Therapy for Depression in London, Depression Therapy London, Counselling for Depression in London, Depression Counselling London
Therapy For Depression
Depression Or Something Else? There is a misleading tendency to use the word depression as a catch-all term for being in limbo, anguish, despair, bereft, despondency, apathy, lethargy, fatigue, gloominess, sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, melancholy, mundaneness, boredom, mood dips, moodiness and low moods, low energy, confusion, feeling low, run-down, morose, moping, sombre, miserable, malaise, gloomy, unmotivated, dejected, blue (the "blues"), stuck in a rut or simply not enjoying things the way we used to, being irritable, restless. We may call it depression yet actually struggle with finding helpful ways to manage our anxiety, respond to our sensitivities. We may have put our life on hold as if watching ourself from afar. Some of us may mistake our depression for disappointment or being unfulfilled. We may have been excluded by others, made some mistakes, feel guilty or ashamed about something, blaming & dragging ourselves down. Some of us may not be depressed, more lonely. Yet the more lonely we feel, suffering in silence, the more depressed we may become, as if stuck in glue. Others may be experiencing depression on the surface, yet underneath, there may often live other unaddressed feelings. Whatever connotations or labels we use, some of us may feel depressed and experience some of these symptoms. We may blame ourselves, feel lost, confused, have a sense of pointlessness, meaninglessness (which may also point to existential concerns), viewing the future as bleak, having a sense of dread or helplessness, as if our very spirit is crushed and beauty no longer exists. We may also find it hard to sleep or indeed sleep more, struggling to arise. Decision making may be a problem, we may have lost our appetite or comfort eat, or turn to unhelpful habits or addictions to lift our all-consuming mood. We may experience depleted energy, lost enjoyment in things, taking much more time to do things.
Depression Therapy Ups & downs, low points in human life are inevitable. How others, our culture, and us respond to depression impacts upon us. Depression can hold a huge taboo for some. There can be a stigma attached to needing or asking for depression help as if somehow we should suffer alone or seek solace in unhelpful habits or addictions. Depression may be sometimes so medicalised, that the person inside experiencing this gets overlooked. We can all get depressed from time to time, and when we are, nothing can feel worse than someone telling us to cheer up, putting pressure on us to always stay positive, change our attitude, keep busy, start living, that we should be grateful. Sometimes before we can get in touch with the things that support our happiness, wellbeing, flexibility, we may need to let our depression pass. Fragile human beings that we are, we are all susceptible & vulnerable to depression, each person has a set of reactions impacting their spirits and we may be seeking depression support. It can seem as if layers, waves of depression come upon us and for others be more like a constant companion with little respite. It can be as if we are surrounded by a fog that sits on us - feeling blue or feeling nothing. Our depression can casts a long shadow over us, and can be like a big weight on our shoulders. We can feel utterly alone, blame ourselves, unable to receive comfort from others or comfort our self. Some may have tried to cure depression on the surface, yet underlying issues may remain. So I am interested in understanding, exploring with you exactly what it is you are experiencing, how it's like for you, alongside supporting you in finding, facilitating your own way through your depression - however long it takes, so it doesn't dominate your life so much (see Depression Help, Depression Treatment, Depression Cure). Therapy for depression, depression treatment or counselling for depression takes into consideration your individual circumstances.
Feeling Stuck We may feel immersed in some sort of inertia, hermitting ourselves away, as if in some dark tunnel, falling into an abyss. Even small things may weigh us down, and they may become like mountains, where everything is an effort. We may have become easily defeated. Things may ferment inside of us - for some this may include our deep grief. We may struggle to acknowledge many situations as temporary. We may choose to focus on things which continue to make us unhappy. It may be even harder to find one positive thing from our situation. Depression from situations (sometimes known as situational depression - when life temporarily gets us down, maybe through our work, relationship breakup, illness) can linger and our fear, sadness, sense of hopelessness can develop into a form of more major depression. Some of us may have a tendency to sink into our feelings, remaining lost or stuck, as depression permeates our world. We can go through the motions, yet we struggle to choose to feel anything else or do something worthwhile to take us out of it. Relating with others may become more difficult. For some it can seem as if we are almost in a trance-like state or stuck down a dark well, unable to find a way out. It can be hard to think about our future. Stuck in our head, we may struggle to think rationally, with an open mind. Our depression may also affect our imagination, inspiration & creativity. We may have abandoned ourselves and taking responsibility for us may seem too much. Our depression & demeanour can disempower us. The depression counselling can explore what is happening inside. Struggling to be flexible, it can be as if our depression is embedded in us, as if our "depression template" is fixed, that "our" depression is our only identity. We may have got so used to feeling depressed - that it is so familiar, we may no longer know what else is there or what to replace it with, struggling to acknowledge that we don't have to remain stuck in our suffering, that we can respond to it. We all hold on to things (and scripts), which no longer help us and letting go, surrendering to what is may be a challenge for some, yet may bring us peace of mind. It can be daunting for some to change what we need to change, especially the more we think about it. Just doing it can give us momentum to continue it. The therapy for depression, counselling for depression, may also investigate the nature of your will, where it gets stuck, drags you down & how you use it, how else you might want to choose to view things, whether you are willing to seek out new stimulation, including moving your body. Counselling & psychotherapy can also explore what is in your control and what isn't.
