At some point in their lives, around one in 10 of us will experience the unhappiness and distress of living with depression regardless of gender or age. Thankfully, for the majority of sufferers, the symptoms are transitory and temporary, although for many they will become chronically recurrent or persistent.
Depression may have no obvious cause, or it can be triggered by a number of factors such as physical illness, bereavement, family problems or work or finance-related issues. Either way, if you are experiencing depression, your obvious and immediate goal will be to alleviate the troubling symptoms which accompany it. Typically these may include feelings of worthlessness or low self-esteem, persistent negative thoughts, constant worry, intense sadness or anxiety, hopelesness or inadequacy. Often depression also manifests physically - with a range of conditions from changes in sleeping and eating patterns to chronic fatigue and sexual and social dysfunction.
Although my initial approach will usually be to address these presenting symptoms swiftly and tactically with a range of cognitive tools including mindfulness, behavioural strategies, self-help suggestions and bodywork, as an existential practitioner, my longer-term goal will be to help you to gain a therapeutic insight into your illness and its triggers. To this end, once the acute presenting symptoms are effectively managed, I will work with you to uncover and explore the underlying reasons that have contributed to your depression, whie helping to gain a clearer understanding of what choices are open to you in order to change these feelings and learn to deal with them more effectively with a view to effecting a permanent improvement..