Are You Suffering From Depression?

‘Depression’ is often used to describe when someone is feeling ‘low’, ‘miserable’, ‘in a mood’, or having ‘got out of bed on the wrong side’. However, doctors use the word in two different ways. They can use it to describe the symptom of a ‘low mood’, or to refer to a specific illness, ie a ‘depressive illness’.

This confusion is made all the worse because it is often difficult to tell the difference between feeling gloomy and having a depressive illness. Doctors make a diagnosis of depression after assessing the severity of the low mood, other associated symptoms and the duration of the problem.

Who gets depressed?

  • Depression is very common.
  • Between 5 and 10 per cent of the population are suffering from the illness to some extent at any one time.
  • Over a lifetime you have a 20 per cent, or one in five, chance of having an episode of depression.
  • Women are twice as likely to get depression as men.
  • Bipolar affective disorder is less common than depressive illness with a life-time risk of around 1-2 per cent. Men and women are equally affected.

Getting depression is not a sign of weakness. There are no particular ‘personality types’ that are more at risk than others. However, some risk factors have been identified, these include inherited (genetic) factors, such as having parents or grandparents who have suffered from depression and non-genetic factors such as the death of a parent when you were young.

What causes depression?

We do not fully understand the causes of depression.

  • Genes or early life experiences may make some people vulnerable.
  • Stressful life events, such as losing a job or a relationship ending, may trigger an episode of depression.
  • Depression can be triggered by some physical illnesses, drug treatments and recreational drugs.

It is often impossible to identify a ’cause’ in many people and this can be distressing for people who want to understand the reasons why they are ill. However, depression, like any illness, can strike for no apparent reason.

It is clear that there are definite changes in the way the brain works when a person is depressed.

Symptoms of depression

  • Being unable to gain pleasure from activities that normally would be pleasurable.
  • Losing interest in normal activities, hobbies and everyday life.
  • Feeling tired all of the time and having no energy.
  • Difficulty sleeping or waking early in the morning (though some feel that they can’t get out of bed and ‘face the world’).
  • Having a poor appetite, no interest in food and losing weight (though some people overeat and put on weight – ‘comfort eating’).
  • Losing interest in sex.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate and think straight.
  • Feeling restless, tense and anxious.
  • Being irritable.
  • Losing self-confidence.
  • Avoiding other people.
  • Finding it harder than usual to make decisions.
  • Feeling useless and inadequate – ‘a waste of space’.
  • Feeling guilty about who you are and what you have done.
  • Feeling hopeless – that nothing will make things better.

What to do if you are depressed

  • Talk to people about how you feel. Don’t bottle things up. It is NOT a sign of weakness to get help for your problems, in the same way that it would not be to get medical help for a broken leg or a chest infection.
  • Although you may not be able to do the things you normally would (such as work), try to keep active as much as you can. Lying in bed or sitting thinking about your problems can make them seem worse. Taking physical exercise can also help depression and keep your mind off your worries.
  • Do not increase your alcohol intake to try and ‘drown your sorrows’ or help you sleep better. Alcohol will only make the depression worse and harder to treat.
  • If you are having problems sleeping, try not to lie in bed thinking about your problems and anxieties. Do something to take your mind off your worries such as reading or listening to the radio.

What to do if you know somebody who is depressed

Sometimes people are not aware that they are depressed. This particularly happens when the depression comes on slowly. In addition many people suffering from depression blame themselves for not coping as they normally would, rather than thinking there might be some illness that has caused them to be this way. The illness can make a person think that it would be a sign of weakness to seek help for their difficulties. If you think that this has happened to somebody, you should try to talk to him or her about it. Also try to remember:

  • Listening can really help.
  • Avoid saying, ‘pull yourself together’ or other remarks that make the person think that it is their fault that they are ill.
  • If the person’s problems do not sort themselves out in a week or so, suggest that the person seek professional help. Remind the person that this is not a sign of weakness or of being a failure.
  • Don’t nag the person or try to get them to do what they normally would.
  • Remind the person that it is not their fault, and that they will get better no matter how hopeless they feel.
  • Try to help them avoid resorting to alcohol, which does not help the situation. If the person talks of harming themself or committing suicide, take this seriously. Insist that they see a doctor.

How can we help?

