Criteria for a Major Depressive Episode
Five (or more) of the following symptoms including either one of the first two for a 2-week period Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities
- Appetite disturbance
- Sleep disturbance
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
The Cycle of Depression
If you are depressed it is most likely the result of unmet physical and emotional needs. It is difficult for you to take positive practical steps to get these needs met when, as a result of the depression, you spend a lot of your time worrying, or in other words, misusing your imagination. Excessive worry disrupts the balance between slow-wave recuperative sleep and brain-active dream-sleep. It is not uncommon for depressed people to wake up exhausted and lacking motivation. Depression then becomes a self-perpetuating cycle in which black and white thinking is pervasive.
Negative Emotional Arousal
Depression is a type of negative emotional arousal even though lethargy is a common symptom. The first step in the successful treatment of depression is to reduce the emotional arousal thereby regaining access to more clarity of thinking and better-quality sleep. Once that has been achieved then your unmet needs can be addressed in a positive and realistic way. I can help you to reconnect with your own innate resources and past achievements so that you can look forward with a sense of positive expectation.
The therapy I practise focuses on present concerns and future expectations. However, if there is unresolved trauma from your recent or distant past then that can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Some Important Points
If you are currently taking anti-depressant medications, then continue taking them. Do not stop taking them without consulting your doctor.
‘Clinical Depression’, ‘Post-Natal Depression’ and Ordinary ‘depression all involve unmet emotional and physical needs, excessive worrying, and poor quality sleep. Therapeutically they are treated the same way.
Therapy for depression that focuses on excessive emotional archaeology and emotional arousal has been shown to be unhelpful.
In most cases, depression is not the result of some chemical imbalance or biological illness.