How do I know if I’m depressed 1: seeking help

Please note, these examples of personal stories are composites to illustrate common situations while maintaining confidentiality.

A highly financially successful white male in his early forties – describing himself as “working class, self made” asked to see me at the very next opportunity.

He had heard about my depression treatment service from a man he knew who had worked with me previously. This man was clearly in a state of distress, he “didn’t know what the hell was wrong with him” he said he was “losing the plot.” To make matters worse, his “boss was breathing down his neck criticising” leaving him “fighting to keep his job.”

His wife and young children would regularly discover him slumped in a chair asleep, a drained tumbler of whiskey clutched limply in his lifeless hand. When awake, he was irritable, he couldn’t stand noise and would watch the news compulsively to see “the mess going down.” He had fantasised about death, secretly wishing to be mangled in an industrial machine “just to bring it all to an end.” He thought of his family; the insurance wouldn’t pay out if it was discovered his death was not accidental. He felt angry and trapped.
Physically there were also signs of distress, the man rubbed his eyes hard and frequently, then routinely checked his phone. After his inhalation his breath was held. He protested that he had “no business being here” said he was “wasting my time”. He couldn’t sit still, his fingers disappeared into his phone, unable to disconnect.

Problems at work had left this individual feel persecuted; “every man and his dog can’t do their job right” and if he “didn’t keep a check on every detail 24/7 then he would be kicked out – not them – him”

The first sessions in a therapy meeting are about giving you, the client, attention. This isn’t always welcome, it may surface painful feelings, shame, vulnerability, fear and anger. Some people withdraw in depressive episodes, others describe their terror of being left alone. Often this leads to scathing self-criticism, thoughts of being needy, worthless and stupid.

You may have some ideas and thoughts about how or why any recent or past difficulties could be affecting your current mental state. Equally you may not, you may feel it has come out of the blue, something incomprehensible. Depression does not necessarily get better because you recognise its symptoms and discuss it. In that case, why come to therapy in the first place?

Having a suspicion that you may be in need of help, even if it’s just to clarify whether or not there is a problem, is a sign that it’s worth seeking reassurances.

A skilled therapist will meet with you to join together as collaborative experts. Interpersonal attunement happens when you tangibly sense in your body that this person can do something to help you. Something that is temporarily beyond your capacity to believe and act on to help yourself. It’s borrowing a resilience that you will then have opportunity to build up in yourself, slowly probably, but consistently and reliably.

We are thinking and analysing the fragments of nonverbal and verbal communication using highly developed neural resonance circuits in our brains. Information which may or may not seem useful or relevant to you is thought about by asking direct and specific questions and opening up new perspectives on how to approach this experience of depression.

Treatment for clients suffering from depression varies from individual to individual, we aim to work with you in the most appropriate and sensitive way. The nuanced approach we take will lead you away from self-persecution and towards our shared goals of understand and taking control of ourselves. If you feel like our treatments could benefit you, please contact us today, we’d love to help.

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