Action does not always bring happiness. But there is no happiness without action.Benjamin Disraeli
Our Inner World Living with depression, we may have reached a stage when we are on a treadmill, simply going through the motions, half-living, zombie-like, getting by & have lost our spark. Lost, stuck we may feel blocked, have numbed our feelings, struggle to soothe ourselves. Our energy may be low and there can be a heaviness, numbness to us. Life may seem a burden, soul-destroying. Despondent, even the small things may now bother us as we dwell on the negative. The last thing we may want to do is to "put on a happy face". Closed down, it can be as if no one quite "gets" us, we don't "get" others or even ourselves. Self-absorbed and despite being in the company of others, we can be alone, isolated & trapped, as if we are cocooned with not much getting through, staying with the familiar, retreating - maybe preferring to stay in bed than get up, yet we may also feel in some sort of or in a prison. And when we do manage to get out of bed (which may be a challenge in itself and in our muffled world it can even be too much to shake the duvet), we may wake up tired as our energy blocks things Grey or dark inside & outside, storm clouds surround us and we struggle to acknowledge that the storm will pass or fail to see the horizon, as we seek depression help, "depression cure" or depression treatment. Getting out of bed may be a problem - it is said that "the darkest hour is just before dawn", yet our "dawn" may struggle to emerge through the darkness. Trapped as if in a cul-de-sac we may struggle to find alternative ways out, as our limiting choices diminish. In our inner world, the way we respond to negative thoughts & feelings may not always be helpful. We may find it hard to make decisions, deal with things and may put things off, wanting to escape from responsibilities. Overthinking, self-focused and empty inside, we may have become very self-critical, churning unhelpful thoughts, beliefs over and over. Drawn to what pulls us down, nothing seems to comfort us, give us pleasure. Things, even our own accomplishments, may become meaningless (see also Existential Despair, Existential Depression). The simplest of activities become onerous. Worrying about coping with change and crushing anything good, we may struggle to open our heart, be compassionate to us & others. Overwhelmed, some of these feelings we experience now may also be connected to earlier wounded feelings in our life, including our shame & guilt, anxiety, self-judgement & anger. Talking about what is happening inside in the depression counselling or depression psychotherapy, our triggers, hooks, buttons which get pressed, life scripts, may be important for us, alongside exploring making any connections between getting depressed and what we now tell ourselves (e.g. we ought to be coping better). In our depressed state we may believe that everything have always been miserable. We may be regularly exposing ourselves to what stresses us, which compounds any feelings of depression. We may want to be at ease, at peace with who we are, happy in our own skin. Taking our time, telling our own story of what brought us to this point in our life, may be an essential part of the depression therapy process.
Therapy for Depression in London, Depression Therapy London, general well-being & wellbeing
Form Of Protest For some of us, it can seem as if we have nowhere else to go with what's happened to us in the world, our existence. It can be as if at some level we may (often unconsciously) show how we feel as a form of protest, or refusal to go along with certain things - our way of saying "No" to something or that something in our life is plainly just not right. This too can be explored in the depression counselling.
Associated Feelings It can be as if we experience "there is no me" or "we don't want to be a me", have little feeling, sensations, just numbness, disconnection maybe a tiredness of being in the world - a weariness, miserableness as we reduce ourselves to smaller than we are, avoiding life's experiences... Fear can be a familiar companion to our depression symptoms. Hope can seem far off in the distance. When depressed our esteem plummets as if we believe we are not good enough. We may have difficulties concentrating or making decisions. We can feel helpless, frightened, blinded by despair (and we can sink further into depression), feeling guilty, ashamed, selfblaming, angry or bitter. We may dwell on the past, as if still stuck there in some ways or we may dwell upon continuous unhelpful thoughts now, which we may find hard to filter. Trapped in a narrow corner of our world, we can find it hard to comfort ourself, receive comfort from another or reach out to others to comfort or give to them. Inside we may feel shattered, inconsolable. What makes some people happy doesn't work for others, and the depression therapy or depression counselling can review with you how you emotionally respond when you are not happy and what depression means for you personally.
Counselling for Depression in London, Depression Counselling London, general wellbeing, well-being
Anxiety & Depression There is often a circular link between depression and anxiety, when if we stop being busy worrying about things, getting anxious, we can end up being deflated, feeling depressed, so we may then return again to worry, anxiety.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.Epictetus
Blaming Ourselves For Our Depression Some of us can fall into the trap of blaming ourselves for what has befallen us. Caught in this way of beating ourself up, we can become our own worst enemy, depressed, guilty, ashamed. The depression counselling and therapy for depression also considers the effects of blaming ourselves, self-accusation and how this can lead to or compound our depression. Self-forgiveness may be in short supply.
Blaming Others, Circumstances When things don't go our way it can be all too easy to blame others, which can be a way of handing over our happiness into the hands of others. Keeping happiness in our own hands, we may want to consider no longer blaming others, circumstances, choosing to remain happy, no matter what. And if we are happy, we may be more in a position to work out what we can do about things not going our own way.
Our Perception We can get used to training ourselves in seeing what we want to see, holding onto what we would like to believe makes us happy. Colours in our life may have faded to grey, as if this is the first & only colour we tend to see. We may also allow challenges to overwhelm us, struggling to put them into proportion, allowing them to pass. Preoccupied or overwhelmed, our world can seem stark & dark, that it can be hard to experience or appreciate, what is good, the daily things in front of us, moment by moment & our own intrinsic worth & state of being. Our concept of time may alter. We may struggle to allow in any positive thoughts, overlooking valuing even small things, which make us happy. Sometimes we may catch ourselves feeling OK or even happy, but struggle what to do with it, or even believe it, sweeping this "OK part of us" under the carpet again, as if we aren't supposed to be happy. It may be as if we have decided to close down a part of our life and the depression therapy can explore what goes on inside that we do this. There may be an uncomfortable discrepancy between what we thought our life should have been & what it actually is. Related to this, we may think in terms of whether we deserve or don't deserve to be happy, which can stop us experiencing happiness in the moment. Shifting our priorities, changing our expectations, so we become less disappointed may support us. Noticing, having a willingness to challenge our own perceptions & attitudes, may also help. These issues can unfold in the depression counselling & depression therapy, so we are not so dominated by depression. We may also want to examine what personally stops us having a happier life, where simply thinking positively may not be enough.
