“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything,
as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious,
and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.”
Largely unheard of decades ago, depression is like the ‘common cold of mental disorders’ today and can affect anyone, and at any time. Commonly known as a mood disorder, depression is a complex illness. Surprisingly there is so much that is not yet known about depression, and no-one really knows for certain what can cause depression. This is purely as a result of so many variables, contributing factors, different symptoms because everyone’s experience is different and unique which makes depression a complex illness to deal with.
For some, minor depression is a normal part of our modern lifestyles, while for others major depression also known as ‘clinical depression’ can be a debilitating condition with devastating consequences. Although depression is a broad spectrum label given to low moods, mood swings, emotional, stressed and traumatised people, depression is actually curable.
What can cause depression?
Essentially depression varies so much from person to person, and can either develop gradually or quickly depending upon the events or circumstances a person may be faced with, and or triggered by. Since everyone’s response is unique, this makes depression difficult to diagnose, and even treat because of such a wide range of possible symptoms. Additionally, body chemistry is another factor that can trigger depression which is why a holistic approach is vitally important in treating depression (see ‘Tips’ below). Body chemistry is influenced by many external factors today because we are surrounded by and bombarded with heavy metals, radiation and toxic chemicals from environmental sources, in our food and drinking water, skincare ranges, household chemicals, cell phones, wifi etc … where and how does one even begin to unravel this puzzle in our modern day lifestyle? Some schools of thought believe amalgam fillings maybe a possible cause of depression because of the mercury leaking into the body.
Besides the above, there are so many possible causes of depression that it would be impossible to list everything but here are some typical or common issues people may be faced with: overwhelm, stress, trauma, unresolved relationship issues, grief and loss, illness and disease, fears and phobias, unfulfilled expectations, financial issues, disabilities, crime related incidents, unresolved emotional issues such as anger, resentment, lack of forgiveness, bitterness, envy, jealousy etc.
How or why does depression take hold?
Experts agree that depression is the body’s natural defense mechanism designed to deal with or escape from overwhelming and unbearable stress, in some cases as a result of an unresolved trauma. Bottled up or unresolved anger is well known to cause depression. In some circles depression is likened to anger turned inward as anger and depression are both intimately associated with emotional pain. As such, it can be difficult to determine where anger ends and depression begins. ‘It’s long been known that the psychic pain of depression feeds anger. But just as often, anger fuels depression.’ Nando Pelusi, Ph.D.
Unfortunately the problem arises when depression takes over becoming the focal point of your life, and you feel helpless to control it. Perhaps this feels like you’re ‘living’ in a deep black pit without any way of escaping, and there seems no point in even trying. You’ve given up all hope, including the desire for treatment or therapy as you’ve reached the stage of ‘why bother?’ This is precisely how insidious and debilitating the grip of depression can be, and it is imperative to seek intervention regardless.
In reality depression is a very broad and sensitive issue due to the myriad of influences and symptoms, making people feel misunderstood, and worse still, they are often misdiagnosed as a result. Sadly today the medical fraternity is too quick to dispense chemical prescription drugs, instead of spending quality time with patients to fully investigate the possible root cause/s of emotional pain, stress, trauma and depression. People aren’t born depressed; situations and circumstances trigger emotional turmoil, which left unresolved, can lead to depression.
Common emotions associated with depression:
Depression can be caused by or lead to a complexity of overwhelming emotions such as desperation, despair, frustration, anger, helplessness, hopelessness, grief and loss, sadness, stress, fears and phobias, a lack of confidence, poor self esteem, lack of self worth, judgement, criticism, feelings of insignificance, isolation and withdrawal from family, friends and society, and some report they can cry for no apparent reason. Without doubt, depression can be likened to an insidious cancer, deep rooted, and to the very core of one’s being.
