Not everyone is aware they are suffering with depression and for those who are, it feels like nothing will ever change.
Depression drains pleasure from what you enjoy and alters your thinking to block the hope and energy around you, keeping you living in a dark haze. Some often summarise depression as “a parasite that feeds off your life.”
Understanding how depression works is the first step to ensuring the parasite has nothing to feed off. Like looking after a houseplant, if you continually water the plant, it thrives, but if you starve it of what it needs, it fades away.
One of the biggest challenges those who suffer with depression face is that it feels like a long journey to feel better. As it feels so long, it becomes hopeless to start. But that is not the case, there is an approach to treating depression that focuses on getting you feeling better quickly. This approach is called the Uncommon Knowledge. It is this approach which I use, and am certified to use, in my therapy treatment for depression.
How does online therapy help my depression?
The very first thing we will do in our first session together is to ensure you understand why you are feeling this way. It has a lot to do with the levels of stress you are currently experiencing, which leads to physical as well as mental exhaustion. It is a vicious cycle, and we use this very first session to insert a change into that cycle. Then I will work quickly to help you feel better by using deep relaxation with you. This is to prepare your brain to learn because depression makes it almost impossible to pay attention and retain information. It’s not you, it’s part of your depression. When you leave my clinic after that first session, I would expect you to feel better than you have in a long time.
In the following sessions, we will work together to:
· Reduce the amount of worrying and introspection you are doing
· Resolve any practical problems that are causing you stress
· Work on any relationship difficulties you may be having
· Help you balance your thinking, so you are not plagued by negative thoughts
· As you feel better, gradually introduce elements to your life that will protect you from becoming depressed again.
How do I know if I am depressed?
Have you been through a life changing event? Do you feel down or fragile? Do you wake up feeling exhausted?
Do you feel a desire to disconnect from your friends and family or that you feel disconnected? Have you lost your usual desire for life’s pleasures? Do you find the task of showering or washing your hair too much?
Do you struggle to concentrate on any one task, even simple tasks like putting out the washing or answering emails?
If you can answer yes to one of these questions then, it is possible you are experiencing depression. It means there is a light to be had when you are ready to work with an online therapist to overcome the challenges and break the cycle.
How can I help myself break the cycle of depression and understand why I feel the way I do?
If you have been depressed for a long period of time, you will probably be confused by what is happening to you. What is the result of the depression and what is you? This can be truly terrifying.
Did you know a depressed person dreams up to three times as much as normal during times of depression? It is because of a distinct connection between dreaming, Rapid Eye Movement, anxiety, and depression, and is related to unfulfilled emotional expectation.
If you are not depressed but have something that is causing you worry, you will either use calming techniques or proactive problem solving. You complete an emotional circuit; event, worry, problem-solve. Therefore, your brain is clear.
If you are depressed, you do not have the techniques to complete the circuit. Your brain will have created a haze towards hope and positive energy and therefore, you start emotional rumination. This excess rumination leads to increased night-time dreaming to ‘flush out’ or complete the circuit. This increased REM leads to exhaustion through the over-firing of something called ‘the orientation response’. The neurotransmitter serotonin depletes as we dream. So, a depressed person will wake up exhausted because there has been too much dreaming/REM activity, not enough deep restorative sleep, and therefore a depletion of serotonin.
In short, for a person with depression, they cannot turn off their brain and just like if you work out 24 hours a day, you would be exhausted, it’s the same for your brain doing its mental work out.
To break the cycle, we work on supporting you to lift the fog surrounding your reality. We do not treat the symptoms of the cycle. Yes, tactics to enhance sleep are good but they do not break the cycle, they put a plaster on part of it. We treat the cause, not the symptoms. This is where a multi-discipline therapy approach helps. Where depression is complex, bringing in different forms of therapy enables us to treat the cause faster, giving you a more efficient route to feeling better.