Overcoming Depression

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Depression can invariably feel like you’re in an inescapable situation with no resources available to overcome it. Depression often has its roots buried deep in the feeling of being alone. With an overwhelming belief that no one quite understands how it feels and ignoring it and ‘get on with life’ doesn’t really work. For these reasons, you can easily feel incredibly isolated which only further increases the depressive feelings. How can we then look to understand this and to begin to dissolve the cycle?

Often depression hides away undetected. It doesn’t come in one easily recognisable form. It can appear in many different ways. And it can be years before we are able to figure out that all these seemingly unrelated feelings were a mask for depression. Perhaps it’s for this reason that depression is easily dismissed by non-sufferers or overused by others. Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life.

Causes of depression can be genetic, hormonal, or situational. For this reason, guidance and techniques are best done with a therapist to work through your specifically the issue or issues. With that said, here are a few suggestions that you may find helpful in easing if not eradicating depression or that depressive feeling.

Is There a Pattern?

While not a solution in of itself, beginning to recognise any patterns that increase or intensify a feeling of depression might offer a better understanding of yourself. You can ask yourself whether this happened before and, if so, what caused it? Perhaps how someone leaves you feeling or how you feel after a particular situation. This can then be useful to explore in therapy.

Mood Diary

Mood diaries are a good way to not only notice how you’re feeling but put that feeling to words. In a similar way to noticing a pattern, you’re looking to understand what is causing these feelings. And it might be that there’s nothing to pinpoint, nevertheless being able to write out the feelings can be a helpful start. Not only for the above reasons, but also as a way to help process how you’re feeling and get it out of your head – it genuinely can make a huge difference.

Keep Active

Exercise to ease depression can be contentious. For some, going for a walk doesn’t help, for others, it does. It can also have a connotation of dismissal: ‘Just go for a walk and you’ll be fine’. Yet because it’s a recommend help to ease depression I’ve included it here.

Most exercise, be it yoga or hiking, will release neurotransmitters such as endorphins and dopamine – the brain’s pleasure chemicals – producing a sense of wellbeing and pleasure. This is often stimulated by the change in heart rate, muscle movement, and breathing. Simply, you’re looking to activating these chemicals to ease the depression. Not to resolve, though that would be beneficial, but to allow you an alternative choice of thoughts than the one’s your currently having.

Mindfulness

In many ways much of what I’ve written here all links back to centring your feelings and responses into the ‘here and now’. To be present with whatever you’re feeling. To give up looking to delete the feelings and focus on connecting with yourself, whatever that may be. In some ways, it is about sitting with the discomfort. As uncomfortable as that may be, the more we sit in stillness with those feelings, the more we can turn to resolve them rather than turn and run from them. Here’s an article I wrote that works as well for adults as it does for kids

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is the body’s and mind’s way to recharge and heal from the day. By early evening the body is preparing itself for rest. And while there may be the odd late night, a continued lack of consistency in a bedtime routine can contribute to mental health issues such as depression. Decide on a reasonable sleep routine. Look at being consistent not only with the times but also with how you prepare for rest. Consider removing visual stimulants before bedtime. This may not just be your devices but includes any dramas, documentaries, films etc that are deeply engaging. Monitor to see what improvements if any you notice.

NOTE: Please note that this article is general signposting and is not a specific endorsement or recommendation by Ben Jackson Coaching.

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No-cost

Appointment Times: Weekday, daytime sessions
Availability: Limited spaces
Maximum Sessions Available: 9

Cost Per Session: Free

Low Cost

Appointment Times: Weekday, daytime sessions
Availability: Limited spaces
Maximum Sessions Available: 20

Cost Per Session: £20

Standard

Appointment Times: Weekday and evening appointments only
Availability: Greater available sessions
Maximum Sessions Available: Unlimited

Cost Per Session: £60

Premium

Appointment Times: Weekday appointments either morning and evening, plus access to weekend appointments
Availability: Rapid access: no waiting list
Maximum Sessions Available: Unlimited

Cost Per Session: £90

** Clients can stop or pause therapy at any time. There is no obligation to attend all sessions.

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