ANXIETY & STRESS
What do these have in common?
The Top 6 signs of Depression
Depression is the result of feeling 'stuck'
Everything in life is meant to grow and expand, thus we are meant to fill more than our current place in whatever we do. Depression kicks in whenever this growth is at a halt, which could be due to a number of reasons.
Let's identify the signs first
These are the most common signs identified as symptoms of depression, but a number of symptoms not mentioned can also occur as a result. Different layers of depression presents different signs & symptoms.
"People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be.
When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying,
"Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner."
I don't try to control a sunset.
I watch with awe as it unfolds.”
1. Lack of Energy
This is often a misconstrued notion, due to a lack of proper understanding of 'energy'. The most common question surrounding 'energy' is always 'how can I get more of it?' We want to do something, and we'd be able to, if only there was a way to gain the energy needed right?
'Energy' is not obtained, energy is released. Read that again...
Energy is not a form of 'fuel' that you can gain access to such as food, water and sleep. Energy can only be produced by you from within, which occurs once you become 'unstuck'. The reason why you may feel 'stuck' will be discussed in detail later on.
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People suffering from depression sometimes exert a careless attitude towards matters that generally would require careful consideration and attention such as health, hygiene, relationships, and their jobs or duties.
It is a well known fact that, 'how we think', 'how we feel', and 'how we act', always match. In general, people want to 'feel' better before they'll start to think better or act better, not realising that within this chain of events, 'how we feel' is firmly locked in the middle, and that it can only be changed by changing either of the two sides first.
Let me explain. It is estimated that 90% of what we do are habitual behaviour. Your subconscious mind performs duties depending on the environment you're in. If it sees the same environment as yesterday, it automatically thinks the same thoughts as yesterday, which induces the same actions & result as yesterday, which result in the same feelings as yesterday. But how can we think or act better if we don' feel better? We'll get into that later on.
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3. Irrational Thoughts
As we've discussed, how we think, feel, & act will always match. Now, you can see that 'how we think' is right at the start, which means that it is the start to the entire chain reaction.
Irrational thoughts can occur on both sides of the emotional chart, in that both depression and vitality can be met with irrational thoughts. Depressed people will have irrationally negative thoughts, mostly about their own self worth, while overly positive people will experience delusional possibilities. What we want is to obtain a balanced thought function.
What is the risk of irrational thoughts on either side of the spectrum?
Back to our reaction chain, if we have irrational thoughts, we experience 'irrational' feelings in the form of emotion, which drives our actions, which in turn produce unwanted results, and the cycle continues.
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Emotional instability can either be in the form of anger or sadness, both of which can be quite painful and could have unwanted consequences. Most of our actions are driven by emotions, and as we've mentioned under our previous topic, how we think, feel & act will always match. This means that every time we experience a fluctuation in how we feel, that same fluctuation occurs in our emotions and as a result we act accordingly. This is when we experience uncontrollable outbursts either in the form of anger of sadness.
Whether it is you or someone in your environment experiencing such uncontained emotions, and probably related actions, it is most likely not rational and in most cases a silent 'cry for help'. Unfortunately, most of us are conditioned to protect ourselves with adopted defences and in most cases we react to such emotional outburst rather than to provide comfort. This 'reaction', only worsens the situation with no resolution from either side. We often see this happen between parents and their children. Children experience an overload of emotions due to lack of understanding, and are often met with parental power. The same happens to adults, due to a lack of understanding, our situations and circumstances induces unwanted fear which produces emotional spikes.
As with many other topics, fear is often misunderstood due to generalised terminology. If you had to describe fear and the physical appearance thereof, you'd probably describe it as a standard presentation regardless of the source of such fear. As we've discussed in the previous topic, fear is often masked with uncontained emotions and often the individual experiencing such fear are unaware of its presence. This 'fear' then causes anxiety, which in turn causes the aforementioned uncontained emotions such as anger or sadness.
Fear is a natural response from our subconscious minds and it has a very specific and important function which we'll discuss in more detail below.
