Depression: a chemical inbalance? an illness? or a reaction to difficult life events?

Contrary to popular belief depression isn’t caused by a chemical in-balance in your brain and it’s not a biological illness inherited through the genes. It’s simply our reaction to difficult life events and using a solution-focussed approach you can start to look forward and take back control of your life.

How I treat Depression

I can give you fast effective help to break the cycle of depression, alleviate your symptoms and feel good. People usually find improvements starting from the very first counselling session. I will help you to deal with your negative thoughts and to learn to recognise and change unhelpful thinking patterns. I can give you a whole toolbox of things that you can use yourself such as mindfulness and breathing exercises. I can help you to overcome whatever difficulties are preventing you from getting your emotional needs met and also to find ways to bring more meaning and purpose into your life. I can help you to take back control and to look forward with hope. My approach to helping you is solution focused and based on up-to-date research and modern understanding of the mind-body connection. It is future oriented and strengthens neuronal connections in the brain associated with feeling good because therapies which involve dwelling on and digging up the past, have been shown to make depression worse because they strengthen the neuronal connections involved in misery and negative thinking.

What is Depression?

First of all, it’s really important to understand that it’s an emotion, not a disease. Much of the depressed feeling is the effect of having no control, feeling utterly helpless and disillusioned with life, that nothing you do is going to make anything any better.

A large body of evidence, published over the last three decades, shows that most depression is learned, brought about by the way we have learned to interact with our environment. It is not caused as a result of the specific events we experience — the majority of people exposed to adverse life events do not develop depression — but by the way we have learned to respond to them. People with depression believe (wrongly) that they don’t have the power to change their life.

Many people who are depressed feel as if they are stuck in a dark and lonely place. They dread going to bed to because they know that they will be tossing and turning. When they do drop off they wake up in the early hours of the morning with worries going round and round their heads. Not surprisingly in the morning they wake up completely exhausted, with no energy or motivation. They feel like their problems are overwhelming them and that there is no possible solution. Often people find they get no pleasure from anything, even activities they used to really enjoy. It may seem to others that they are deflated and flat, but in actual fact they have raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which means that they are in a constant emotional state which makes it difficult to think rationally, which in turn makes it difficult to concentrate well and even make simple decisions. It also makes it difficult to think clearly and see ways of improving their situation.  Some have repeated thoughts about suicide – it seems to be the only way out of their awful situation.

It’s very important to realise that there is a way out – and that things can start to look brighter very quickly, you just might need a bit of help to get started.

For more information on my depression counselling Cork services click here.

For more information, read the following articles: Beat depression fast, grief and recovery, depression and negative bias, shame and recovery.