Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

Depression Series #6: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

June 11, 2010

In all aspects of life’s journey we suffer a form of trauma, be it physical or mental or psychological. The result of all traumas carries one form of depression or another.

As the trauma is felt physically and mentally, the return to normality from that point is time consuming.  Any trauma alters behaviour and everyday perceptions, these naturally carry a strong depressive state and with the added influence of the physical restriction the depression becomes magnified and one loses freedom. This kind of depression needs to be worked upon.

It is important not to accept the situation. We have to make the effort and express the need to overcome, rather than allow one to suffer in silence and expect the cloud to shift as a matter of course. 

When there is a strong desire to shift that cloud then there is a strong possibility that we can off load that weight and darkness and focus on recovery rather than dwell to analyse.

If your Post traumatic Stress is due to an experience, whether witnessing an accident, or witnessing acts of war or violence, or being diagnosed with a serious condition, there are several aspects that must be applied to elevate your situation to develop a clearer vision.

Whatever we witness in our life, these are lessons for us to learn from, the focus shifts from becoming restricted with theses experiences to making them more constructive towards developing a greater understanding.

When we develop an understanding we become stronger automatically. There is no room for self-doubt or unfounded fears in our mind.

Time is important in these situations, a lot of healing must take place, this can only happen with the passing of time. To overcome these depressions takes a focus towards freedom, to empower yourself, to strengthen yourself physically and mentally, to become adamant, or desperate to find a way out. 

Always remember to listen to what your mind tells you and accept that as a fact. Listen to your intuition to reach a higher understanding. That in itself will alleviate any influence of any trauma and will open the door to alternative thoughts, all of which are relevant to overcoming and building towards getting back to life.

Patience and endurance is key.  Instruct your mind with  “power” and “strength” Keep active, use your inner power and your natural strength. Repeating these words will prepare you towards a healthier attitude mentally and physically.

 We must always strive to develop the desire to understand situations rather than victimising ourselves with events that are out of our control. 

 Ultimately the focus must always remain onto helping yourself to improving your situation and outlook towards your environment and to always be open and receptive to all changes that may take place in your journey in life.

In these situations there is no pill or miracle cure. Just by understanding the process makes you wiser and helps you handle all situations.

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Depression Series #5: Postnatal Depression

May 28, 2010

For us to understand the mechanism of Postnatal Depression we must first look objectively at the whole process of pregnancy and birth.

From the moment of conception there are many influences that come into play.  The psychological state is at its extreme, containing excitement, fear, joy and uncertainty. The physical aspect is transforming, hormones charging, physical shape expanding, along with bouts of nausea and sickness.

 Overall all feelings are prominent and exaggerated, which individuals will go through on an hourly basis. 

We then come to the birth itself, which is again extremely daunting and exciting, filled with a tremendous fear of the unknown.  Regardless of preparation whether a natural birth, drug free, drug fuelled, or caesarean the whole process of giving birth will never be as you anticipated and emotions will be extreme both negative and positive.

 Immediately after birth there is a calm, a new life has emerged and you rejoice in the arrival of your baby. Then soon after the excitement comes the realisation that life has changed and will never be the same again.

If we look objectively at all elements the whole process of pregnancy and birth contains transformation on every level, mental, emotional, psychological and physical.

It is during this period of trying to adjust and adapt to this new role where it can all feel a bit too overwhelming. Naturally the physical aspect is beginning the reversal process, but her there is the realisation that part of your body is no longer with you, your baby.

Any separation in life can cause us extreme sadness, but this separation is different. Your baby was growing inside of you, a part of you for nine months, and your sole responsibility that you protected and nurtured, where a spiritual connection was made. Now your baby is an independent life, plus grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends are handling your baby. Of course this is expected and what happens in our society, but that doesn’t prepare you for the feelings that you have.

Anger and possessiveness provoke emotions that are very difficult to vent. When you are in it, it becomes impossible to comprehend because at that moment nothing matters, it is as if everything has been lost.

Ultimately this process is just another natural transformation in the long line of events that took place during pregnancy and birth and must be understood as a natural process. 

It is advisable that before birth individuals put all the above into perspective and develop an understanding about this process, it will certainly ease the burden of suffering and will make this period easier to digest and cope with.

Depression Series #4: Moderate to severe depression

May 4, 2010

The next level of depression takes us deeper into the unconscious mind and is usually due to our discontentment with the status quo.