Remember, depression is very common. Almost anybody can develop the illness; it is certainly NOT a sign of weakness. Depression is also treatable. There are things you can do yourself or things you can do to help somebody suffering from the illness.

At The Wyndham Centre we offer a range of treatments to help you:

FOOD SENSITIVITIES for helping with depression

It is worth looking at the foods you are eating because food sensitivities certainly can make you feel low. There are certain foods such as wheat which are depressive.

Your diet in general can also be a mood changer and eating a sensible, well nourishing diet full of lots of green vegetable raw if possible, fruits, nuts and seeds can be very helpful.

It is important to keep your body as alkaline as possible and once again the foods that are more alkaline are the vegetables. Sugar and processed foods make you more acid, and alter your blood sugar causing it to have vast surges up and then down.

Your adrenal glands that produce adrenaline at times of stress whether mental or physical are also affected by blood sugar surges and this affects your mood.

Vega testing will check for your body energies and depending on which areas of your body are struggling I can help with supplements that will affect your depression and make you feel better.

COACHING can help cure depression

Coaching can help cure depression by building your confidence and self-esteem. The programme offered at The Wyndham Centre has proved successful by exploring the following themes:

  • Self awareness
  • Letting go of the past
  • Forgiving yourself and others for mistakes that have happened
  • Letting go of perfection
  • Learning to love yourself
  • Gratitude
  • Learning to use positive affirmations
  • Learning to set goals for the future
  • Daring to dream!

HOMEOPATHY for depression

Depression can be triggered by many factors from major loss and grief, to gradual build up of setback and disappointments, relationship problems or work and money worries. There are also other factors which contribute like dietary deficiencies, food sensitivities and hormonal imbalances. While severe depression requires the help of a medical practitioner, homeopathy can often be of benefit used as a complementary therapy.

A person going through mild sadness or depression is likely to be helped by an appropriate homeopathic remedy. There are a large number of remedies, which can be used to treat depression. For best results it is advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced homeopath as sometimes it is necessary to take detailed personal history and a lot of information has to be considered before choosing the correct remedy.

Depending on the individual the treatment can last from a few weeks to 6 months or longer. In each case a remedy is chosen to match the patients personality and individual symptoms.

ENERGY HEALING, & REFLEXOLOGY

If energy in the sixth chakra is imbalanced or low, it can harm the function of the pituitary gland. This gland is an integral part of both mind and body. On a physical level, disturbance of the pituitary can result in depression and a number of other problems that can be triggered by endocrine imbalance.

Energy Healing can help to balance the sixth chakra by dealing with any issues that may have created the imbalance in the first instance. With the use of crystals, colour and meditation, all energy centres are opened allowing equilibrium to return.

Reflexology works on pressure points to stimulate the body’s own healing potential. The pituitary gland and energy lines can be stimulated allowing the energy to flow freely, removing any blockages and congestion.

HYPNOTHERAPY and depression

It is worth remembering that, in most cases, depression is temporary. In about 75% of cases, it will improve spontaneously within 6 – 9 months.

However, you may decide you want to speed up the process of recovery – that you want to feel better sooner. One way of approaching this is by analysing which of your needs are not being met, then – MAKE CHANGES! These changes might be big or small; they might be to your circumstances, if necessary and possible, or simply to the way you perceive your circumstances, since it is often the way we see or respond to our circumstances, not the circumstances themselves that make us unhappy.

So, which of your needs are not being met as well as they could be?

  • Your need for safety and security?
  • Your need for control over your own life?
  • Your need for giving and receiving attention?
  • Your need for emotional intimacy?
  • Your need for self-esteem?
  • Your need for a sense of belonging to a wider community?
  • Your need for purpose and meaning in your life?

Now, ask yourself what changes you should/could/want to make so your needs are better met. If you feel that the changes you need to make are to old, unhelpful habits of thinking, feeling or behaving, then a hypnotherapist could help you to make them.

How?

Well, the unconscious mind is a storehouse of memories, the place where emotions are generated and habits maintained, and where powerful hidden resources and solutions lie. In a state of hypnosis, this part of the mind is more accessible and receptive, and a hypnotherapist can make beneficial suggestions for long-lasting, often permanent change. Hypnosis itself can’t make anything happen, but it can help the mind to focus on and accept new ideas, beliefs and goals and turn them into new, more positive habits of thinking, feeling and behaving.