Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mental health condition marked by an overwhelming feeling of sadness, isolation and despair that affects how a person thinks, feels and functions.
The condition may significantly interfere with a person’s daily life and may prompt thoughts of suicide. Depression isn’t the same as sadness, loneliness or grief caused by a challenging life experience, such as the death of a loved one.
The causes of depression are not fully understood, most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can affect people of all ages, races and socioeconomic classes, and can strike at any time. The condition is found in twice as many women as men.
– J.K Rowling
Depression presents itself differently in each person. For some, depression feels like a deep, heavy sadness. Like a thick fog that slowly rolls in and envelops every part of them. It’s so hard to see a way out, and it blocks their vision of a positive future or even a tolerable present. Many find it necessary to understand what their thoughts and behaviours are like when they start to spiral downward. This helps them catch themselves before they hit the bottom.
As a Humanistic therapist my approach to psychotherapy focuses on people’s individual nature rather than categorizing groups of people with similar characteristics as having the same problems. Humanistic therapy looks at the whole person, not only from the therapist’s view but from the viewpoint of individuals observing their own behavior. The emphasis is on a person’s positive traits and behaviors, and the ability to use their personal instincts to find wisdom, growth, healing, and fulfillment within themselves.
I incorporate mindfulness, body relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques when working with depression, facilitating a calmer approach by observing your physical sensations and emotions. These act as a barometer for our health and well-being, learning the triggers leading to catastrophic thinking and other early warning signals of depression.
With practise, mindfulness can help you learn to see more clearly how your mind works and to recognise the signs of oncoming depression, such as catastrophic thinking, fatigue and low mood. This early detection can help nip depression in the bud before a full-blown depressive episode takes hold.
While evidence suggests mindfulness works to help prevent depression relapse, researchers don’t yet know how.
– Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson