Depression and counselling
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred), UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor
7th August, 20130 Comments
A black cloud that hangs over your head, depression can drown out all other things in your life. It seems to dominate your thinking, often keeping people from living their lives. Many find that depression goes hand in hand with anxiety. Tackling both can make a huge difference to your life. There are now many effective treatments for depression and anxiety.
Normally your GP will be the first step in your recovery, being honest and open about how you have been feeling will enable you to get the right help. Your doctor has a range of options they might suggest, including medication and counselling.
Counselling has been shown to work well for depression. Some of the key things that counselling offers is a safe space where you won’t be judged and you will be allowed to work through how you are feeling. This may include looking at your relationships and perhaps changing or improving them to provide better support. Often we take on too much and counselling can help us to set boundaries. While still offering others a connection it will give you the ability to say no if they are likely to cause problems either through stress or anxiety.
It can take time to deal with all of the issues in your life so a good counsellor will seek to empower you. If you have the tools to deal with life’s problems and issues and are able to use them, you are in a better position to tackle them in a way that perhaps would have brought on anxiety and depression in the past. In practical terms a good counsellor is not just seeking to fix the problem now but to empower you for the future.
In addition to the treatments that health care professionals offer there are other practical steps that you can take to make a difference.
One of the key things is not to cut yourself off. Depression often tempts us to hide from the world, throw the duvet over our head and wait for the world to go away. Yet loneliness can have a very negative effect feeding that part of you that feels no one cares. Friends and family can provide an important safety net and a boost on the black days.
Exercise can lift your mood and indeed give you some space to think about what is happening to you. A walk in the park, building it up to 3 times a week will work just as well as going to the gym.
Take care of yourself, avoid things like alcohol and drugs and include things like eating healthily and relaxing in a bath. The point is to reward and be kind to yourself as you fight this condition.
Finally, realise that many people every year fight and beat depression so you are not alone, and there is lots of help and treatment that can really make a difference to you. If you can take the first step you can change things, as Martin Luther King said, “take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”.
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