Help With Depression - A Brief Introduction
Research has shown that in almost all cases depression is not a biological or genetic illness. The biological changes that occur are the result of the depression not the cause. In some cases the biological effects are caused by diet, and pregnancy can also cause depression, although most cases of post-natal depression are caused by the highly emotional thinking the depressed person is doing rather than being driven by the chemical changes. And most depression that 'runs in families' is due to learning how to respond to the World around us how the parents or grand parents did, learning a depression way of responding in the same way that a child learns to walk, talk and behave from parents and adults in their life.
Studies carried out in the US to try to find out what works when treating depression showed that to quickly lift depression what was needed was a mixture of cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal therapies. This has now been improved upon by also utilising a solution-focused approach, a human givens approach and guided imagery or hypnosis.
When a therapist works with a client to help them ensure their basic needs are being met and helps to get their focus of attention off of worrying and ruminating and onto problem solving and relaxing the mind, depression often lifts quickly. To significantly lift depression can now often takes less than three sessions. Depending on how depressed someone is, some people can make the changes they need to make themselves without help just because they know what changes are needed to be made, whereas other people need a little encouragement, and some need a therapist or coach that can help them to make the changes. And although depression can be lifted quickly that doesn't mean that depression is lifted quickly with everyone. There can be a lot going on in someone's life that has led to the depression and that maintains the depression that needs to all be addressed before the depression is finally able to be lifted for good.
Most depression is caused by emotional worrying
It could be worrying about a past problem or event, present problem or event or a future problem or event. This worrying causes over dreaming at night. When you dream too much it inhibits the release of serotonin and is almost as active as being awake. It also reduces the abilities of the immune system. All of this leads to waking up early as your brain wants to stop you from dreaming excessively, then often managing to get back to sleep yet still waking tired and unmotivated. This can then start off the next days’ cycle of worrying.
When depressed your thinking style changes as you are in a highly emotional state of mind. It can be like walking around in a trance (I would say you are walking around in a trance). You start thinking that everything has always been bad and always will be and that if anything good ever happens it won’t last, or it was only a one-off good thing, or 'looking back on it, it wasn't that good really'. Because you are in a highly emotional state you can't think effectively about your problems so they can seem easily overwhelming because the emotional part of the brain and the logical part of the brain are two different areas, so when you are in any highly emotional state, whether it is depression, or even love, you don't see different options, you don't notice all the information about a situation, you become blinkered or blinded by the emotional trance you are in making it hard to see a way out.
To lift depression clients can learn to relax. This can be in many ways. One of the best is to do 7-11 breathing which is where you breathe in deeply to the count of 7 then out to the count of 11. By doing this with the out breath longer than the in breath you trigger the relaxation response. Just 3 or 4 deep 7-11 breaths will help to relax a client and focus their mind.
Next the client can challenge their thinking by thinking about what it is that they are worrying about and problem solving it. Also they can spend time each morning closing their eyes and truly imagining some good things about the upcoming day. At night or in the evening also spend a few moments to imagine what it will be like to feel much better, who will be the first to notice? How will they know? What will their behaviour be like? Really imagining it and feeling it.
AS SOON AS CLIENTS STOP WORRYING THEIR SLEEP WILL IMPROVE AND THE DEPRESSION WILL RAPIDLY START TO LIFT.
Below is a set of two self help tracks that can help to support people in lifting depression and anxiety. There is also a comments section. I look forward to your comments about the article, about the tracks, and if you have come here because you have been feeling depressed I look forward to hearing your progress and experience, and what you have found helpful to move on that you think would be helpful for others to know.