Depression and our Dreaming Brain
Tonight you will dream, even if you don’t remember doing so. Your brain will act out in story-like form the hopes, fears and reflections that occupied your mind today. Today’s concerns are tonight’s dreams. This extraordinary process refreshes our emotional brain, leaving it better prepared to deal with tomorrow’s stresses.
Today’s worries are tomorrow’s depression
The cycle of depression becomes established in the following manner. The process usually begins when a circumstance or event in the environment triggers an increase in worry. For example, the birth of a baby, loss of a job, changing circumstances like a new school or university, or overwhelming stress at work or home. You then spend a large amount of time focussing inwards on your problems. This leads to a huge increase in emotional arousal. When you sleep at night there is a massive increase in dreaming. The corresponding decrease in stage 4 sleep results in the exhaustion commonly associated with mornings. Now, you have little energy to actually do anything about the problems and spend another lonely and miserable day focussing inwardly again. This leads to a further increase in dreaming the next night and so the cycle continues. Depression is an added layer of misery often piled upon genuine challenges, further reducing your ability to cope with your difficulties.
How Human Givens therapy breaks the cycle of depression
The primary goal of Human Givens therapy is to get you off the worry circuit and help you become outwardly focused. Using guided use of the imagination and relaxation techniques the emotional arousal is reduced and through the employment of a host of therapeutic interventions, you are encouraged away from the negative ruminating and towards re-engaging with normal activities again. Very quickly, sometimes in as little as one session, your sleep pattern starts to return to normal and energy levels rise. With more energy, you find it progressively easier to become more outwardly focussed and to re-engage in life again as well as embracing new activities that better help to meet their needs.
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