Dying is easy, it's living that scares me to death.Annie Lennox
Change With our human frailty, given certain circumstances all of us can experience depression symptoms, or breakdown, as our bodies collapse, things seem to take up more energy, where we lose our vitality and we may seek depression help or depression treatment. We all have weak spots and depression can be a normal & appropriate reaction to events in the world (see Universal Sadness). Starkness & bleakness can visit us all. Yet when depression becomes familiar & we get stuck in it, it may be a sign that something needs to change, yet we may be resisting this. We may have ended up retreating, becoming overly cautious, safe and secure which hinders our growth, development and struggle to find our way forward. Sometimes sinking into our feelings, indulging in them, feeling sorry for ourselves, can be exactly what we need to do, mourning what we need to mourn. Slowly changing this when we are willing & ready, moving our energy differently, noticing windows of change, however subtle, may support us. Learning to explore things, be curious again, and acting upon our curiosity, may help us grow, give us a sense of meaning. We may have an impossible objective to be happy always, a more realistic objective may be to promote our well-being, not only through external factors like material possessions, having a new romantic partner but connecting more to our own intrinsic sense of worth. Our sense of worth may be battered, bruised and it can be as if we lose this entirely or basing our worth on factors outside of ourself. (A few of us may even take some sort of comfort, basing our self worth on our depression, as if this is the only option available, that the problem, and therefore we, are not worth anyone else's efforts, as if there is no way out.) We may exclude others or try to get them to do the impossible - give us everything, trying to feed off their worth, giving ourselves none of our own. We may have rejected, abandoned ourself and others end up doing the same to us. Therapy for depression or depression counselling considers these & other factors with you.
Grieving Our Unhappiness Some may prefer, or just be used to, staying in the familiar dark - at least it's known, rather than risking moving towards the light. If we are sensitive inside, and things get too much or are not quite right, then we may need to pay attention to this. And, paradoxically, as we grieve our unhappiness, embracing that we are not happy, maybe allowing our tears to flow, a different space may open up for a chink of light to come in. A challenge may be to manage or mourn our feelings (sense of failure, sadness, regrets or so called negative emotions) between moments of happiness. Depression counselling or therapy for depression explores the views we hold and personal experiences of happiness, joy, suffering & love, what gives us peace of mind. What makes us feel in the flow, active, busy, absorbed & involved in an activity, rediscovering our passions and trying new things, sharing our interests with others, attending to our needs to belong (which may make us more connected, happier than power, money, success), having a sense of purpose, can dissolve our unhappiness. The impact of the unconscious, which has the potential to be regressive or progressive, may also be considered.
Fear Of Happiness So afraid of pain, we may suppress a lot of our feelings, putting a lid on them, including happiness. Some of us may fear being happy because holding on to our sense of impending doom (or worrying to stop bad things happening) we can't bear any pain. We may struggle to bear and embrace life's highs/lows, suffering and love in our heart. The therapy may explore how we can compassionately enable all our feelings, learn what they are telling us. Counselling and psychotherapy for depression can explore this further.
Thoughts & Beliefs About Happiness Who hasn't been unhappy in their life? - It is not every day we experience happiness. We or aspects of society may have unhelpful beliefs, expectations, messages about happiness, as if we are not supposed to experience grief, doubt, confusion or shame. And some of these experiences may be connected to what happened when we were naturally happy when younger. Our happiness may have got crushed, we may have felt ridiculed, humiliated and closed our happiness down, vowing never to be happy or be very mistrusting when we are. Therapy for depression and counselling for depression may therefore include looking at our beliefs about happiness. We may believe that we should always be happy, never be unhappy, struggling to come to terms with accepting suffering as a part of our human condition. Finding our way through this period of introversion, where we can also retreat to reflect & learn about the naturalness of suffering, what this might mean, its value, purpose can test us. The depression therapy can support you in this. We may need to take some pressure off us to be happy (constantly chasing happiness - which ironically may take us further away from it), especially if we believe we should be perfectly happy - everything must be just right. We may believe that it is the getting of love where we find happiness, yet not the giving. We may be unhelpfully searching for happiness only through exciting, exhilarating extraordinary experiences, overlooking that happiness can be experienced in the small & simple things of everyday life. A further limiting belief we may hold is that happiness is something outside of us (or through shortcuts), not inside. We may struggle to savour or be consciously aware of our quick fix bursts of pleasure or low intensity pleasures, like comfort, harmony, amusement, or higher pleasures like being glad, humorous, enthusiastic, ascending to excitement, elation, bliss. However, we may hold on to a belief that only certain things, objects (alcohol, chocolate, a compliment, etc.), can make us happy. Yet when we rapidly repeat these indulgences, their impact reduces and can have negative consequences like craving or addiction. This may be associated to momentary happiness, which is transient. What we want and our attachment to things outside of us may prevent our happiness, sense of fulfilment and we may be overlooking what we have. Some of us may believe that success makes us happy, that happiness is something to be possessed - what we need to get, as if it is a permanent state and should last forever. Others may worry we ought to be happier, which may in fact compound our own unhappiness. We may be fixed on believing that happiness can only be found in a certain way, that our current difficulties, circumstances, anxiety must rule out being happy in all moments, overlooking other possible ways to be happy. Disappointed, we may also believe that we can't be happy or joyful if:
