Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It is complex and therefore difficult to diagnose. It has many causes. Depression affects an increasing number of people. Depression can be debilitating for the sufferer but also impacts on family, friends and working life.
It could be said that depression is an unhealthy response to sadness, loss and failure. It is thought that 70% of depressed people also suffer from anxiety and that depression could be a way of protecting the body from excess anxiety.
Some typical patterns that tend to be a feature of depressed thinking are:
Global thinking - thinking that everything is negative and failing to notice any of the positives.
A low tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty. Often people who are depressed are also perfectionists.
Listening to their own negative and often self-critical thoughts - and believing them.
Rumination - thoughts going endlessly round and round.
Mild depression is characterised by a general sense of feeling fed up, mild irritability, low response to events and a low level of anxiety.
Moderate depression is characterised by a lower mood, loss of libido, appetite problems, tearfulness, feelings of worthlessness, early morning waking or sleeping all day and possible suicidal thoughts.
Severe depression is much more intense, possibly hearing voices in the head.
The latest research indicates that genetic factors are less significant in the development of depression than are environmental ones.
It also shows that although some drugs can be effective in helping people feel and sleep better, the best way of treating depression is to teach more useful thinking patterns. This can be in conjunction with or independent of drug treatment, dependent on the severity of the case.
There is little doubt that how one thinks can effect the neurotransmitter levels in the brain, just as the level of neurotransmitters affects how one thinks. Changing a habitual thought pattern for a more useful one can have a physiological impact. Hypnotherapy seems to help the sufferer do this.
How I can help you
As depression has many causes it is generally not considered fruitful to spend time investigating the past - rather to concentrate on the present and future. Cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal type approaches have a great deal of success in helping people rationalise their thinking. They learn to sort for whether the evidence really warrants thinking negatively or not.
I help you to build new coping skills - more useful ways of thinking - that make a positive future more believable and achievable. These skills give you the knowledge that there is something you can do and relives the feelings of stickiness and hopelessness.
I help you get in touch with the emotional resources that you undoubtedly already have - and are usually unaware of. My clients often say that they are beginning to feel more positive, lighter, as if a burden has been lifted.
One off the most useful contributions to recovering from depression is the ability to sleep. Hypnotherapy has a good track record of helping people sleep easily and well.
How using the Alpha-Stim can help
As part of the therapy I am also able to provide you with an alpha-stim device (rent or sale) that you can use at home. Numerous clinical trials together with my own experience has shown that a high proportion of people suffering from depression experience significant improvement in mood as a result of using Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) as supplied by the Alpha-Stim. Typically patients use the Alpha-Stim for an hour a day, which has a cumulative effect, enhancing the production of Serotonin and Beta Endorphins. The words people generally use are "I feel better". I find people to be much more receptive and able to make changes in their thinking patterns when they are feeling more 'up'.