Could Depression simply be Despair and Hopelessness ???

When I look back on my life and remember the events that preceded the four times I experienced depression, Each time involved circumstances that I now realise led straight to despair and feelings of hopelessness. During my time running my group I would say at least 80% of the people I met were definitely fitting very well into this category too.

Interestingly and what I believe is important in relation to depression is the fact that the oldest parts of our brains contain an INVOLUNTARY response known as tonic immobility, better known as Playing Dead. This adaptation is known to be present in all creatures with a broadly developed nevus system and has come into being as a last ditch attempt at keeping us alive when all else has failed during an attack by a predator.

Beyond your control your heart will slow, your body temperature will drop and your subconscious will do all it can to make you appear died. Considering this I was not surprised to regularly hear people talking about not being able to work, to get out of bed for days and not washing. I can also remember my mother having great difficulty even replying to my simple questions.

Therefore could depression simply be the result of our modern more developed but despairing brain with its ability to imagine and anticipate the future literally tricking our older more primitive nervous system into responding accordingly??

Think about it, if we can get our genitals, our tear ducts, salivary glands and our ability to sleep to respond just by using our more advanced executive abilities to influence our older more primitive functions why not the functions related to danger. For example, if I were to talk at length about ant’s or flea’s crawling about all over you its most likely going to make you itch.

In harmony with this subject I was on a long haul flight sometime ago suffering from the affects of waking up too soon in order to get to the airport on time, I had a runny nose and feeling slightly nauseous. After a while I decided to watch a film and chose yes man staring Jim Carrey. Soon I was beginning to get drawn in to the film and forgetting the fact that I was on a plane and feeling bad until suddenly with great surprise I realised that my nose had completely stopped running, I no longer felt sick and instead I was laughing and totally not concerned about anything bothering me at all.  As soon as the film ended and I was once again deeply immersed in my true reality all my symptoms slowly returned.

So Although this information may not help you with the conditions that contribute to your feelings of helplessness and despair at least I feel it may give you a greater reason to at least try not to dwell too much on those bad old thoughts of yours that are most likely going nowhere except influencing your subconscious to make everything so much worse.

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My favourite therapy for depression

Originally pioneered during the 1960’s and 1970’s, parts therapy has evolved throughout the years into a very effective technique with many applications from depression, anxiety, weight loss, decision making to even being more focused at school also some physical problems too.
Many experts refer to a mosaic when explaining the workings of the mind, in that just as a mosaic is composed of many very different individual parts so also is our own mind made up of many parts all with their own individual duties, requirements and points of view all leading to more than one opinion and option open to us for dealing with our every day trials. Therefore exactly because of these amazing difference’s within all of us, inner conflict can be a problem. The smoker wants to give up and the over weight person wants to eat sensibly but on the other hand the smoker at the same time also wants to smoke and the eater still wants to over eat.
Parts therapy therefore is a powerful way of finally resolving inner conflict permanently, restoring clarity and direction back to our thought processes and in turn into our lives.
So fare I have found this way of working (sometimes combined with regression/progression techniques) a very affective way of helping people with many conditions of the mind and the way I use it to help with depression is to find that part of a person that still has not given up hope then look for ways to free that part up from the restrictions imposed upon it by other parts who for reasons only known to themselves are holding it back. Therefore once hope is once again restored to the mind those mechanisms associated with stress can then relax and in turn depression can lift.

Any questions please feel free to contact me at any time.

Graham.

Depression, Important Observation.

Not long after I started running the Depression Alliance meetings in Hove (England) it soon became obvious to me that negative early childhood experiences somehow had some part to play in why those present were suffering as they were. I would say about 80% of the people I see at the group had stories of inadequate, abusive-parental or sibling treatment and the other  20% very often refer to bullying or feelings of inferiority later during their development. Interestingly many admit to having a parent or two who also suffer but this is another issue I may tackle some other time.

