Stop depression – 10 practical tips to lift depression
The key to resolving depression is to stop the over-dreaming caused by rumination about unresolved worries. The list below will help you stop the cycle of depression and put you on a path to feeling more relaxed. Imagine getting your motivation and spark back? Getting up in the morning with good energy and feeling rested from your nights sleep? Being able to focus and find interest and happy times doing the things you used to enjoy – want some of this? Then read on! The list is written for people helping people with depression but you can do a lot of this for yourself.
Therapeutic intervention must focus on resolving the worry – Therapy that encourages focus on bad feelings without resolution is toxic, as it places more strain on the already overburdened dreaming brain. It is key that any therapist works to reframe or resolve worry and introspection. Therapy should be practical, solution-focused and positively orientated, addressing the past only as much as it helps the person feel happier in the future.
Understand the cycle of depression – So you know that you aren’t stuck with the depression.
Get basic needs met – We all come to this world with a series of basic needs that need to be met in order to maintain emotional and physical health. Most people with depression don’t have many of their basic needs met. Helping them to do so not only helps to lift depression but also becomes an insurance against its return. Here are some of those basic needs we need to have a sense of:
- security and safety
- meaning and goals
- giving and receiving attention
Stabilise blood sugar - When a person is depressed, it is likely they will not eat well, causing a roller coaster effect of the amount of available energy. All food and drink is turned into glucose and if the levels become too high or low, adrenalin and insulin are released which can cause anxiety and lack of energy. Simple carbohydrates found in white bread and pasta, convert quickly to blood glucose and can cause roller coaster changes in mood and energy. Bringing in more protein with three meals a day and a couple of protein based snacks is one of the quickest ways to help someone feel more energised and calmer.
See the bigger picture and think in a more creative way - People with depression tend to think in an all or nothing – black and white way. Stress robs them of access to the higher functions of their brain, so logic, human empathy and seeing the bigger picture is hard. Using hypnosis and careful reframing can help a sufferer reach beyond their present outlook.
Check for the presence of post traumatic stress disorder - Always check for the presence of PTSD as symptoms of depression will not lift until that is resolved. And remember PTSD doesn’t have to be caused by an obvious trauma.
Connect a person to their resources - Uncover what has worked in the past and what is working now – rather than what isn’t. The negative trance focus of depression stops a person doing this for themselves.
Find different ways to relax - Teach self-hypnosis and breathing techniques like the seven eleven breathing technique (http://withinsightdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/711BreathingTips.pdf).
Stick with the basics - When you see someone who is very ill with depression, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the mass of negative details. A key to lifting depression for a therapist is to not get bogged down in the problem but work with the above to ensure the person can stop endless rumination, restore deep sleep, regain their energy and reconnect with their resources.
Create a picture of life without the problem - Use hypnosis and solution focused questioning to create and vividly imagine a future without the problems. This will help create expectation of positive change.
A full explanation of the basic needs, a diagram of the cycle of depression and the seven eleven breathing technique are available in pdf format from: http://www.within-sight.com/helpful-links/
These tips are designed to help depression but if you feel you are struggling, do seek further advice from a health practitioner/GP.
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About Jill Wootton
Jill's vast knowledge and experience over the years both as a trainer and therapist make her one of the UK's best. Jill set up her own company Within Sight Training in 2009 which delivers a leading edge, comprehensive Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Diploma course. Jill's also runs her own clinic for 1:1 sessions in Hove too.