Have you ever felt depressed? What did it feel like to you? Perhaps it felt like despair, emptiness or a sense of hopelessness and isolation?
When you are depressed, the gap between feeling depressed and feeling happy can seem like a void so wide that it may feel impossible to believe there is a way out.
When it comes to depression many people say that, despite their best intentions, friends and family can’t understand why you feel this way, unless they too have experienced depression.
To people who have never experienced depression they may think that the solution to the problem is to get out and about, go for a walk or take medication. While this well meaning advice can go someway to focusing your mind, it’s not going to tackle the root of why you become depressed in the first place.
The road to depression can be a slow one. What started as a low mood and a general lethargy for life can lead to feeling that you are unable to cope, feeling overwhelmed and completely lost.
What causes depression?
Sometimes there may be no obvious reason as to why you feel depressed. Depression isn’t primarily events based. It can be a culmination of little things that build up over time and after a while became too much to cope with.
If you are reading this and experiencing depression you also have likely noticed how that inner dialogue – the voice in your head – has become a lot more negative.
The thoughts you think have a huge impact on the way you feel so when the 90,000 or so thoughts going around your head are less than helpful, the effect this has on your energy levels is palpable.
That can in turn make you feel like all you want to do is sleep. However no matter how long you sleep, you never feel refreshed and it can seem a vicious cycle to break.
How Sally found light at the end of the tunnel
This is how Sally* felt when she came to see me. Having gone though a relationship breakup Sally had left her job and taken some time out to travel for a few months. Sally came back to the UK feeling positive and ready to start ‘afresh’.
She got herself a new flat to live in and a new job. Normally a very confident and upbeat woman, Sally found herself feeling very vulnerable. Now that she was on her own again after 6 years of being with someone, she had lots of time on her hands to fill. Sally’s friends were in the main married and with children and she found it hard to cope with weekends alone that seemed to last forever.
When Sally got home from work, she shut her front door and knew that was it for the evening and that she was on her own. Sally wasn’t averse to her own company, but spending every night in on her own was too much to bear. She knew she could have gone and joined different groups or taken up yoga or something to get her out the house, but she felt she lacked the motivation to do this.
It felt to Sally that she was locked in a vicious cycle she couldn’t break out of. She knew she needed to do something to fill her time, but couldn’t find the energy or confidence to do anything about it. Sally found herself drinking more at home, which made her feel more tired and listless the next day. The longer this continued the more tearful she became and started seeing everything in her life as useless.
Luckily for Sally a friend of hers suggested coming to see me. Sally knew she needed help but struggled to identify what help she needed and would never have considered using hypnotherapy before to help her in this way.
Sally told me that she felt a huge sense of relief after the first session simply by acknowledging out loud the way she was feeling. During the session I discovered her love of running outside and suggested this could be a milestone for her to work towards to start running again. By utilising Sallys resources and past achievements I led her into a deep hypnotic trance to calm down her mind and remind her unconsciously of what she had achieved, allowing her to regain a feeling of hope.
During the sessions that followed I watched as Sally started to blossom again. Taking the first step to see me, Sally felt that she had taken control of her life and the way she felt. She felt as though there was someone out there that not only understood how she felt, but had her back. We worked on getting her basic needs better met, made changes to her diet to stabilise her blood sugar levels, gave her tasks to do in-between sessions and showed her techniques to use on herself anytime she needed a boost.
After a few sessions Sally found the courage to sign up to do her first marathon, something she had never done before. Training for the marathon gave Sally a sense of purpose and something positive in her life to focus on. Running regularly also gave her body what it needed to feel better, stopped her reliance on alcohol and gave her ‘head space’. Within a few months Sally was not only back to her old self, but felt she was a new and improved version of herself.
How you can find your way back to happiness
Sally is one of hundreds of people I have worked with to overcome feeling depressed. There is light at the end of the tunnel, even it seems too far away to see. Make the first step to taking back control of your life and book a consultation today.
Sara Maude is an Edinburgh Hypnotherapist, Solution-Focused Psychotherapist, EFT Practitioner, Transformational Coach and International Wellbeing Trainer providing in-person and online sessions. Sara provides problem-free therapy which goes deep into the heart of the unconscious mind to create powerful lasting change.