- We aren't excited
- We haven't anyone to share it with or we have based our happiness on our partner or the relationship
- The outcome we want is not achieved
- We don't have it all
- We may have failed at something, that happiness if found somewhere outside of ourself
- We may have pain, hurt, suffering in our life
- There are adversities, pitfalls in our life
- Something bad is happening in our life & everything is not how we want it right now
- Someone around us is in a bad mood or they don't acknowledge our happiness
- Someone close to us has died, or something precious we really valued (a possession, belief) has been lost
- We let go, because others (or indeed us) critically judge us
- We haven't earned or manufactured our happiness
- We have forgotten or don't know how to be happy anymore
- We are not stimulated, on a high or must get our happiness from outside
- Our happiness is not a permanent state, and struggle to cope in its absence
- We adversely compare current experiences of happiness, contentment with the past ones
- We haven't got wealth, fortune, success
- We haven't done it by now, it is too late, we are too old
- We are at peace, calm
The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.David Weinbaum
Pursuing Our Goals & Achieving Things Goals and plans are important in life (as may changing and implementing them), yet we may have a fixed goal of believing we will be happy when "this will happen", it will be all right when "that will happen" (and have further endless lists of goals). It may be a long wait. Endlessly pursuing happiness - trying to get all our goals met, yet not getting there or enjoying them, may be a pattern as if our very identity is dependent on it. We may unhelpfully define our happiness based on achieving our goals, which can be self-defeating. Pursuing new goals can motivate us, as may building, maintaining supportive routines, habits. Being contented, accepting what is, taking pauses & quality time to work out what happiness truly means for us, knowing what is right for us - what truly makes us happy, can let us off the hook, so we don't pressurise ourself to always be happy. It may compound our depression if we have a goal to be happy, which is a generalised, hard to visualise goal. Some may find that it helps us when we make our goals more specific (e.g. "I will do some of form daily exercise - however small and visualise what forms this takes"). We may believe that we have to achieve our goals to be happy, that happiness is only achieved through achievements, delaying our happiness based on achievement (and even if we do achieve something, we may struggle to enjoy being happy - instantly striving for the next achievement, so enjoying our achievement before reaching for the next one may be important for us). We may also believe that happiness is a goal to be achieved, rather than an emotion, which is a by-product of what we do and how we give, that happiness is in us.
Psychotherapy for Depression in London, Depression Psychotherapy London, well-being or wellbeing
Pursuing Happiness Paradoxically, pursuing happiness and trying to develop our wellbeing, can take us further away from happiness. We may have restricting beliefs that happiness is only what we have, not what we are, that happiness (and pursuit of happiness) is a destination rather than a journey, that others are responsible for our happiness - that they have to do things, which may keep us in victimhood, martyrdom. Some may unhelpfully chase happiness. We can be so busy working out, evaluating what it takes to be happy (e.g. our life, career paths) that we overlook moments, activities, which makes us happy or struggle to let go of things, that make us unhappy. Chasing happiness can be counter-productive, as we focus more & more on ourselves. Focusing on the happiness of someone else can bring us much happiness. We may expect too much from happiness, believing that it is the intensity of happiness, rather than frequency that makes us happy. Our sense of identity is shaped by many factors, yet we may struggle to acknowledge that happiness can be found along the way (including through the things we do on our journey), not at the end of our goal (or destination), that happiness is also a choice we make.
Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will elude you but if you turn your attention to other things,Henry David Thoreau
it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Our Happiness, General Wellbeing & Flexibility All of us can improve our sense of wellbeing, inner equilibrium and connectedness - having feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence & interactions in the world, improving our relationships with others. And when we are thriving, so too may our relationship. We may want to flexibly explore what promotes & enhances & boosts our well-being, sense of intrinsic happiness - cultivating it, what makes us flourish even though it may not be every day we experience happiness. Interrupting any inflexible problem patterns, which erode our happiness - ones we linger on, may help us. Happiness is a subjective experience. What makes one person happy, may not make another, yet there are often commonalities. The counselling & psychotherapy can explore these influences and how we do & don't enhance our sadness, happiness, including:
- Simply doing what makes us happy
- The value of moving our body, stretching ourselves & exercise, healthy diet, lifestyle & sleep
- Experimenting with changing our body posture, physical expressions
- Experimenting with transforming our life narratives & scripts
- Understanding our strengths, vulnerabilities, tenderness and ability to forgive, acceptance that life isn't perfect
- Being centred in our own ground, cultivating our sense of personal resilience & boundaries, willing to learn from setbacks
- Tending to what boosts our esteem, sense of confidence
- Putting trust in us & others
- Placing faith in our own worth
- Protecting our personal power
- Having an element of self-control, building & maintaining supportive habits
- Being equipped to respond & embrace our moods, life's sufferings
- Being in touch with our integrity
- Living a more courageous life, occasionally taking fresh, small steps or risks
- Stretching ourselves through work, exercise, creativity, social interactions, etc.