In my case my mother was severely depressed and attempted suicide several times before I was born and after, resulting in my inability to attach to a secure caregiver/mother which I now understand had a massive negative influence on my attitude to life and in consequence my neural development, literally altering my neural architecture in order to be better equipped for the very real dangers of being a baby with a frightening high potential for dying from abandonment or even physical abuse etc. Also as I grew up my father had very strict religious standards and died when I was 7 so I had to bring myself up without any support or sympathy from my (as a result) even more depressed mother or even anyone else.

This is why I am recommending these few interesting links to all who may be interested in helping themselves. Even though on the face of it they may not directly be covering the subject of depression I feel the subject of developmental trauma is very important, purely due to the sheer number of stories I have heard over the years (plus my own) that seem to suggest that childhood neglect/trauma, even hospitalisation may be at the root of depression.

living in this hectic troublesome world with a nervous system that has never had a chance to learn how to calm itself down certainly does have a big part to play in the development of depression as research into child development certainly seem to be backing up what I am fast becoming convinced is the main reason why I have had such a struggle during my life. So if you are suffering now, make the time to follow this LINK and THIS ONE as I feel it could shed some much-needed light on the possible real reason why you are feeling the way you are. One more good LINK to watch on this subject. Would be interested in your thoughts please.

Believe in hope

Sometimes it is so easy to not see the wood for the trees or you could say “the massive elephant in the room” I say this because this Blog is a good example of this maddening situation.

Over the years I have watched and listened very intently to all those I have met down through the years, considering many interesting concepts and possibilities as to why so many people become depressed and suicidal or even end up living on drugs for the rest of their lives.
After looking at all the possibilities from many different angles (year after year) and listening to many other experts who are also searching intently for the same elusive answers I finally, after all this time realised the obvious, I now finally turned my attention to that massive elephant in the room that I saw so many times but never considered it to be the cause of the problem, rather I always assumed it to be a symptom rather than a cause.

The ubiquitous belief those suffering with depression have that there is absolutely no hope for the future is something I have been aware of from the beginning of my search for answers but never did it ever register in my mind that this very belief could be the actual culprit. Beliefs are the most powerful things in our minds, therefore actually believing that you will never be truly happy ever again will have a major effect on the whole functioning of your mind. Believing is believing.

I knew about those in the Nazi concentration camps and how many were said to display behaviour and thinking that is now accepted as depressive but it still didn’t click. These people were not mentally ill, just convinced they had no future.

So I am of the opinion that if you are suffering with depression it most likely will be because you have arrived at this terrible same conclusion and convinced yourself so well that this is the truth.
Because of this it is my opinion that the reason why so many sufferers attempt to take their lives is in order to hopefully escape the terrible future they foresee for themselves.

However I must add here that as a hypnotherapist with a long history of this condition I know it is always possible to find somewhere in a person’s mind a small part that still wants to go on and try.

Therefore I see myself as a therapist with the knowhow to mediate between the parts of the mind in order to arrive at a compromise or even bring back hope where no hope previously existed. So there is real hope inside each one of us even though we may not be aware of it.

Once you can convince yourself that there could be a day when you finally see a better future, then you really will have depression by the neck with both hands.
So please give this one some thought or see a good Hypnotherapist who understands Parts therapy and finally get in touch with the potential in you.
Thanks
G

Depressed People help each other.

It has often been said during the peer support meetings I facilitate that you wouldn’t talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself; So after a long time it has finally dawned on me a week or so ago that this is why these groups are so helpful to those suffering with depression. The meetings literally benefit greatly from this very fact.

For instance, when listening to the stories and problems of strangers, we often find ourselves almost instinctively responding in a kind and considerate way, even though we may even recognize the same or similar situations or states present in our own lives or selves. Therefore it is very difficult to respond to others in the same way we have become accustomed to dealing with ourselves. We are not likely to turn round and shoot them down for every little mistake they may have made. We’re not likely to express our hatred for them because of their physical state, what they may have said etc. Instead those who attend my meetings always tend to be so thoughtful, understanding and up-building towards each other, therefore in consequence and amazingly, unbeknown to themselves they actually learn from this new experience of thinking positively or even lovingly towards other people and end up taking away from the meetings a much kinder, patient and more considerate attitude towards their very own selves in the process.
So helping others it seems by kindness and genuinely having a feeling of good will towards others in the same situation as you actually helps you to see the good in yourself. Helping you with your depression as it feeds off of low self esteem and a lake of kindness towards yourself.
My next article will be about the importance of feeling supported or you could say being in danger.
Thanks G.

