Sometimes it feels that life is going really well. You feel fairly good about yourself. You have stopped beating yourself up about the things that you don’t get right and you might have started accepting yourself. Liking yourself even. Maybe your relationships are going quite well and even work doesn’t feel too bad. You seem to be able to do the things you want to and feel like you have some control over your life. And then one day you wake up and things feel so different. You notice tears rolling down your face. It’s hard to get up. You want the world to leave you alone. Out of nowhere. The sun doesn’t seem to shine so brightly. You look around and wonder what it’s all about. Worse still the people around you might be very unsympathetic. Not this again.
If you type the question ‘why do I feel depressed’ into google it will return thousands of results. And they will all say something different. It can be confusing and frustrating and no one seems to know the answers. If you are feeling low you can feel very alone and misunderstood. You might find that people close to you are fed up with your inability to ‘get your act together.’ You might not even have anyone close to you to talk to. Maybe you never did. Maybe they have drifted away. Leaving you alone to get on with it. That’s the thing about feeling low. On the one hand you want to be on your own . To pull the duvet over your head and shut the world out. And on the other hand you desperately want someone to talk to. Someone who won’t tell you what to do or to ‘pull yourself together.’ Someone who will listen to you and really hear your story and help you to understand yourself and the way you are feeling. Someone who will help you to gain a new perspective and to work through your feelings so that you become able to make some changes in your life.
The ‘why’ question is really difficult. There are so many theories about why you might feel low. Some believe it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain and that antidepressant medication is the correct treatment. It is important to talk to your GP about this. Other people think that feeling low can be helped by the talking therapies. Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are widely recognised as therapies which can help people suffering from low mood. These therapies can help to find the answers to the ‘why’ question. Maybe you have some unresolved losses in your life. Counselling could help you to work through these. Maybe you see the world as an unfriendly and harsh place. Maybe you have lots of negative thoughts which come to mind automatically when you are face with challenging situations. CBT could help you to challenge these automatic thoughts.
If you think you would like some help with your low mood then please get in touch. If I think I can help then I’ll let you know. If I think I can’t then I’ll let you know too.
Can you imagine what it feels like to wake up every day and feel that you’ve made a mess of your life? To look around and wonder exactly why you have made the choices you have made? To beat yourself up because you seem to have made the same mistakes over and over? To feel that you have no control over your life and that what lies ahead just seems too hard to face?
In my counselling practice I work with many people who feel like this. These people seek counselling because they can’t find anyone to understand them. They are fed up with people telling them to ‘get their act together’ or telling them that they are a ‘loser’. They feel distressed and lonely and simply don’t know what to do next. The good news is that the future does not have to be like the past. We can find a new way of being, explore different choices and learn to understand ourselves. If we’re not sure who we are then it’s hard to get to know anyone else…….let alone allow them to get to know us.
Working with a Counsellor can be a very healing process. It can help you to stop beating yourself up. To start to value yourself. To value others. To learn about what it means to be in an authentic relationship with another person. It could change your life.
by Counsellor, Leamington Spa, Staffordshire
How do you feel if you see someone crying? Does it touch you in some deep place? Do you wish that you could comfort the person and ‘make it all better’? Or does it make you feel uncomfortable? Do you find yourself wishing the other person would ‘pull themselves together’? And does it matter where it happens? For example is crying at work completely unacceptable? What about at weddings and funerals – can you get away with a few tears there? Besides what is the crying about anyway? Are you crying for the other person….or are you crying for yourself? Do the tears of another remind you of your own sadness?
Some clients who come to counselling say that they feel that crying is a sign of weakness. A sign of not coping. They might tell me about something very sad or traumatic that has happened to them and apologise for feeling tearful. Some clients say that they can’t stop crying and are finding this really inconvenient. It is embarrassing and getting in the way of their functioning. How sad. I wonder who told them that crying was unacceptable. Our tears are an expression of our emotions and can be happy, angry or sad. An indication that we may be suffering. At times like this it can help to talk to someone and find a way to express our feelings. And to accept how things are for us right now.
This time of year can be stressful and full of expectations. This is especially true in the current economic climate. For those who have lost their jobs or are finding it hard to make ends meet it can be challenging to feel happy.
For some people, especially those who have recently lost someone they love and care about, this can be a very sad time of year. Full of memories.
What about all the lonely people? The people who have no family. We can get so wrapped up in our own lives that we might not even notice.
Then there are the people who do have a family. And that is the problem. Maybe you are unhappily married or feel that you are getting things wrong with your children. Maybe you have problems with parents or siblings. Do you feel like a child again when you return to your parent’s home?
I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and I hope that you find some joy and peace in 2011. I know that Christmas can be a lonely time for many people. Even for those surrounded by people. Sometimes we can think that everyone else is having a great time and we are different. If you would like to make some changes in your life or talk through anything which is troubling you, then please get in touch.
by Counsellor, Leamington Spa, Staffordshire
‘Some days are worse than others. I don’t even want to get out of bed and face the world. I want to pull the duvet over me and want everyone to leave me alone. I feel sad and find myself bursting into tears for no reason. My body hurts. I feel alone. Just me and this thing they call depression. It’s been around for a long time. In fact I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there. I just want someone to understand how I feel and to be kind. That would really help for a start.’ [Read more…] about What is Depression and What Can I Do About It?