- Accomplishing things however small - both for us and in making the world a better place
- Being compassionate, developing stronger social connections
- Focusing on others' well-being, being less individualistic, materialistic
- Being aware of how we look after ourself & others
- Being in touch with what moves us
- Learning to experience our experience, without cutting off
- No longer overlooking the possibility of our time to be happy is here, right now before our next source of anxiety consumes our mind. Recognising opportunities, however small, taking action so our future begins by what we do in the moment.
- No longer postponing our happiness for some future, deferring it "that is for tomorrow, not now", "I will be happy when...", no longer waiting for the right moment which never seems to arrive
- No longer guilty when feeling happy
- Giving ourselves permission to be happy, moment by moment, anchoring ourself in our own positive daily experiences (the ones, however minimal or significant, we have now), doing what's natural & right
- Getting involved & having some meaningful conversations
- Noticing & utilising our own senses & engaging in life around us (evocative smells, our favourite taste, food & drink, places, views, the people around us, sounds & music, dance, physical contact, exercise, etc.), savouring every moment, engaging in, giving our heart & attention to these experiences
- Choosing to appreciate, enjoy the simple pleasures in life, treats, etc, anything positive or little victories that come our way and we bring out in ourselves - however small (nature & animals, someone's kindness, a warm look, a complement, a connection, a warm touch or embrace, laughter, humour)
- Giving ourselves permission, finding something in us to lighten up - being playful, rediscovering our sense of fun, silliness, ridiculousness, maybe the innocence we had as a child - what we enjoyed
- Being in touch with what makes us content, carefree or express some happiness, humour, laughter, however small, this can be infectious and the more we give and share it, the more we receive, increasing our own capacity to be happy. Not taking ourselves too seriously and able to laugh at ourself.
- Being open to new stimulation, trying new things, valuing spontaneity & the unusual, allowing us to be surprised and engaged in whatever we are doing and with others (see also Navigating Between Being & Doing), living with the flow, tuning in to what enlivens us, being curious, exploring what might be
- Being in touch with our generosity, interests, sharing these with others, getting involved in things we care about (allowing ourselves to care and be encouraging), our passions, getting out in the fresh air & sunshine, being in nature, being in touch with what connects us, having some close friends, immersing ourselves, focusing in the moment
- Changing our environment, circumstances, situation in small or big ways
- Doing what personally uplifts our spirits and makes us happy (e.g. choosing the right feel-good music, atmospheres, being with supportive others, doing something we enjoy, etc.)
- Building in little things that makes us happy - small bliss moments
- Being appreciative, grateful for small & simple things, beauty, what we have, what's right in our life, being mindful that we are happy - capturing the moment, having grace
- Being fulfilled - whatever this means for us (participating in the necessary struggle involved to be fulfilled)
- Remembering & being in touch with what used to make us happy - fostering this now
- Being happy when those close to us are happy and we make them happy, so we don't miss any joy or happiness around a corner - closer to us than we imagined, even allowing ourselves to become excited by things again, can for some help us to be happy in the moment
- Balancing our life & lifestyle by living it connected to our purpose, alongside enjoying what's pleasurable, relishing & reflecting upon our experiences
- Do what makes us feel more alive, engage wit the world
- Listening to & following our momentum
- Rediscovering, pursuing old & new passions, interests, connections & making plans for them to happen & following them through so they do
- Letting go of what we need to let go of
- Making plans
- Reaching out and being kind to us & others. Offering unexpected complements, the warmth of touch or happiness can have a ripple effect as we open our heart, choose to be open to loving, love, so we may want consider offering acts of service, taking some responsibility towards contributing to other people's happiness, which in turn may make us happier, hopeful
- Experiencing moments of love, joy, often through gratitude
- Being accepting of ourselves
- Exploration of our sense of purpose, being in touch with our values, finding our own meanings
- Finding a pleasurable spot or place to be quiet, watching the world go by, reflect
- Our willingness to choose the long way home, live our life to our full potential
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...Robert A. Heinlein
Psychological Wellbeing Wellbeing is not the same as physical health. We could view our psychological wellbeing as looking after, responding to different aspects of us by taking care of our physical well-being, vitality & quality of sleep, our emotional well-being (including allowing, expressing, tolerating so called negative emotions, understanding that disappointments happen and will be overcome, our ability to have fun, be playful), our sexual well-being, our spiritual well-being and the wellbeing of others. How we think & what we believe also influences our psychological wellbeing (we may for example be searching for the secret to feel OK only to realise there may not be one). The therapy may include exploring our own sense of being and the totality of who we are alongside our incongruences, e.g. any dissonance between our perception of the world around us and the reality of its intentions. The counselling & psychotherapy can explore what personally supports our sense of wellbeing, what helps us feel content and carefree, in the moment, what small steps we can take to boost our spirits. (See also Peace Of Mind, Stilling Our Mind, Contentment, Inner Peace, Calmness - What May Help)
Value Of Relationships Making connections with others, especially those we love, cultivating & nurturing supportive friendships, enduring meaningful relationships, giving to others, enhances our wellbeing.
Value Of Nature, Force Of Nature, Natural Resources Nature - the natural world, the flow (uncertainty and chaos of life), the galaxy, universe, has a different time and space and is outside of human conflict. Breathing in the fresh air, appreciating sunlight, the oceans, landscapes, mountains, interacting and relating closer with nature, getting in touch with the natural world can be uplifting, putting us in touch with ourselves, the wider world, beauty and maybe a sense of consciousness. Bringing nature and beauty into our life, our very being - the natural environment (e.g. pets, animals, water, rocks, plants, scenery, the so called small things - a butterfly, a child's natural laughter) - tuning in and connecting to it, being in it, part of it, with it, embedding nature in us - everyone and everything around us, participating with it, surrendering to it, trusting it, imagining it, can have a restorative value, nourishing us, teach us respect and also humbly show us how small we are in its vastness, life's interconnectedness. For some lead to spiritual enquiry, connection. This connection with nature and how it rejuvenates through the season's rhythms, death and life may have evolutionary influences going back to our ancestors and the evolving force of nature may put us in touch with love.