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Anxiety is a natural defence mechanism our bodies use to get us to consciously take the necessary action to get ourselves out of a dangerous situation.
In earlier days, when we were still living in the wild and hunting for food, we had to defend ourselves against natural predators in the form of running or fighting. Whenever we used to see such predator, our subconscious minds induced anxiety which increase adrenaline and heart rate, which was necessary to get out of such situation. This anxiety was short lived, and usually subsided once the threat has been eliminated.
In modern days, we don't necessarily fear for for our lives directly, but we do experience the same fear on a consistent basis in the form of job performance, bills, social acceptance and many more.
This is where the problem comes in. Prolonged anxiety eventually turns into depression. It is our bodies' natural response to be able to cope.
Think of it as a lion chasing you, but never catching up to you. We are always running, barely escaping every threat, and waiting for the day when we get fired from a job, or divorced by a partner or any other form of threat.
7. Low Self-worth
Our self-worth plays a vital role in our mental health and often may present itself as depression when it is low.
From the day that we are born, we have been interacting with our environment, and through those interactions we have been internalizing certain messages about ourselves and the world around us.
These interactions informs our self-worth and what we believe we need to do in order to gain acceptance from other people.
We will thus find ourselves developing certain defense mechanisms if some of these core beliefs are things such as I am not good enough or I am not lovable. Some might start rejecting others before they can reject you, or others might start pleasing and over achieving in order to avoid these feelings. Yet they somehow still always rise to the surface.
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The subconscious is programmed to protect against 2 types of pain.
As we go through life, our subconscious minds store information about things that may compromise these two highest values. This stored information is what we call beliefs.
See diagram below.
OUR 5 SENSES
The thought of divorce
Let's see if anything may compromise this such action
Sally is unhappy in her marriage.
1. She consciously considers divorcing her partner.
2. Subconsciously, this thought is 'run' through the database of beliefs to see if such action might compromise either 'life' or 'acceptance'.
3. Somewhere deep down in Sally's subconscious mind, she beliefs that she might not be able to afford living on her own, which at the core compromises 'life'.
Sally also has a belief that it is socially unacceptable to get a divorce, which at the core, compromises social acceptance.
The subconscious has identified beliefs indicating that both of Sallly's highest values will be compromised and needs to find a way to keep her from acting on her idea.
It accomplishes this by inducing fear, which can be felt throughout the body in the form of anxiety. Suddenly her current circumstances don't seem that bad and she decides to stay.
Let our Anxiety & Depression specialist help you eliminate your negative beliefs
Now let's see what's causing the fear by making use of an example below.
Can you see that these beliefs aren't always rational or true. The reason for this is that our subconscious minds does not have the ability to process data, it only stores, so any information given to it will be accepted as true, and it will act thereon without deviation.
These are called negative beliefs.
Now we understand depression and it's origin
How do we get rid of it, so we can experience freedom?
We need to get rid of the false beliefs in our subconscious minds that controls our actions & keep us locked in.
This is easier said than done, but with the guidance of a trained psychologist, one can achieve life changing results in a relatively short period of time.
Our psychologists are trained to take you through a process where you may discover the beliefs that may be holding you back in life, so if you want lasting results in your life, I encourage you to consider scheduling an appointment with one of our top psychologists. Sessions can be done either online or in person, if you are in the surrounding area.
Psych Central's Therapy Process
The intake process can last from 1 to 4 sessions.
The purpose is to gather information and to build a trusting relationship.
Before we can start to delve deeper in order to uncover the root of the limiting beliefs, we need to contain the current state of depression. Here the focus is often on coping in your present life.
Through a process of effective questioning, we'll delve deeper to uncover the root of any negative beliefs that may be keeping you stuck. This process is different for each person and might take weeks, months or years.
Therapy will end off when you feel you have gained enough from the process to understand and manage some of these negative beliefs more effectively.
As scary as this process may seem, it most definitely is not, in fact, its extremely liberating because you'll be taking back control of your own life.
Don't hesitate, start the process today
We provide Psychotherapy in English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Sesotho
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