Anger and Depression

One of the first things I remember learning about depression when I began my search for answers, was that it is widely accepted by most respected psychiatrists that depression is the result of repressed anger or as they say ‘anger turned inward. However, at the time I found this hard to believe because when ever I had a good look at myself, I could not see any real evidence of anger plying any part in my life at all.
Shore I could remember getting irritated in the supermarket and the post office, on the roads n at work, at home, with myself, with the weather and even the cat, but as far as I was concerned, I was a mild-tempered person with an exceptional ability to think rationally.
After years of research and subsequent psychological work on myself, I slowly began to pick up subtle clues that finally gave me the wake up call I needed, I then realized *finally* that anger did indeed play a very big part in my life. Stupidly I never even realized this because I was always unconsciously repressing it and never allowing it to rise to the surface and do what nature had intended it to do, which was to motivate me into assertive action against whatever was standing in my way. I now realize that whenever I got provoked or felt threatened I always held it at bay and foolishly pushed it back down where it had come from. Now I can see quite clearly that this was due to me no longer having the self-confidence or self-esteem necessary to do anything about the things that angered or seriously concerned me, I simply became resigned to defeat, being helpless and giving in to other people’s demands. I was spineless. I was seriously vulnerable and at the mercy of any predator or abuser that came my way. I had no way of defending myself against this uncaring, selfish, hostile, money grabbing world I felt was all around me. I never believed in myself enough to confidently take action against anyone or anything. I always thought I would come out of a conflict much worse off than I was in the first place, or I would be simply fobbed off as a nuisance and someone of no consequence or perhaps I was over reacting and wrong to be angry in the first place.
This I realized was also the case with so many other depression sufferers I had met over the years, who had become programmed to be apathetic and helpless due to their bad abusive upbringing or being bullied at school or work (being at the mercy of powers beyond their control). Now I think about it, it was just like struggling in murky shark infested waters, not knowing when the next monster would turn up and viciously tear in to me, without me being able to do a single thing about it.

Well you may be thinking that my shark analogy is a bit strong or possibly out of proportion. However, it is much more accurate than you may ever realize. This is because the parts of your brain that deal with danger or threat, are the same now as they have always been, in that they have not changed for thousands of years. As a result our modern-day dangers n threats are still treated in exactly the same way as our primitive dangers n threats from the long gone past, IE lions, sharks, bears n poisonous snakes. So whenever you receive, a massive bill in the post or get pulled over by the police etc. you will still get the very same response from your primitive subconscious mind as your ancient ancestors did when encountering a pack of wild dogs or a prowling lion. So receiving a big bill in the post, is still seen by our subconscious mind as a potential injury or even death due to a deadly wild animal.
Therefore, if you were being attacked by a pack of wolves, anger would play a very important part in your dealing with your terrible attacker. However in our present day, for instance dealing with litigation, being robbed, automated phone systems, traffic jams, long cues and so on, your anger simply cannot be used, neither can you run away and hide. So all that frustrated, volatile energy has nowhere to go. In most cases in our modern world, unresolved worrying issues can go on for months n months, even years.
As time passes our anger and fear slowly builds until suddenly you realize you are totally powerless and completely at the mercy of the powers that overwhelm you. Your anger is useless and your fear too. This then triggers another *involuntary*, primitive, subconscious response, creating all those unpleasant hopeless symptoms we now know as depression.
Once I finally understood this I began to realize just how vulnerable, threatened and helpless I felt. I knew I needed to act in some way to restore my self-respect and confidence and finally put to good use the natural motivating power of anger. Then I became aware of just how angry I really was deep down inside, and my anger was considerable, unsatisfied, and by being too timid, spineless and unsure of myself to take advantage of it, depression was my subconscious’ only option. I needed to finally slam my fist down in *defiance* and once and for all, learn how to defend myself and use my anger to finally get my own way and in turn lose those deeply depressing feelings of hopelessness, victimization and apathy for good.