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Depression Therapy Aylesbury & Depression Therapy Bicester

The World Health Organisation (2010) describes depression as “a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feeling guilty or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial loss in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities”.

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being. People can often feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable and worthless. wiki. 

The symptoms can seriously affect a person’s ability to carry out basic day-to-day activities; it is more than just feeling miserable for a brief period of time – instead such feelings can last for weeks or even months. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present. 

Depressed mood is a feature of some psychiatric syndromes such as major depressive disorder, but it may also be a normal reaction to life events such as grief, a symptom of some bodily ailments or a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments.

The Royal College of Psychiatric (2010) explains that most people with depression will not have the full range of symptoms, but are likely to have five or six of the following:

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

  1. Tiredness and loss of energy
  2. Feeling anxious all the time
  3. Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends
  4. Very strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  5. Sleeping problems
  6. Finding it hard to function at work/school
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems
  9. Physical aches and pains
  10. Self-harm

MENTAL SYMPTOMS

  1. Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
  2. Difficulty concentrating
  3. Loss of pleasure and interest
  4. Sadness that doesn’t go away
  5. Thinking about harming oneself or others and thinking about death
  6. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  7. Being unable to control negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
  8. Having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions)
  9. Hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations)
  10. Cycling mood changes from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression).

If you experience four or more of these symptoms for most of the day every day for more than two weeks, it is highly recommended that you speak to a counsellor or consult your general practitioner (GP).

The cause of depression can be linked to factors such as trauma and stress, and physical factors.  For example, the loss of a loved one or pressure from starting a new job could lead to a person becoming highly stressed. Similarly, some medical conditions, such as cancer and heart conditions, can contribute towards depression due to physical weakness and stress they create.

There is no single cause of depression and can be developed for different reasons. Leading to depression has many different triggers. For some, an upsetting or stressful life event—such as bereavement, divorce, redundancy and financial concerns—can be the cause.

What are the consequences of depression?

Untreated depression increases the chance of risky behaviour, such as drug or alcohol addiction. It can also ruin relationships, cause problems at work and make it difficult to overcome serious illnesses. Clinical depression—also known as major depression—is an illness that involves the body as well as the mind.

People who are depressed cannot simply “pull themselves together” and be cured. Without appropriate treatment, including antidepressants and/or psychotherapy, untreated clinical depression can last for weeks, months or years. However, appropriate treatment can help most people with depression.

Alcohol and drug abuse are common among people with clinical depression, especially teens and young and middle-aged males. It is very important to encourage these people to get help because they are more likely to attempt suicide.

NEGATIVE THINKING

A depressed person may be experiencing a barrage of negative thoughts about themselves and their life. It may seem as if these thoughts are completely out of control and cannot be solved. The more intense these thoughts are, the more depressed and hopeless the person may feel.

The negative thoughts often become very believable and a depressed person will believe all these negative thoughts are true.

For example, a depressed person may think they are useless or unattractive or unloved. They believe these thoughts are true reflections of who they are, they can feel very confused when it is suggested these thoughts are not true.

STRESS

Stress is described as “a feeling that is created when we react to particular events. It is the body’s way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness” Teens Health, 2010.

Stress happens when we feel we can’t cope with pressure. A persistent negative response to challenges will eventually have a negative effect on your health and happiness. Experts say people who tend to perceive things negatively need to understand themselves and their reactions to stress-provoking situations better. Then they can learn to manage stress more successfully.

Common symptoms of stress include:

  • Blood pressure rises
  • Breathing becomes more rapid
  • Digestive system slows down
  • Heart rate (pulse) rises
  • Immune system goes down
  • Muscles become tense
  • Difficulty sleeping (heightened state of alertness)

When we are trying to manage stress, it is important to learn that what matters more than the event itself is usually our thoughts about the event. How you see that stressful event will be the largest single factor that impacts your physical and mental health.

LACK OF SELF-ESTEEM

Crucial experiences that help us form our beliefs about ourselves often (although not always) occur early in life. What you saw, heard and experienced in childhood—in your family, in the wider community and at school—influence the way you see yourself.

Low self-esteem can result from various factors, including:

  • Systematic punishment, neglect or abuse
  • Failing to meet parental standards
  • Failing to meet peer group or work standards
  • A failed relationship
  • Being on the receiving end of other people’s stress or distress
  • Belonging to a family or social group that other people are prejudiced toward
  • An absence of praise, warmth, affection or interest
  • Being the odd one out at home, school or work

Sometimes, negative beliefs are caused by experiences later in life, such as workplace bullying or intimidation, abusive relationships, persistent stress or hardship and traumatic events.

It is difficult to overcome this state of mind and sometimes you don’t even want to. You even ask yourself why should you, this is your negative thinking pattern. It is important to keep in mind that you are not a failure to yourself or others. Keep in mind, at some point in life, most people experience mild or major stress or depression. 

Whilst being depressed, a number of health factors could arise and potentially affect you, such as the following.

BELIEVING YOU ARE ILL – you might come to believe you have an illness. Even if you DO NOT, your mind will convince you that you do.

PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS – You could develop paranoia, increased stress levels, or manic depression.

FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO HELP YOURSELF – You might think you are not tough enough or worthy enough to help yourself, and you might not want to rely on others for help. You might become socially withdrawn, which can further affect your social skills and self-confidence.

LACK OF SELF-ESTEEM – Your lack of self-esteem might increase. You might come to believe even more strongly that you are the odd one out, that everyone else is better than you, that you always look unattractive and that everyone is better than you.

INCREASINGLY MIXED FEELINGS –You might increasingly experience rushes of emotions that result in your mood changing from happiness to sadness or from feeling comfortable to feeling alone. It can also be that a single emotion will affect you for longer periods of time, such as feeling sad all the time.

BI-POLAR DISORDER – You could experience bi-polar disorder, in which you experience prolonged highs and lows, going from being overly happy or outgoing to extremely irritable, agitated and jumpy or wired. Symptoms include jumping from one idea to another, racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, changing eating, sleeping or other habits, thinking about death or suicide and attempting suicide.

FEELING TRAPPED – You might fear never being able to do what you want to do, and you might feel you are stuck doing what others want you to do. It is difficult to overcome this state of mind and sometimes you don’t even want to. You even ask yourself why you should. It is important to keep in mind that you are not a failure to yourself or others. At some point in life, most people experience mild or major stress or depression. This is normal and you are not the odd one out.

Make an effort to be fairer and more realistic with yourself.

To treat depression one must see a counsellor and have CBT cognitive behavioural therapy, attending approximately 10 sessions. Session must be attended once a week or maximum once every two weeks. 

This will allow the therapy to work and manage the symptoms better. 

You may feel that nothing can help, but this is untrue. No matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. Understanding the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment is the first step to recovery. 

Speak to our counsellor today so we can help you become balanced again.

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