Discover the possible root cause of your depression:
For many of my clients, the one common factor they share is that most don’t know what has caused or contributed towards their depression. All they know is that they are depressed, and feel awful as a result. Here is a simple line of questioning that has always provided vital keys to the possible root cause of depression:
1. Simply ask yourself how long you’ve been depressed? Be very specific, and put a time frame to your answer i.e. 6 months, 1 year or 5 years? Perhaps your depression took hold 10 or 15 years ago. Be completely honest, and don’t judge your answer. You’re simply asking yourself how long you’ve been depressed.
2. Now ask yourself, what significant event or events took place at that time, or at least 6 months to a year prior to the answer to question 1 above? Write down the event, or multiple events, that occurred around that time. The answers can provide vital clues, and help you to identify the possible cause of your depression.
3. With these answers you may be surprised by the insights, fresh perspective, awareness and understanding gained by knowing the possible root cause/s of your depression. Consider reading through my article on the Stages of Loss, also known as the ‘Grief Cycle’ as this may shed further light on your understanding of depression.
4. What to do with the knowledge gained from the above exercise? There are several things you can now do as a result of uncovering your depression. Firstly, acknowledge yourself for having carried the depression, and any associated emotional or mental pain for all this time. Secondly, let go of any judgement or criticism yourself, you’re human being and depression isn’t a weakness but the body’s natural way of coping with difficulties so thank yourself and your body for taking such good care of your well being. Be grateful, and show appreciation towards yourself. We’re so incredibly hard on ourselves! Thirdly, can you find a way to resolve the issues that instigated your depression in the first place – I can recommend Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) also known as ‘tapping’ or you can use a Free Tool which is available right here. A fourth way would be to implement some of the recommended tips below.
Tips to take immediate control of your depression, and get your life back on track:
Regardless of whether or not your depression is mild or chronic, here are some simple, effective and essential daily habits to cultivate, which can help you feel lighter and in control again. Collectively applying these tips can go a long way to combating depression holistically:
1. Eat a healthy diet of fresh, colourful and seasonal fruit and vegetables. A healthy variety of minerals and vitamins can combat depression.
2. Drinking lots of pure, still water (not coffee, tea, sodas, carbonated water, fizzy drinks, fruit juice etc) maintains healthy hydration levels. Refer http://www.watercure.com
3. Every night ensure you get quality sleep of at least 8 hours. Sleeping in a pitch dark room is essential for a good night sleep as this stimulates the neurotransmitter serotonin, and the healthy production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleeping well. Both serotonin and melatonin play important roles in our physical and mental well-being. Switching the lights on at night, watching TV, playing games etc inhibits the production of melatonin, which directly impacts on our ability to sleep well. Watching TV directly before going to sleep is not conducive to getting a restful night’s sleep as the TV stimulates the brain’s activity, which is counterproductive. Check you’re not suffering from Sleep Apnea.
4. Start with basic low impact exercises like walking for 20-30 minutes, yoga, swimming, pilates etc. Gentle but steady exercise is good for stimulating the blood flow and increasing endorphins (happy hormones) flowing through the body.
5. Have a daily and healthy doses of laughter every day. Watch comedy clips or movies that make you laugh out aloud for several minutes. Laughter also increases endorphins.
6. Receive and give frequent hugs each and every day. Hugging, like laughter and exercise increases endorphins.
7. Spend at least 10 minutes in the sun every day so you stimulate your body’s vitamin D production. This will also have a positive effect on your emotions and physical well being.
What’s next? Actions steps you can take now:
With this information, you may feel empowered to take some action steps to resolving your depression – you can Book a Consultation or try some of the Free tools provided here on my website. The choice is yours.
What Clients Say?
“I have to recommend this service to all. I was a Cargo Manager at the Johannesburg International Airport, where in the early hours of the morning my staff fell victim to an armed robbery. They were very traumatized and one had to be admitted to hospital after being assaulted by one of the perpetrators. I got in touch with Bridget who came to give counselling to the staff. she was great and the feedback from her and the staff was amazing. It wasn't costly and did not require a follow up session as the staff were in a good space after the first session. If you find yourself or your staff in need of counselling, don't hesitate to contact Bridget.”
