DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Depression affects most of us at some time. In fact 1 in 5 older people, and 2 in 5 of older people living in care homes suffer depression. In my twenties and thirties I suffered badly on several occasions and in fact at one point was stunned to find that all of my close circle of friends were on Prozac or some similar medication. I was stunned because no one tells, no one says ‘hey I am suffering depression’ or ‘I have mental health issues’.
It’s quite the opposite, we all try to carry on as if everything were ‘normal’. whatever normal is, even though 8 -12 % of the UK in any given year will be affected and suicide is the most common cause of death in men under 35. Anxiety is also considered a mental health issue and around 5%
suffer with that and nearly 10% of people suffer anxiety and depression together. Anxiety is sorely under-reported, under-diagnosed and under-treated. I seem to remember I got quite agoraphobic during one of my bouts of depression, at one stage I suffered what can only be described as a ‘mental seizure’. I could hear people talking but it was like it was in slow motion and I found I could reply — in slow motion. Weird.
It affects all of us in different ways, some are symptoms are scarier than others. Equally scary for me was the reaction of another close friend who I actually did partially confide in, whose attitude was that there was no such thing as depression, ‘you just have to snap out of it’. I really did not want to hear that when the colour of the sky for me was black and very heavy. It is extremely difficult for anyone suffering depression to reach out, most days are black and vanish into a cyclone of weeks and months, with just the odd day here and there where the sun pokes it’s head above the horizon, only to be battered down by black rain clouds. Yet on those ‘good’ days, we realise that we do want to make ourselves feel better, we do want to stop feeling this way but how? Often by the time we had the semi positive thought to think about wanting to make ourselves better, the rain clouds descend again as if to confirm that we never can. That spell of sunlight was too brief to make any steps in the right direction.
Cognitive Therapy or CBT was not really around when I was suffering, these days doctors are much more likely to refer to a counselling service or a group by way of therapy. Whilst these work for some, many would prefer the option of online therapy, especially for those who either cannot get out or cannot string together enough ‘sunny’ moments to make an appointment with their counselor. Exercise was touted as the cure all and to some extent still is, but hopefully more doctors and therapists understand that it is not always practical for people with depression or anxiety to commit to regular exercise. Cognitive Therapy does work, and what is more it is a great therapy to undertake online. Most people seem to understand what is going to happen in a Cognitive Therapy session — it’s a verbal interaction between two people. During a therapy session for CBT, you can expect to talk a lot, and expect some interesting questions to be asked. Questions that could re-frame your old thought processes into new ones.
Cognitive Therapy and Hypnotherapy
CBT and Hypnotherapy work exceptionally well together. Using a combination of Cognitive Therapy and hypnotic process, the results are generally much faster, after all we are combining the power of your conscious mind and the sub conscious — the part of your mind that works on automatic pilot, just like breathing or your heart beating. During a clinical hypnosis session, you should also be asked a lot of questions, especially in the first session. In fact at least half of the first session is gathering an in depth history to enable the therapist to formulate a therapy plan. A plan may include a combination of CBT sessions and hypnosis either live or recorded for you to listen to at home or even both. It’s a completely natural process and success can be up to 96%