Vinita Latham MSc. Psychotherapy & Counselling. BA, MBACP(Reg).

Depression.

Acknowledging the depression and that you want to change is your first step towards breaking free.

Therapy gives you the time and emotional space to talk through your feelings and experiences without feeling judged. Exploring feelings that have been too painful for you to acknowledge gives a sense of emotional release. Therapy can help you identify self-defeating thoughts that may have played through your mind for years, sometimes subconsciously. During therapy, you can begin to understand the underlying reasons that led to depression which can bring answers to your way forward.

You can find a little more about how therapy works here.

If you would like to book a session – get in touch here. 

To find out about the services I offer – services.

To find out about the services I offer – services.

Depression is more than low mood or sadness. A person suffering from depression lives their life as if looking through a dark veil. It colours and taints everything.

Depression can feel very isolating as if you’re living on the edge of life but not fully involved. There can be feelings of hopelessness and an inability to believe that things will ever get any better.

JK Rowling has powerfully described her struggles with depression:

“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. . .. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”

It can feel upsetting to hear someone suggest that you just “snap out of it”. Unfortunately, depression isn’t something you can just snap out of and if you hear someone offering that in an attempt to be helpful, that person has not experienced depression themselves. Depression isn’t a choice and there is still ongoing research into why one person may suffer from depression and another person not. There is evidence that people suffering from depression experience dysregulation of the nervous system and chemical imbalance within the brain, leading to some of the symptoms associated with depression. The reasons for this imbalance may differ from person to person but can stem from traumatic experiences in life, often stemming from childhood. Trauma that has not been processed can impact both your emotional and physical health. Unexpressed trauma can feel like a heavy burden that you carry around with you every day. However, people are often unaware of the underlying reasons that have led to their current difficulties.

There are things you can do to support yourself in managing or alleviating depression.

We’re all different and what helps one person may not help another. Finding what feels suitable for you is very important and it can be helpful to combine different strategies to help you start to feel better. Talking therapy has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants in helping to overcome bouts of depression. The prospect of talking to a complete stranger can feel daunting and you may feel as if you wouldn’t know what to say. It can help just to jot down a few issues you’re struggling with before the first session. We would usually begin by talking about how you’re feeling right now. At some point, we may start to explore your past which can help explain your present-day struggles. Talking through your concerns is a way of processing and resolving deeply held feelings and experiences.

Depression can last for weeks, months or years and people can slide in and out of depression throughout life. Depression can happen at any age and can sometimes occur with co-existing conditions such as anxiety disorders, addiction issues or self-harm. You may be able to identify why you are suffering from depression or it may feel as if it’s come out of the blue and you can’t understand why you feel this way.

Depression can affect all areas of a person’s life including:

Behaviour: Withdrawing from family and friends.

                   An inability to enjoy anything.

                    Struggling to concentrate.

                   Not completing tasks at home, work or school.

                   Using alcohol or drugs as an escape.

                   Isolating yourself and not going out as usual.

                   Eating too much or not enough.

                   Crying and you can’t explain why.

Feelings:    Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, numbness.

                   Irritable, short-tempered.

                   Unbearably unhappy.

                   Very low self-esteem, self-worth.

                   Indecisive.

                   Frustrated, stressed.

                   Guilty.

Thoughts: It’s all my fault

                 I’m worthless, no good.

                 I’m a failure.

                 Everything always goes wrong for me.

                 What’s the point in being alive.

                 Everyone would be better off without me.

                 Nothing is ever going to go right for me.

Physical:  Lacking energy, extreme fatigue

                Physical tension – tight muscles, churning stomach.

                Panic attacks, extreme anxiety, worrying.

                Headaches.

                Sleep problems.

                A lowered immune system, run-down.

                Changes in appetite.

                Weight loss or weight gain.

                Brain fog, not thinking clearly.