Everyone feels a bit down now and then, especially when things are going wrong. Feeling miserable is a normal response to losing a loved one, a relationship or a job, for instance. But if these feelings persist for long periods of time, are particularly intense or don’t seem to have an obvious cause, they may indicate depression. Depression is my fourth largest client group (behind fatigue, pain and anxiety, though many people have all four). I see clients across the whole spectrum from feeling a bit flat to feeling suicidal, and I have seen some excellent (and very speedy) results.
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?
There is no one answer to this question. Some of my depressed clients are carrying a lifetime’s burden of trauma and sadness on their shoulders and they need help to release the past, in order to be happy in the present. Others have just got stuck in bad habits in their thinking patterns and body language that cause them to be stuck in a depression loop and they simply need to rewire these current patterns. Some are feeling disempowered by living in a current bad relationship or work setting and need to make some lifestyle changes. Resolving depression requires a tailored approach to suit each person’s situation.
Depression symptoms to watch out for are
- constantly feeling down or hopeless
- having little interest or pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy
- irritability or restlessness
- feeling tired all the time
- feelings of emptiness or loneliness
- no longer interested in favourite activities
- sleep problems – too much, or too little
- weight loss or gain
- low self-esteem
- problems with concentration
- reduced sex drive
- thinking about death a lot
If you recognize any or all of these signs, you should take action sooner rather than later. Depression is far easier to deal with before it gets serious.
How can Empower Therapies help?
I offer a course called The Switch which provides you with knowledge about how your mind and body work, which thinking and behaviour patterns you are doing that are exacerbating your low mood, which situations from your past might be causing your current depression feelings and which aspects of your lifestyle need to be changed to improve your wellbeing. For each of these categories, you learn techniques that you can use yourself to fix these patterns. I do not fix anybody – I teach you how to fix yourself. I have seen fantastic results forpeople who had spent many years on anti-depressant medication and still felt miserable most of the time. I recently ran into a client who had been depressed for years before she attended The Switch. She said that The Switch was the best three days of her whole life and had made it so easy for her to be happy now.
How can you help yourself?
In a fascinating study of 30 people diagnosed with clinical depression, 29 of them resolved their depression in just one month by doing just three things:
- a) Watch comedy for 30 minutes per day
- b) Exercise for 30 minutes per day
- c) Stick post-it notes all around their house and whenever they walked past one, they had to recall a happy memory from their life
While I realise this sounds too simple to be true, it has good science behind it.Laughing and exercise are both proven to change your brain chemistry.Recalling happy memories rewires your neural pathways into healthier patterns. It all makes sense why this very simple change can be very powerful.
People who are depressed slump forwards, look down a lot and talk with a flat voice. If you make an effort to straighten your shoulders, look up and talk with enthusiasm, you can also dramatically change your mood.
If these very simple interventions are not enough for you, that’s OK. We have a lot of far more comprehensive techniques and education available at The Switch that will allow you to make bigger transformations.
Disclaimer: We are not medically trained and therefore did not diagnose these clients ourselves. We rely on client information about their diagnosis from their health professionals and we recommend clients to return to their doctors after our treatment to confirm that they no longer have their condition and to be advised about safe weaning from their medication. We cannot guarantee results, as every individual is different, however, we have seen excellent results for the vast majority of our depression clients, and have followed them up for a year to confirm that they are maintaining their positive changes. Note –I taught The Lightning Process for 8 years and saw over 1200 clients through it, with excellent results. Now I teach The Switch instead, and I have been very excited by the results that they are achieving.