 Some depressions can become more serious. We develop an addictive pattern that makes us journey to the same place, churning the same thoughts over and over again.  This behaviour can become as severe and as deep as our emotions dictate. The deeper the imagination the deeper the depression becomes.

 There is another very important element to these kinds of depressions, which relate to the mind.  The mind stores the past up to date, which holds our instinct and makes life possible. Routinely we will enter into the mind and journey, but when we become involved in our emotions it becomes extremely difficult to detach.

 Although we are aware that we cannot resolve the past, we develop this desperate urge to keep trying. We go aimlessly searching without a serious objective, just repeating the same.

This form of addiction can easily manifest as we are always in need of emotional explosions and reactions, by magnifying and manifesting events of the past, every thought fuels our addiction. We become alienated, we will feel that none of our present life makes any sense, as if ones sanity is being lost and there is no way out.

 Like a revolving door we can get off at any moment that we choose, but regardless, we keep on going on the same cycle continuing the ride.

Of course in this situation we do not think about what we are doing to the physical self, nevertheless we will notice and complain about minor discomforts such as stomach ache and back pain. 

When a situation becomes deeply embedded it naturally alters our behaviour.  To release our sadness or anger we traumatise the self as a form of self-punishment.  This affects our health and it is through our beliefs that we allow it to spread.

Naturally with all these forms of behaviour we can trigger or initiate an altered state, which on the long term can manifest into some form of condition or another.

All of this is preventable.

 It is extremely important that when we journey into the mind that we make use of the situation and try to learn and understand the way in which our mind is working.

 Always make the effort to question whether your thoughts are imaginary, unreachable, or unrealistic.  Always look at your imagination, what is it creating? Where is it taking you? And why?

 Wait for the answers. In time you will differentiate whether your thoughts are mental processes or based only on emotion.

Excercise your anxiety or depression away

April 30, 2010

So we are nearing the weekend. The time when you might be tempted to overindulge – maybe get that takeaway on Friday night, or just sleep in until really late on Sunday. But if you suffer from anxiety, you might want to consider doing something a little more active in your weekend.

 You see exercise can be a really good way to combat anxiety and depression, and many other trials of life, and is something we really recommend at the Mind Clinic.

According to this article, last year the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) published its guidelines on the treatment and management of depression in adults – and recommended exercise. Nice examined research on treating depression with everything from water aerobics and ballroom dancing to running and walking. The conclusion was that an exercise regime of about 45 minutes to 1 hour, two to three times a week, has a beneficial effect and could be considered a good alternative to antidepressants.

So exercise is a good way to combat anxiety without the use of drugs, which is something we would really encourage at the Mind Clinic. With exercise, you can use the power of your mind to understand and harness any negative feelings.

But this doesn’t mean that you need to slave away at the gym. It is about getting active, and even a little bit of exercise, going out for a walk for example, as often as you can, can really help. There are also other things that you could consider such as the ‘green gym’. This ‘gym’ involves tutored groups taking part in nature conservation work such as pruning, planting and coppicing.  

The good thing is that excercising in this way is not just a short term fix either. Data pooled from many small studies suggest that in people diagnosed with depression or anxiety, the immediate mood boost is followed by longer-term relief.

Yoga is another exercise that can work particularly well. Yoga can help you to achieve physical fitness as well as mental wellness. Since ancient times, yoga has played a significant role in achieving better mind, body and soul.

 So next time you experience any negative feelings, it might be worth thinking about what you could do to get more active.

Depression Series #3: Environmental Depression

April 29, 2010

Tackling the needs and demands and competitiveness that we encounter from others and all that surrounds us requires an understanding about our self, who we are, how we think, how we feel, our responses and our reactions. 

Our feelings can become easily magnified by the influence of our environment.

Any depression will lead us into depressive patterns of thought. Our mind easily becomes vulnerable, extracting every memory that has been depressive or affective at any point in our life and feeds them to our conscious thoughts.

Certain sounds, colours, words or scenarios can easily trigger depressive thoughts and memories.

 These depressions are simply overcome by identifying and exploring the mechanism that lead to these forms of depressions.  One must not allow the clutter of thought to become attached to a chain of depressive memories.

It is important that we understand this aspect of our life, without becoming paranoid about our environment.  Rather adapting to the environment and complying with all its needs and demands.

 Our mind holds all the answers and is open during times of depression to provide us with solutions.

Another form of depression is due to a chemical imbalance due to a lack of vitamins and minerals.  Our body continually absorbs pollutants daily from today’s modern environment, which in turn destroys the natural state of our being, sending it out of balance. 

