Depression & Anxiety

Depression

When you feel down, sad or morose for an extended period of time, or when you realise that you’ve lost interest in having fun in life while people around you clearly do so, and when you have no apparent reason for those feelings you might suffer from some form of Depression.

 

This condition has a negative effect not just on our mind, but also on our body. Many people resort to drinking because alcohol is a sedative and offers momentary release in the form of elation. Unfortunately alcohol is a depressant (that’s why the next day, when we wake up we feeling worse than the day before) long term effects of this combination lead to more serious problems.

 

Physical symptoms are usually - heart racing, obsessive thinking (worrying loop), chest pains, hot and cold flushes and more. These conditions affect our cognitive thinking, our core belief system and self-esteem.

When we ask ourselves:

 

  • What is the point of going to work today?
  • Why are all these bad things happening to me?
  • What is the point of being alive?
  • Why doesn’t anyone care about me?

 

This is a very common condition today. The reasons vary, but most common is the lack of rest in our busy, overworked days. Not enough sleep, no relaxing activities (watching TV is not one of those …) lack of exercise and too much stress (at work and outside of work).

 

Our mind is not designed for working at speed of hundred miles an hour all the time.

 

Anxiety

Anxiety is mostly fear. Fear turns into worry, which creates an endless loop in our mind. There are two kinds of worry…

 

There is what we can call GOOD worry

Functions of everyday life ie. thinking of having enough petrol in the car, having enough money to pay the bills, being on time for work etc.

 

Then there is the BAD worry

It normally starts with the words ‘WHAT IF…’

 

This is mostly when we worry about unfounded fears, which are created in our mind, for which we can thank our imagination.

 

Only humans have this ability, to worry about things that may never happen.

 

In other words, No Imagination = No Worries. This is not to say that an imagination is bad but imagining disasters that may never happen is very harmful to our health.

 

The stress hormone called cortisol has long term, harmful effects on our mind and body (eg. hyperventilating, high blood pressure, irregular heart beat etc.). When this hormone gets released in large quantities to our limbic system, it creates fearfulness. The brain becomes over sensitized and it reads harmless signals as dangerous and potentially life threatening. It also disturbs the function of the frontal cortex which analyses everything around us and affects our judgment.

 

To deal with anxiety, I like to use psycho analytical methods as they are best when unconscious irrational motives, thoughts and beliefs need to be drawn the to the surface by using the Socratic dialogue approach . Only then, can we address the issues properly.