We are nature, we come from nature, we return to nature.
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Sadness Feeling sad, low at times, is natural and also an appropriate emotion when we experience life's disappointments, losses. Yet we can be stuck in this when it becomes persistent, severe. There are many levels of sadness, some of which may run very deep. We may feel sad for our limitations, sense of brokenness, powerlessness over changing others, including our partner. Sadness may almost feel like grief at times, not necessarily for someone who has died, more about a loss of something deep inside. Being sad keeps us in contact with other people & the wider world as part of our humanity. We may also be sad when we are not in charge of our own life. When we are sad we may also be vulnerable, become fearful. Our sadness can also be viewed as a symptom that we need to complete painful events from our past, grieve our unhappiness, so our vitality can be available in the present. This may point to our unresolved grief, which we may confuse, conflate with depression. Help of a different nature may be necessary. It may take us a while to unhook from that grief we are experiencing. If we hold on to our sadness, we can become uptight & in some level stuck in the past. We may be fearful of releasing & expressing how we feel. We may hold our emotions or tears back, which can block our pain, blocking any possibility of joy. When sad, anxious, or helpless, this can turn to depression. The energy it takes to hold in our sadness can be greater than letting it out, for as our sadness arrives almost upon us, it has the potential to pass through us, leaving us. Depression counselling takes this into consideration.
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Wounded Sadness This sadness can be described as the sadness we can get hooked into, because we may abandon ourselves and struggle to take responsibility & personal care for managing it. We can do anything to avoid this. Some of us may hope that others take care of us or we may care for others in the hope that they do for us (see Codependency (Co-Dependency) - Caretaking). We can be convinced that others (bad luck or even god) are causing our sadness, struggling to attend to our own wounds. We may turn to comfort food, alcohol or other unwanted habits or addictions for solace. Depression therapy, and counselling for depression, may also shed light upon the nature of your own wounds, pain.
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Universal Sadness A cure for depression may not always be possible, especially when it comes to being sad for things that are part of natural living. The depression counselling or therapy for depression acknowledges certain human conditions, which are normal, beyond depression treatment. Certain losses we may never be able to get over completely, though our pain may lessen over time. Many experiences can cause us sadness (which is not the same as depression):
- The depths of our intrinsic feelings
- Being with the person we want to connect with, but can't
- Personal grief & loss through someone dying, loss of financial security, a job, loss of health or loss of face through someone's betrayal, etc.
- The soulful quality of melancholia, like a warm glow
- In touch with the depths of suffering & love
- Being despondent, inconsolable, connected to existential depression, existential grief or regrets
- Witnessing other people's pain & loss through natural disasters or wars
- Global grief, e.g. rampant consumerism, the uncertainty of what's happening to the planet, witnessing greed which harms other people & the planet, destroying what we care about & lack of action, climate change, pollution, species depletion, green issues, ecopsychology, global change of ecosystem, animal cruelty
We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity.Stephen Hawking
Alcohol & Depression Depression help can be hindered by using alcohol, as our depression symptoms increase. Some of us may use alcohol to raise our mood - to be our depression cure, yet it is a depressant, and in fact lowers our mood. So our alcohol consumption & depression becomes circular (see Addiction Cycle), and the counselling for depression, considers this in our work together.
Depression is something that should be welcomed because it's a sign that something needs to change.Dorothy Rowe - "Male & Female Depression"
I think, prior to all this, I'd been stuck in an unhelpful pattern for my entire life.
Chink Of Light The above quote indicates depression to be like a gift, which may seem strange & unwelcome to us, when we are feeling depressed, yet often our depression symptoms can be a signal - an indication of something that needs paying attention to, something calling upon us we need to learn from, discover what else lays inside it. Going through depression and coming out the other side can paradoxically for some pave the way towards a more enjoyable, meaningful life. Alongside our vulnerability, loneliness, any uncertainty, our grief or tears (see also Grieving Our Unhappiness), hopelessness, may also live stillness, and dropping into this, slowing down enough to listen, may for some live a small glimmer of possibility, a barely visible chink of light which we can hardly see in the dark - something new emerging, a seed thought of creativity, a subtly different momentary experience. Nurturing and responding to this can bring about something new - a movement in us, where through our blinding despair, hope may emerge. We may decide to try out or risk something new or different, however small. It could a recipe, poem, drawing or painting, a dance or exercise, a need to connect, interact, which lifts our spirits.
Forget your perfect offeringLeonard Cohen
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
Being In The Grip Of Depression Depression can do everything to make us hold on to it (including de-pressing our feelings), and we may be faced with a decision & goal as to which side we choose - our own side - letting go of the grip of depression or remaining in the vice-like grip of depression, squeezing our life energy, vitality. Taking it our hands to loosen, release depression's grip upon us my come slowly at first, and the therapy can support us in this.
