10 Practical Tips to Lift Depression
If you read yesterday’s blog post you will know that the key to resolving depression is to stop the over-dreaming caused by rumination about unresolved worries. The list below will help you stop the Cycle of Depression and put you on a path to feeling more relaxed. Imagine getting your motivation and spark back? Getting up in the morning with good energy and feeling rested from your nights sleep? Being able to focus and find interest and happy times doing the things you used to enjoy – want some of this? Then read on! The list is written for people helping people with depression but you can do a lot of this for yourself.
- Therapeutic intervention must focus on resolving the worry:
Therapy that encourages focus on bad feelings without resolution is toxic as it places more strain on the already overburdened dreaming brain. It is key that any therapist works to reframe or resolve worry and introspection. Therapy should be practical, solution-focused and positively orientated, addressing the past only as much as it helps the person feel happier in the future. Constantly going over the past will make you worse!
- Understand the cycle of depression:
So you know that you aren’t stuck with the depression.
- Get basic needs met:
We all come to this world with a series of basic needs that need to be met in order to maintain emotional and physical health. Most people with depression don’t have many of their basic needs met. Helping them to do so not only helps to lift depression but also becomes an insurance against its return. Here are some of those Basic Needs. We need to have a sense of:
- security and safety
- meaning and goals
- giving and receiving attention
- and creativity – you can download a helpful pdf on the Basic Needs here. To get a quick picture of what you need to do to improve meeting your Basic Needs, we have devised a simple self checker for you.
- Stabilise blood sugar:
When a person is depressed, it is likely they will not eat well causing a roller coaster effect of the amount of available energy. All food and drink is turned into glucose and if the levels become too high or low, adrenalin and insulin are released which causes anxiety and lack of energy. Simple carbohydrates found in white bread and pasta, convert quickly to blood glucose and will cause roller coaster changes in mood and energy. Bringing in more protein with three meals a day and a couple of protein based snacks is one of the quickest ways to help someone feel more energised and calmer.
- See the bigger picture and think in a more creative way:
People with depression tend to think in an all or nothing – black and white way. Stress robs them of access to the higher functions of their brain, so logic, human empathy and seeing the bigger picture is hard. Using hypnosis and careful reframing can help a sufferer reach beyond their present outlook.
- Check for the presence of post traumatic stress disorder:
Always check for the presence of PTSD as symptoms of depression will not lift until that is resolved. And remember PTSD doesn’t have to be caused by an obvious trauma.
- Connect a person to their resources:
Uncover what has worked in the past and what is working now – rather than what isn’t. The negative trance focus of depression stops a person doing this for themselves.
- Find different ways to relax:
Teach self-hypnosis and breathing techniques like the seven eleven breathing technique.
- Stick with the basics:
When you see someone who is very ill with depression, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the mass of negative details. A key to lifting depression for a therapist is to not get bogged down in the problem but work with the above to ensure the person can stop endless rumination, restore deep sleep, regain their energy and reconnect with their resources.
- Create a picture of life without the problem:
Use hypnosis and solution focused questioning to create and vividly imagine a future without the problems. This will help create expectation of positive change.
A full explanation of the Basic Needs, a diagram of the Cycle of Depression and the Seven Eleven Breathing Technique are available in pdf format from http://www.within-sight.com/helpful-links/
Call 01273 738663 for details on Within Sight’s workshops on ‘Lifting Depression,’ Designed for existing therapists and front line health personal.