Depression is “as state of extreme dejection often with physical symptoms” according to a well-known dictionary. There are, as with all life’s problems, varying degrees of this condition which differ in severity and duration.
To be human is to experience highs and lows and how you feel is commonly referred to as a “mood”. You can be in a bad, good, low, high, or indifferent mood. It is quite normal to experience all these moods some time or another. Some of these moods can be started by conscious events in our lives whilst at other times we may be unaware of why we feel a particular way. There may be physical causes behind particular moods too.
The expression ‘depression’ or ‘feeling depressed’ is often used to refer to feeling ‘blue’ or ‘low’. This may last for only a short period of time. Referring to this short time of feeling down as depression is not helpful or necessarily true. It is helpful to distinguish between occasional low moods and depression.
Depression, generally speaking, is when someone experiences a sustained period of dejection or feeling low that seems to have little respite. It may also be a low mood that continues to return on a regular basis. So there are categories of depression ranging from mild depression to darker and longer terms of low moods referred to as clinical, chronic or manic depression.
Usually a person with depression can have one or more of the following:
1) Insomnia or broken sleep patterns
2) A lack of appetite
3) A constant feeling of dread
4) No motivation
5) Guilty feelings
6) Low self esteem and self confidence
7) A sense of being trapped with no means of escape
8) A sense of shame and failing
9) A pessimistic outlook on life (always expecting the worst to happen)
10) A lack of energy
11) A hunched stance, unhappy expression and negative attitude to any or everything
12) A sense of being a victim or always having bad luck
13) A high level of anxiety or stress
For someone who has mild depression only some of these symptoms may be true and then only a short period of time. In the person with manic depression many more of these symptoms may be true and can be coupled with psychotic episodes of delusions, hallucinations and a loss of a sense of reality. A person with manic depression should be under the supervision of a psychiatrist and will be prescribed drugs to help the condition.
It is mild depression or event driven depression (bereavement, divorce, job loss etc) that other forms of help such as hypnotherapy and EFT may be useful. Certainly if you do feel that you are depressed, even if it is only a mild form of depression and has been with you for a only few days or keeps returning you should seek the expertise of your medical practitioner first. It is not the intention of this article to address anything other than mild depression.
Events that can typically start mild depression are:
1) A divorce
2) Shock or upsetting news
3) Loss of a job
4) Loss of the home
5) Being assaulted (mugged)
6) A burglary
7) Rape or constant abuse
8) Physical, verbal or psychological abuse at home or at work
Of course these events in life can happen to any one of us. For many people, although any of these events will be upsetting, they will not necessarily tip someone into depression. It is how we perceive these events and handle them that can be the difference between someone who copes with the crisis and someone who feels unable to cope. Young children can suffer with depression, which may be due to factors in the home or at school. People who have had successful family life and careers may suffer from depression in old age too.
For those people with mild depression which they know has been caused by a particular event or events, hypnotherapy can provide the difference needed to escape those debilitating feelings.
Hypnotherapy brings a wonderful relaxing and calm feeling which is the opposite of the anxiety and dread someone can feel with mild depression. With your stress released hypnotherapy encourages you to view your future with optimism and excitement.
Sometimes, all it takes is a different way of viewing or perceiving matters, for the person who is feeling low to gain a new sense of perspective and proportion. The relaxation qualities of learning self hypnosis will help release stress and help the world to seem a better place.
Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Clinical Hypnotherapist – Derby, Belper, Matlock