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Dealing with depression

To be deeply depressed is just about the most awful feeling you can experience, apart from sheer terror. It can disable anyone. However; depression as experienced by the vast majority of sufferers is not a biological illness; neither is it anger turned inwards. It is not a chemical imbalance in the brain and is not, in most cases, hard to come out of.

Why people get depressed

People sink into a depressed mood when their physical or emotional needs are not being met and, instead of dealing with this situation, they begin to worry about it All depressed people worry. This increases the amount of dreaming they do, Soon they start to wake up feeling tired and unmotivated. (Depressed and anxious people dream far more intensely than non-depressed people.) This makes them worry even more as they feel that, "something is wrong with me".

All strong emotions focus and lock attention and, with depression, attention stays focused on all the bad things that seem to be happening to us, whether real or illusory. Every little thing you worry about and do not resolve in the day is translated into a bad dream the next night. All these worries have to be worked through in extended and intense periods of dream activity in REM sleep as the brain attempts to rebalance your arousal levels. This upsets the relationship between slow wave sleep and REM sleep.

Why depressed people are always tired

Extended dreaming is exhausting, not just because it deprives us of restful and restorative slow-wave sleep So, the next morning you awake feeling terrible because you haven't really slept, and you find it much harder to get motivated to get up and do anything because the brain mechanism that generates that interest in life is exhausted as well. Exhaustion on waking and lack of motivation are features common to all depressed people.

How does human givens therapy relieve depression?

Human Givens therapists work with the fundamental truth that people do not develop mental illness when their innate emotional needs are being met in balance. Because depression fogs our thinking, we need to calm down and relax. The therapist has a range of ways to do this so that the patient can begin to think more clearly about the situation that is causing them to worry. When the patient has calmed down the therapist will usually explain what depression is and how it is caused. This in itself is hugely therapeutic for most people since no one else is likely to have explained how and why the feelings arose and they were probably imagining that there was something wrong with them. Simultaneously the therapist will do an informal emotional needs audit to find what needs are not being met so they can begin to tackle the worrying that is causing the problems. If it turns out that there is trauma behind the depression, the therapist will use the Human Givens rewind technique which will help you to move on.

The therapist will very likely use guided imagery to help you to change your negative expectations into more positive ones and helps you start to enjoy activities you used to enjoy in the past. Often much progress is made on the first session but the therapist would like to see you if you have been deeply depressed a number of times to make sure that you are taking steps to change and take charge of your own life.