This inflicts onto our thoughts by creating a motionless state of a part, or the whole of our physical being, creating confusion between the mind and the body. 

Failing to identify this imbalance within our system and not supplementing it with what we intuitively and physically feel we are lacking, the suffering of the unknown will grow and strengthen. 

As we cannot recognise what is taking place the pain becomes more severe, causing total chaos in our thought processes, leading to darkness and trauma.

Only our mind is able to analyse and guide us into finding the correct foods and/or supplements to restore our physical wellbeing.

Question your mind and listen to your intuitions.  Do not allow intrusions or suggestions from others to dictate your own belief of the truth.  You will reach the right conclusion.  This will become apparent once the attention to your self is achieved.

How to deal with work depression

April 19, 2010

Read this interesting article about dealing with work depression, and I thought I would share some of it with you.

The word ‘depression’ especially when associated with work is often considered something of a taboo subject – you don’t even want to admit to being depressed in case it impacts on your future job prospects.

Here are some suggested techniques to manage that depression about your work:

  • Consider if you really need to leave your job, without a new job to go to, or whether you can use the power of your mind and the hints below to overcome your depression. Why? Not working may add to your depression because of the acute anxiety you feel when you think about how you are going to pay off your next phone, electric, and mortgage bill without a regular salary.
  • Relaxation techniques? When you feel yourself getting stressed at work, or the amount of work you have left to do threatens to overwhelm you, make sure you relax your shoulders to relieve some of that tension. Take deep breaths: counting to four as you inhale and to four again as you exhale.
  • Commit to some time (at the very least the weekends) where you don’t check your emails. In a recent survey commissioned by Support.com 40 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds said they couldn’t cope without their cell phone, yet the same students reported less stress when they stopped using them for three days.
  •  Consider making your office environment, whether it is at home or in the office, a nicer place  to work. If at all possible, it is important to have access to natural light. You could also try putting a nice plant on your desk, or some personal photos (a recent study says that looking at pictures of loved ones reduced pain).  And I know it is easier said than done, but keeping your desk clean and tidy will really help too
  • Make sure you take holidays from work. Now that is a good recommendation! And it doesn’t mean you need to take expensive holidays abroad, you can even just stay at home and enjoy pottering in the garden or going for walks in the countryside. The important thing is to have that break from work. Vacations protect us from job burnout. Often times we emerge from a break with a new perspective that can help us navigate through the maze of impending deadlines. At the Mind Clinic, we can help you use the power of your mind, your own willpower, to overcome depression. Here at the Mind Clinic we say, you should not feel worried or guilty for feeling depressed about work. Depression is a normal cycle in human nature.

     Rather than worry about the label ‘depression at work’ you should understand it. We teach about depression through a combination of guidance and counselling. Unlike what it is perceived to be, depression is not a mental illness. Depression is a situation where balance needs to be restored to your emotions.

     So we would say that if you are feeling depressed at work, the first thing is to understand what your depression is, and why you are feeling it. Then you can use the power of your mind, and the steps above, to overcome it.

Depression Series #2: Daily minor depressions

April 19, 2010

Unfortunately, due to our fears and lack of understanding, we have misinterpreted a natural process and instead created a widespread labelled disorder.

Depression is an important part of our life that allows us to think.

All forms of depression are triggered by our emotions.  During this process we will find that when there is a feeling of incompleteness in the things that we do, the expectations of our self become enhanced. 

One of two things will happen in this instance, we will react either positively or negatively.  We will either make a greater effort to achieve what is needed to satisfy us, or we will find the process too overwhelming and enter into a dark and silent place.

Ultimately whatever takes place, we will remain in either situation until a new event or distraction takes place to shift our mood. Both examples are extremely common, which each and every one of us will go through on a daily basis.

When positive we are happy and contented. When negative we are miserable and discontented which we class as a depression. Yet, we must not have fears about these feelings. On the contrary, we must look at them objectively and try and benefit from every aspect of this process.

We must learn to welcome these negative feelings, as these are the building blocks of our creativity and imagination in all that we do, be it in our personal, occasional or social life.

We exist as part of a natural process. As in all cases, this communication is an extremely important part of our existence. All aspects of nature influence us and affect our emotions, which in turn provokes the mind to create a reaction.

This is a natural reoccurring process, a constant cycle that will appear either positively or negatively. After darkness there comes light. After light there comes darkness again.

We must remember to use our creativity to teach us about our self to reveal any hidden talents and memory relating to our own personal life and journey.

