact being depressed is more horrible than you can imagine and the person is often scared and would do anything not to feel as they do.

So what is happening?
Without denying the medical evidence, which suggests feeling depressed has a connection to the level of particular hormones in your body, in my world the body of belief is that: what is happening is exactly what it is called. Certain feelings are being “depressed” or supressed by a single feeling of continued extreme “sadness”.
If you can feel: angry and happy and sad you are unlikely to be suffering from depression.
Therefore once the underlying feelings are identified and expressed the symptom of feeling depressed lifts.

Why can’t I do this for myself?
Sometimes feeling depressed does pass on its own. For others it is far more difficult. People often have no idea why they feel as they do or that they are even depressed as symptoms can creep up over time. By the time they are recognised, it’s often too late.
Many common reasons:

  • You have formed a habit from early life of not feeling certain feelings and therefore can’t recognise what is happening.
  • You learnt in early life how to use variations of “sadness” to keep you safe and get your needs met.
  • You have suffered a loss or change of situation in your life and have been unable to work through your feelings.
  • Some of those possible feelings underneath can include: anger or sadness and due to early life experiences you may feel weak or less than, when you feel or express them and so they are denied.

What is the best approach?
There is no one fits all approach. Everyone is unique. What is important is to work at your pace and in ways that suit you. Patience and self- care are top of the list for me.

How long does it take?
Often people don’t snap out of feeling depressed. For many it is a gradual change. In fact one client explained it very well when she said, “I know I’m no longer depressed, I just don’t know when and where it happened”.

How Can Counselling Help?

Counselling can help by:

  • Providing a safe relationship in which you will hopefully secure enough to explore and work through even the most difficult thoughts or feelings.
  • Helping you understand yourself more deeply and any links to past or current relationships which affect your emotional wellbeing.
  • Identifying patterns of thought, feeling, belief and behaviour which keep you stuck, feeling as you do.
  • Helping you work through any trauma or losses so you can let go of supressed feelings.
  • Work with you to consider new perspectives and experiment with new ways of being.
  • Let you be you, free from expectation.

Reference: TA Today: Stuart and Joines 2012.

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