Depression Help, Depression Treatment, Depression Cure Viewing depression treatment, depression help as a 100 per cent foolproof depression cure may not always be helpful. Each of us have our own sticking points, and our own narrative for how we got to the place we are in now. So depression help, "depression cure" or depression treatment for one may not "cure depression" or help depression for another. The counselling for depression doesn't ignore the negative or believe that we should simply hold a positive attitude (see also Suffering & Love). We may have curled up away from our pain. Uncurling ourselves, finding our way through our pain, tolerating it and finding out what it personally means for us, may also be important. The very expectations we have for "depression cure", "depression treatment", "depression help" can also be explored in our work together. We may for example believe that our depression is innately us and not something apart from us. It may be important to acknowledge that depression is an experience, it is not a reflection of who we are, our self - no longer forsaking our self and all of who we are.
Supporting Someone With Depression When someone close to us is depressed we may feel helpless or clueless, really wanting to help them, fix things, make things better (or other times not so). Depression can take its toll on us and the relationship. Looking after our own wellbeing and taking care of ourselves in order to be there for others can be important. We may find it hard to always understand & empathise what they are going through. At times we may feel uncared for by them, unloved, unwanted, taking their symptoms personally - even blaming ourselves at times. And just patiently being there (without judging, criticising, comparing or necessarily doing or saying anything) by someone's side and listening, even if we feel pushed away, can be all they need and help towards healing. Sometimes when the moment is right, choosing and accompanying them in doing things of interest to them, appreciating any small achievements, can be important. It may also be important that we don't sacrifice ourselves so much so we too become unhappy, as this won't help us or others.
Depression Symptoms There are many reasons & theories for what is depression and what are the problem patterns & causes of depression or depression triggers. It is argued that some of us are prone to depression, have a genetic vulnerability. Depression can look the same, yet its causes & contributions are diverse, some of which may be unconscious. Depression can be associated or linked with:
- Body, Physical Health
- Biological processes
- Some physiological, biological, genetic factors, our neurotransmitters & chemical or hormonal imbalances
- Poor health, physical illness or pain, food allergies
- Poor appetite, overeating, nutritional toxicity or deficiency
- Rapid weight loss, gain
- Being in our painbody
- Sleep issues, insomnia, oversleeping
- Feeling numb, immobilised
- Inadequate physical activity, exercise
- Physical feelings located or stuck in the body
- Living from our emotional, psychological pain, as if it is also stuck in our body
- Ungrieved tears
- Life's Circumstances, Trauma, Events
- Current events, adverse conditions around us, including the weather, lack of sunlight
- Personal life circumstances
- Insufficient, unsustainable source of income
- Major life changes, including feeling down or with a "now what?" question after recently achieving something worthwhile
- Past trauma, events
- Ageing, retirement, fear of death, dying
- Loss, Grief (see also Universal Sadness)
- Unhelpful Habits, Lifestyle, Behaviours, Addictions
- Lost enthusiasm, passion
- Hostility, irritability, fury (expressed or held in)
- Emotional sensitivity
- Unhelpful, unsupportive lifestyle (see also Our Happiness, General Wellbeing & Flexibility)
- Unhelpful rituals, unsupportive habits
- Unwanted Habits & Addictions
- Working too hard, too much
- Certain behaviours, roles, traits which are no longer helpful
- Living as if only we count
- Living in spirit-draining ways
- Not giving to others, reaching out, struggling to be compassionate
- Settling for superficial relationships
- Becoming a bit of a lone wolf, struggling to belong
- Waiting for something which never arrives
- Self-Abandonment, self-neglect
- Re-connecting to who we are, being centred, grounded & secure in our body
- Not being in the present, here & now moment
- Stuck in roles or identities, which no longer work, even ones we don't want, e.g. victim, martyr, selfpity
- Cynicism or closed heart
- Being lost, stuck
- Willpower, Passion, Motivation, Boundaries
- Non-actions, procrastination
- Loss of drive, no will or little motivation, not wanting to deal with things
- Moving through & beyond saying "No" to most things
- Lost passion, enthusiasm or desire
- Moving from engagement, disengagement with our will, disconnected from our life force & motivation
- Submission, giving up on something we find too difficult
- Sense of powerlessness, impotence
- Overly reliant on routine, lost spontaneity, difficulty in allowing ourselves to be surprised
- Unhappy or unmotivated at home or work
- Tolerating discomfort, the unknown
- Lost sense of our joy, innocence, etc.