Other forms of depression that interfere constantly in our daily lives relate to discontentment.  All experiences in our life have left their mark in our memory. 

When discontented, we become preoccupied with our past experiences.

 When we become involved with the past it becomes a preoccupation that detaches us from our life and takes us into a depressive state, as if we cease to exist. 

This kind of depression can cause deeper difficulties.  We dwell on one thought and repeat the same thought over and over again, where it becomes a habitual behaviour. Usually these thoughts relate to difficulties or emotional traumas.

This process continues and if not addressed can affect our sleep. Just before entering sleep there maybe two or three thoughts that ignite, they revolve in a cycle, constantly repeating. The thought does not go any further but other resembling thoughts ensue, where our mind goes off in a tangent, where we never reach a conclusion.

All this relates to our lack of understanding about these kinds of thought processes. 

When there is a thought that goes into a repetitive mode, make it an objective to question, to come up with a resolution relating to the issue at hand, not just by looking at the repetitive event, but just understanding a reason or a purpose for it. This is where the mind enters into another area of analysis and calculation.

As you instruct your mind for an answer and command a resolution, you will discover that your depressions become more objective and produce better results. Situations push themselves through the mind to try and open a natural wisdom, which in turn help us reach these decisions and conclusions.

This is when we are in a position to begin to change a habit.  Of course, as with any new method it requires practice, and time and patience. However, once you become mindful that you need to know and you need to achieve you make a commitment to yourself and become determined to reach your objectives.

Our mind does not punish us, nor does it create these events to give us a traumatic time. Our mind does not play tricks or games.  Our mind helps us live naturally.  The mind works and teaches us how to deal with our emotions and minimise any discomfort or uncertainty.

Our mind is under our control and our communication. Our mind must be unemotional and unconditional, so we can understand. Then we are in a position to change any form of habit into a more productive and constructive behaviour.

The Baby Blues

March 26, 2010

I don’t really like the term ‘baby blues’ because it seems like a very trivial term for a very important issue  – that of postnatal depression.

It is a very common condition, which both Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow battled with. In fact, it is a term that is often banded about, but what exactly is it?

Well, according to this blogAngelina Jolie was on the verge of postnatal depression after the birth of her twins, Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon, in September 2008.

Common symptoms of PND include sadness, anxiety, lethargy, mood swings, tearfulness, and problems eating and sleeping. It is thought that as many as 80% of women experience PND in some form or another following pregnancy.

 In 2006, Gwyneth Paltrow suffered from PND after giving birth to her second child, Moses. This was not the first time Gwyneth suffered from depression. In 2002, her terminally ill father passed away, and she experienced guilt at not having done enough for her father while he was sick.

This brings me onto a wider issue about dealing with depression –  according to a BBC news article, GPs are calling for better treatment for depression sufferers.

65% of doctors say they can “rarely” offer psychological therapy to depression sufferers within two months of referral. The survey is part of a campaign by mental health charity Mind calling for better access to therapies.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends talking therapies to help with mild and moderate depression.

 Mind’s campaign challenges all political parties to make a guarantee in their election manifestos, to offer evidence-based therapies to all those who need them within 28 days of requesting referral.  Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said talking therapies could save lives, and it was crucial that people who needed help received it as quickly as possible.

 The programme director for Wellbeing at the London School of Economics, Professor Lord Layard, who is spearheading the campaign, has stressed the economic case for depression therapy, suggesting that successful therapy can help many people return to the workplace.

 So what do we think here at the Mind Clinic? Well, we support the need for faster counselling for depression and believe that these alternative therapies should be available on the NHS. However, we do not consider depression a mental health issue.  We believe that the most important therapy is understanding depression, and understanding yourself, and that this produces far greater benefits than accepting current perceptions about depression. At the Mind Clinic, we believe that depression is an important part of human nature.  A depression marks the end of a specific cycle in our life and the beginning of a new cycle that is waiting to arrive.

 What do we do about depression? At the Mind Clinic,  we teach through guidance and counselling how to consider depression useful rather than destructive. It is all about helping you to help yourself by understanding better your emotions. As every one of us is unique, every depression is unique but the mechanics of any depression are the same. If medication is being used, we work on a medication reduction programme (in conjunction with medical care).

So at the Mind Clinic we do support this campaign, so people receive therapies more quickly, for any kind of depression, from PND to post traumatic stress disorder. The most important thing though is to gain an understanding of your depression, and therefore regain your sense of wellbeing.