‘A pervasive dark mood that is excessively deep or continues for an unhealthily long period of time’
This has become a medical label, a set of symptoms to be 'treated' rather than understood as emotional problems. Prescribed medication can provide relief for many but this can compound the belief that there is something wrong with you that you cannot control. Therapy can help you take charge of your thoughts and moods.
Perhaps you feel an ongoing ‘melancholic state’, chronic unhappiness or experience episodes of intense depression. This may seem to come upon you ‘as if from nowhere’. This is often related to feelings of low-worth, as if we are unlovable. You may feel trapped in a bubble of unhappiness, a prison even, that is not easily penetrated by others care and attention – you may feel you cannot benefit or be lifted by the support of others. Often there is a mismatch between ideals about how life should be and the way in which it’s turned out to be in reality. This process may at first be invisible to us, so the opening phase of therapy helps you uncover this underlying belief system. Patterns of “learned hopelessness”, a kind of passivity or inaction in the face of life’s difficulties may permeate your thinking and your feelings.
I have been working with clients experiencing depression and anxiety for 9 years. . Before this I worked with depression and anxiety for 5 years in Community Mental Health settings In therapy you can come to accept what seems unacceptable at first – for many people the opening phases of therapy are about discovering the ‘script’, a sort of pre-existing life-plan that determines how our lives run. Through the relationship with the therapist you can learn to shift away from the self-defeating behaviours, the way you talk to or treat yourself that is usually self-critical, punishing even. Connecting with yourself more deeply, and cultivating an atmosphere of kindness to oneself can lead you out of the trap of depressive and anxious moods.