“A few years ago I was really struggling with public speaking fears - I know this is career limiting but couldn't help myself. My fears, anxiety and the stress really got the better of me one evening at an event. Bridget saw my distress, and offered to help. I couldn't believe how quickly she helped, within minutes I felt absolutely calm and relaxed. I've subsequently delivered many presentations with ease, even enjoying it. I MC'd my friend's wedding with ease too. I highly recommend Bridget to help you overcome your fears and phobias - she's excellent.”
“Bridget is sharply observant of the source of one's stresses and strains and is immensely enthusiastic and motivational in helping one deal with challenges in all arenas of life. So glad she is a consultation away #gratitude.”
“Bridget was my life line when I was going through a very difficult time in my life. The anti stress techniques she taught me were invaluable and she was a text away anytime i needed her. I’m so grateful to know I have you on speed dial.”
“I could have never imagined that a powerful tool like this existed. From one session, I had a life changing experience where anxiety, stress and fear was a normal part of my daily routine to a clam clear and collected way of conducting my day. Even more amazing was that EFT was not a temporary solution but a lasting feeling that I still have a week later. EFT has empowered me to take control of so many aspects of my life with confidence and make life so much more enjoyable!”
“Hi Bridget, all is indeed well on my side – thanks to you! I still tap and my baby actually reacts to my tapping now! It’s so amazing and I am so grateful to have made the choice to keep him despite the turmoil in my life. I have amazing friends who support me and I am so excited for my son’s birth on 15 September. Will send you a picture as soon as I can OK? Take care and once again, thank you for calming the waters for me. Lots of love”
“This message serves to say THANK YOU for contributing in my success as a person. You've made me aware of the things I was not aware of. Since then I use some of your principles in my life on a daily basis. You've also answered some of my long awaiting questions in life and I really appreciate it. Be blessed and I thank you.”
“My life got turned around in one afternoon, it’s as if you cleared years of blockages in one sitting, and I can be sceptical of certain alternative healing methods. I still can’t believe that such a simple, non invasive healing can have such dramatic results. I can’t wait to tap again with you and see what else I have been burying deep inside my stubborn brain … if only everyone knew about this! Best wishes.”
“Thank you so much for the session I had with you. It did wonders for me. It helped me get past my fear of public speaking to a point where I actually enjoy standing up there now. I still get a bit nervous, and then I do some tapping and it helps tremendously. Thanks again.”
“EFT is all about letting go. We destroy our present and our future by nurturing our personal traumas - whatever they may be. Sometimes what we thought was the problem isn’t - Bridget helped me to ‘sort’ through the self imposed fog I found myself in. I went to see her once and the result was immediate and life changing. I learnt to be objective and distance myself and see my value and move into my true space. THANK YOU Bridget XXX (You DID change my life Bridget. So grateful. Want you to help lots more people).”
“Being in the complimentary health profession myself, I have come to recognise the importance of releasing emotional ‘baggage’ that keeps us from being whole. The Emotional Freedom Technique helped me to shift some deep-seated behavioural patterns that I was oblivious to as it had become so much a part of who I was. Bridget has a keen sense of guiding the process to those deep layers that we keep hidden from ourselves and she does this gently and with a great deal of compassion. What I found so beneficial is that once the emotion was revealed, it was not necessary to spend days picking at old wounds like one would do in conventional therapy. Instead I acknowledged the emotion and then moved on swiftly and elegantly without having to dwell on all the unpleasantness. I would recommend EFT to anyone who wishes to expand their consciousness.”
“I have suffered from depression and been on medication for many years (since about 1990). I have always wanted to get off the medication because of the many side effects. This seemed impossible until I met Bridget and learnt about EFT. One session gave me the tools to work with EFT and enabled me to get through difficult times. I am now no longer on medication! I use EFT when troubled and find that within a few minutes I am once again able to cope. And it really works!!!! My thanks to you.”
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Clients Bridget has worked with