- Early Life, Our Past
- Unmet basic needs
- Impact of our history, early life
- Failing to meet parental expectations
- Something gone wrong in our life, inhibiting past issues
- The impact of past experiences, e.g. pessimism, cynicism, abuse, bullying
- Being rejected when younger, because of our temperament & fearing rejection, abandonment now
- Conclusions we have drawn in childhood, e.g. we are bad or unacceptable
- Effects of being told we, or our gender, was unwanted
- Prematurely taking care of one of our parents
- Being prematurely selfsufficient
- Misplaced loyalties, oaths, sacred cows
- Stuck in our guilt or shame, self-accusation
- Automatically becoming guilty or ashamed if sensing happiness
- Meaningful Relationships, Sexual Fulfilment
- Becoming overly self-absorbed
- Lack of social interaction, meaningful connection with others, supportive friends, community involvement, sharing our interests
- Lost kindness, altruism
- Lack of affection, love & care (both giving & receiving)
- Lack of affectionate sexual contact, loss of libido
- Relationship or marriage problems
- Envy & jealousy
- Thoughts, Beliefs, Perception, Attitude
- Avoiding anything unfamiliar
- Believing it's not worth changing
- Believing we are a coward (e.g. for not wanting to deal with things)
- Believing we don't deserve to be happy or don't want to be happy
- Believing that we have to punish our parents for being bad parents so we can therefore never be happy and we would rather be miserable otherwise our parents will "win", control us, believing they were good parents
- Unhelpful thoughts & beliefs, negative, distortive or irrational thoughts
- Fear based thoughts
- Certain negative beliefs, e.g. believing we can only be happy under certain conditions, we would rather be right than be happy
- The way we think & interpret, cope & plan, perceive things
- Over-analysing - stuck in our head
- All or nothing thinking
- Our internal dialogue, e.g. "life is mundane"
- Our unhelpful narrative, scripts
- Life is a burden
- "Doomed" in believing that life is preordained, predetermined, fatalistic as if we have no free will
- Habitual complaining
- Unmet expectations in our relationship, marriage
- Stress, Fear, Anxiety
- Excessive rumination, worrying, stress
- Fear of breaking down
- Tireless search for perfectionism, paying unnecessary attention to detail
- Pressures, e.g. to obtain autonomy, independence, be competitive
- Mulling over past events, or anxious about the future
- Underlying fear
- Uncomfortable Feelings
- Uncomfortable feelings, latent or withheld emotional reactions
- Emotions kept down - unexpressed or de-pressed feelings held in
- Unhelpful responses to our frustration, anger (e.g. repressing, suppressing them, imploding, or keeping a lid on it until sometimes exploding)
- Being bored or unfulfilled
- Our despair
- Overwhelmed by feelings, rendering us feeling hopeless
- Overly sensitive
- Pessimism, which may also be understandable in times of crisis or what is happening in the world (see also Universal Sadness)
- Sense of emptiness, nothingness
- Repressing, suppressing our own unhappiness
- Struggling to forgive, let go
- Unrequited love
- Our inner child's way of letting us know we are abandoning ourself
- Confidence, Esteem, Assertion
- Confidence & esteem, including lack of affirmation, validation
- Being riddled with self-doubt
- Problems with competitiveness
- Blaming ourselves for our depression
- Being self-critical & critical of others
- Comparing ourselves unfavourably with others
- Allowing challenges to be bigger than us, overriding any happiness
- Punctured self-image
- Familiar sense of impending doom
- Feeling emotionally insecure, inadequate
- Struggling to ask for, articulate, assert our needs, including in our relationship
- Seeking permission to fully live
- Persisting questioning "Should I be happy?"
- As a means of punishing ourself, as if we deserve it
- Disappointment, Non-Acceptance
- Unmet expectations
- Wanting to control things, which are beyond our control
- Wanting things we cannot have
- Endlessly searching for happiness
- Holding on to resentments, grudges
- Struggling to accept "what is" or let go of things
- Social, Global, Universal Considerations
- Social factors, pressures, lack of support, resources, community
- Societies values out of tune of our own
- Universal sadness
- Unfulfilled Potential
- Eroded wellbeing
- Lacking interest in life, interest sharing
- So busy doing, overlooking our being, out of touch with our own potential
- Elusive hope, hopelessness
- Lost curiosity
- Reflective Existential Concerns, Spiritual Vacuum
- We may have achieved something really worthwhile, an important goal, yet dejected inside, have a "Now what?" feeling
- Struggling to appreciate or find our gratitude for what we have got, things we are grateful for & our very existence
- Needing to belong to something, discontentment, loneliness, alienation, aloneness
- Our existential angst, feeling overwhelmed & confused about existential issues
- Crisis of personal meaning, existential meaning
- Life changes
- Grieving a stage of our life (see also Living To Our Full Potential)
- Lack of meaning or purpose
- Life direction
- Sense of spiritual void - whatever this means for us
- Unconscious Factors
- Our unconscious
Counselling For Depression The nature of each individual is unique and the counselling for depression is a place to talk about ourselves, our lives, what brought us to where we are so far and where we would like to be. Counselling for depression also takes into consideration our own, personal circumstances - what helps, what doesn't help, our thoughts, beliefs, etc., what inhibits our momentum. When depressed it can be as if we can't get out of it on our own, that we need help and want to hand over our problems to someone else, struggling to let go of what we need to let go of, including our fearful thoughts, body tensions, etc. It can be as if we've lost our sense of importance, are out of touch with what makes us feel good, our inner child and need the warmth, aliveness, openness (even humour and laughter) of another, so we can connect with them, feel heard, relaxed.
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Counselling Questions About Depression We May Be Holding Diagnosing ourselves as depressed, having this depressed label, being stuck with this "depression condition" can be counterproductive and unhelpful, as if we "become" our depression or are stuck with it. We may have many questions about depression, some of which may or may not have a simple answer. Pondering upon our depression and holding on to lots of questions may also be counterproductive - in some ways taking us further into depression, so the more questions we ask, the more associated we may become with our depression, e.g.:
- What is depression?
- What are depression symptoms?
- What are the depression triggers?
- Am I depressed? Do I have depression?
- Can counselling help depression?
- Can any depression therapy provide a depression help?
- How to deal with depression? How do I deal with depression? Is dealing with depression possible?
- What causes depression? What are the causes of depression?
- What are the treatments for depression? What is the depression treatment? How to treat depression? What are the ways of treating depression?
- What are the types of depression?
- What are the signs of depression?
- How to overcome depression?
- How to stop depression?
- How to fight depression?
- How to get over depression?
- How to beat depression? How can I beat depression? What are the ways to beat depression?
- How to cure depression? What are the cures for depression? What are the depression cures?
- I'm told I'm suffering with depression - what helps? How to help depression?
- How to cope with depression
- How to overcome depression? Is overcoming depression possible?
- Is living with depression possible?