Depression and sadness

We are bio-chemical entities.  We have brains constructed of organic matter. It is biochemistry that runs organisms. So like it or not, to get a handle on depression you need to optimise your brain chemistry.  Exercise influences ‘anti-depressive’ brain chemistry as does choosing ‘glass half full’ thoughts over ‘glass half empty’ ones.  A good night’s sleep regulates and optimises brain chemistry as well.

Traumatic incidents or long running stress can trigger brain chemistry imbalances as can genetic inheritance.  It is important to have a mentor, coach or counsellor that you can ‘tell all’ to to maximise your efforts to find balance in your biochemistry and mastery in your thinking and so develop a robustness in dealing with future depressive incidents, if and when they re-occur.

A skilled counsellor can develop a rewarding and productive relationship with you where you discover how to optimise and up-skill your inner resources in relation to responding to the experience of depression.  Counselling will assist you to understand where and how your depression arises and what realistically you can do about it.

Some individual’s depression is primarily related to their patterns of thought or their assumptions or beliefs about their lives. eg “I will always be a lonely ugly loser” is not just a whinge or letting off steam.  If repeated like a mantra it creates a fixed notion of things and a narrow lens with which you would see the world. It is like a powerful curse that you cast on yourself. Fixed negative assumptions tend to create fixed negative mood and outlook, whether or not the depressive biochemistry kicks in.  Fixed outlook creates a selective perception and you begin to see evidence supporting your negative belief(s) everywhere you turn and every place you go.

Counselling, over time, can provide a reality check on long-running ‘negative rants’ that dominate your thinking and therefore your perception and mood.  A skilled counsellor can assist you to see unhelpful patterns of thinking without you feeling threatened or judged by another.  It is the constancy of compassion and attention that the counsellor can offer over time that will allow you an opportunity to trust them them deeply enough to openly assess the quality and factuality of your thinking.  To allow you to make the connection between how you feel and what you’ve been ‘running’ in thought and how you have been behaving.

I don’t do counselling for depression any justice in this brief introduction to the topic.  Hopefully, you will get a sense of some of my public perspectives on the topic anyhow.

With depression in particular, (as with any counselling on most issues), there needs to be a positive chemistry, a compatibility of sorts between counsellor and the person. I recommend speaking on the phone or corresponding via email to at least three counsellors to get a feel as to whether they are right for you.  I also recommend not persisting in counselling with a counsellor that makes you uncomfortable, inferior or you plain dislike.  Not all counsellors were created equal, as they say, and counsellors, like friends, should be thoughtfully chosen.