Depression

Depression doesn't mean there is something wrong with you.

 

Depression is debilitating. It stifles our thoughts and emotions and weighs us down so much, we feel like a concrete blanket is rendering us unable to move. It leaves us empty and unable to experience joy on any level we are used to.

It may come as a hard concept to grasp then, that what we experience as depression, is a normal (albeit mal-adaptive) threat recognition response we have developed through thousands of years of evolution.

We’ve all heard of the Fight or Flight response; the term first coined by Walter Cannon, to describe our physiological response to perceived threats.  I’ve highlighted the word perceive because perception of a threat is what is at the crux of the matter.

If I’m daydreaming whilst crossing the street, and inadvertently step into the path of an ongoing car, my fight or flight response will kick in so I can transition from a relaxed state to “heightened” survival state. (I say “heightened” because our sub-conscious is constantly assessing our environment for threats so, to a certain degree, it is always in survival mode).

But what happens if I have a lower threshold to “perceived” threats due to emotional, physical or mental hurts from my past? What happens if these hurts gave me a feeling of a loss of control?

What happens is my sub-conscious stores and registers these events and the relevant painful emotions. It then develops a "safety behaviour" to protect me from this pain. This safety behaviour gets triggered and replayed whenever my sub-conscious suspects that a situation may involve a similar threat.

 

My sub-conscious then becomes hyper-vigilant to my environment so as to be prepared for any future threat.

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False alarms

I also develop a higher False Alarm Rate and go into this physiological response more often, and more easily.

 

Over time, I may ruminate over the past, replaying the event(s) and over analysing them so I can attempt a better strategy for “next time”.

The more I do this, the more I gather evidence about the world. I ask myself, "Is this event routine? Is it safe or threatening? How does it fit in with my current world view?" Every event or situation is measured against past events and situations.

If I feel that more and more situations are potentially threatening, I start to unconsciously promote a negative bias to my everyday life and start withdrawing and avoiding social circumstances as a way of avoiding pain.

But this is perception and illusion. It is not reality. How I respond to current events is determined, to a certain degree, by what effect my past environment had on me.

 

In this state of perception, how I think, feel, and behave is now based on this hyper-vigilant fear detection; it is not based on the actual event itself, or the correct interpretation. It is like looking through a dirty window, and not seeing the reality of outside clearly.

haunted man

Who we are at any given moment, is

the sum of everything that has ever

happened to us.

man with depression
sad Lego man

"no matter how hard the past,

you can always begin again"

- Buddha

This is an important point because, once I realise why I am responding to a certain situation the way I do, and once I realise that it is my interpretation of this situation that is fuelling how I feel, think and behave, I have instantly given myself a certain amount of objectivity and normalisation. I extinguish some of the fear surrounding the feelings associated with the replay of the event.

My cognition (or thoughts) can then be centred around choice, rather than negative statements I regularly make about myself.

 

This is where Steve Smith Hypnotherapy can affect positive change.

 

Over a period of sessions with me, a client can expect to experience the following:-

The ability to stop rumination, stop negative thoughts and to make better, more beneficial choices, which promotes self empowerment.

The ability to challenge previously held core beliefs and to start seeing themselves, and life in general, in new, exciting and more positive ways.

The ability to promote mastery, self control and problem solving within themselves. This strengthens self confidence and self assurance, thus enabling the client to experience their own unique therapy, in their own way and at their own pace. This inspirational experience is more inclined to be taken on board by a client, rather than therapy/solutions being dictated by a third party, or by their environment.

The ability to access deeper levels of their sub-conscious (such as the Higher Self or the Inner Child), which can offer wisdom and guidance, and have Transpersonal Qualities transferred into their everyday personality. Events stored in the sub-conscious can also be regressed to, witnessed objectively and analysed as an experienced adult, thus reframing present safety behaviours.

The ability to create benevolent imagery that promotes positive experiences.

After the first session, a client will have:-

A map of their triggers, relevant emotions, thought processes, personal history, conditioned responses and behaviours, and a plan based on how they would rather think, feel and behave.

The experience of total, natural relaxation and the ability to invoke this life skill on their own (Self Hypnosis/Mindfulness/Meditation).

Don't keep suffering unnecessarily.

Book in now and let's start Imagining a better  you!

female image with positive affirmations
reset your mind
two palms offering autumn leaves