Counselling for Depression
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Anyone can be affected by Depression and one in four of us may experience it over a lifetime. There are many causal factors which may make you more vulnerable to experiencing Depression and there is good evidence to suggest that it may be linked to the following :
- Difficult experiences in your childhood
- Stressful or traumatic life events like a bereavement, redundancy, the ending of a relationship
- Having a genetic predisposition - inherited
It is often how we feel, think or our personality traits like low self esteem and self worth that keep Depression going.
We have all experienced being low, unhappy or sad at one time or another however the following symptoms may be indicative of something more serious. You may feel that you are:
- Hopeless or despairing
- Down, upset, tearful or tired a lot of the time
- Finding no pleasure in life or activities you used to enjoy
- Guilty and full of self blame
- Suicidal or have thoughts of self harming
- Empty or numb
- Poor concentration and difficulties with decision making
- Diurnal variation of mood - a pattern of feeling worse during a particular part of the day - more often in the mornings
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Loss of libido
- Disturbed sleep - finding it difficult to fall asleep or waking early
I will often ask you to complete some mental health assessments covering anxiety, depression and worry which are useful for you, your GP and myself.
Together we can look at ways to break the cycle by using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and completing Thought Record Sheets to find an alternative response and a healthier more balanced perspective to the ways you think, feel and behave.
It's then possible to put in place an action plan- so I may suggest keeping a mood diary or a journal and to record three small positive things that you have achieved each day. I stress the importance of setting SMART goals (Specific. Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound). You may want to use Apps for mood tracking, sleep, guided meditations and mindfulness.
Engaging in exercise and any physical activities are a useful way of boosting your energy. Play to your Principles and Values and I will offer you some ways to increase both your self esteem and self confidence which will decrease the feeling of being self critical and 'beating yourself up'.
Its also important to engage in things that you have enjoyed in the past which will improve your sense of worth and wellbeing and thus increase your motivation. Use positive affirmations which challenge the thoughts that there is no point, I am a bad person and worthless and play to your strengths.
Another form of therapy that may help is Solution Focused Therapy. Solution Focused Therapy will help you to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound). Setting goals will help you make vague desires and wishes more concrete and divides big tasks into smaller tasks. You can make a list of the things that you want to change and see how you will notice that the changes have started and that you are moving in the right direction. We can then look at exceptions so when your depression is not noticeable or absent, is diminished or less troublesome and when you manage despite your depression, ignore it and the methods you can use to distract yourself.
Depression or The Black Dog can be overwhelming, all consuming and exhausting. There is often a better outcome if 'Talking Therapies' are used in conjunction with Anti Depressants. My aim is to help you to gain a perspective and understanding of the impact that Depression is having on your life and to give you some tools and strategies to manage it.