© 2014 Phoebe Hutchison Author and Crisis Counsellor www.areyoulistening.com.au
I was devastated to hear about Robin Williams’ suicide. Another beautiful person, who struggled with severe depression, and chose to leave life in this tragic way.
Almost twenty years ago one of my close friends also took his life after not coping with depression. I could not save my friend all those years ago because I didn't understand depression.
However, now as a crisis counsellor and author, I work weekly with clients who are dealing with depression, anxiety, and some have suicidal thoughts. And after five years research (for my latest book), and counselling many clients with depression, I believe I finally UNDERSTAND this illness.
Most of society is focused on the SYMPTOMS of depression, and not the CAUSES.
In conjunction with prescription medication prescribed by a doctor, and any existing mental health plans, I believe we need to go deeper; to the core of depression and address the UNDERLYING issues that contribute to, and are sustaining, the depression.
Most people have heard that depression is a ‘mental illness’, believed to be based on chemical imbalances in the brain... But what causes these chemical balances?
I believe MANY things contribute to these imbalances.
I look at the client’s life holistically, and assess these 8 specific areas from The Crisis Wheel (see my book, Are You Listening? Life Is Talking to YOU for more information) to get to the core of the depression:
If you or someone you know has depression, ask these 8 simple questions:
1. Thought Patterns: Are they predominantly positive or negative?
2. Self Esteem: How do you see yourself, in the roles you play? Is it overall positive or negative?
3. Past unresolved grief/loss/trauma? Is anything keeping you from living in the present? Fear of the future?
4. Emotional status: What is your most common emotional status? Is it positive or negative?
5. Brain Chemicals (exercise/nutrition/prescription and non-prescription drugs): Do you eat well and exercise frequently?
6. Support Networks (family relationships, partner, friends): Do you feel supported, loved and appreciated? Do you have enough friends? Do you need some relationship strategies?
7. Passions/Hobbies: Are you following your passions? Do you allow time for YOU in your life?
8. Lifestyle stressors (career / finances): Do you work at a job you enjoy? Are finances getting you down?
I then give strategies for the specific areas that are in need of help.
These strategies (all included in my book) include: transforming the subconscious patterns, natural ways to improve brain neurotransmitters, self-assessment, conflict management, assertiveness training (as most people with depression are also oppressed!), psychological therapies such as CBT, mindfulness, grief therapy, gestalt, person centered therapy, understanding and processing emotions, anger management, techniques to minimize fear, changing attitudes to money, fine tuning intuition, rapidly changing negative thought patterns, increasing self-esteem... and much more!
If you are struggling in five or more areas in The Crisis Wheel, suicidal thoughts are likely, so changes need to be made FAST. I find my methods fast, effective and my clients and readers are thrilled with the transformations; usually within weeks!
*** Please SHARE this INFORMATION so more people with depression can experience HOPE and CHANGE – It is my goal to reduce world-wide suicide rates, by helping more people to cope with life and it’s challenges***
Too many people are taking their lives. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY. I have seen these strategies work, time and time again.
Some recent feedback from readers:
'Finally, I can see that depression doesn't need to be a life sentence.'
‘People think I’m crazy (because the ideas are unconventional), but I DON’T care, because I am finally happy.’
Another reader, who was suicidal, said, 'I hardly feel those sad feelings anymore.'
Make this life, YOUR LIFE, be the best it can be. Take YOUR POWER back!
May your love for yourself and your life deepen daily.