In England depression affects around 4% of women and 3% of men at any one time. Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and heart disease.
On average an episode of depression will last for 6-8 months but can extend for up to a year or longer.
Depression with Anxiety is a Significant National Issue
Depression most commonly occurs in combination with anxiety. In 2010 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK. The total prevalence of all types of anxiety disorder (including PTSD) in England is estimated at 14.7% of the population at any given point in time. Based on this 4.2 million people in England are likely to be affected by mixed anxiety and depression.
Mixed anxiety and depression is severely underreported and the most undertreated of common mental health issues. More than 1 in 4 people will have a panic attack at some time in their lives.
What is it like?
Symptoms of depression can be:
an unusually sad mood that does not go away,
loss of enjoyment and interest in activities,
lack of energy and tiredness.
You may also experience:
a loss of confidence,
difficulty in concentrating or making decisions,
bleak views of the future,
difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
Depression can range from mild to severe and affects the whole person.
Anxiety is Normal
Anxiety is a normal feeling we all experience when faced with difficult or threatening situations. It makes us more alert and responsive and helps us to avoid danger. When feelings become severe or long lasting they interfere with your life affecting work, relationships and everyday activities.
Physical effects can include:
rapid heart rate,
Psychological effects are:
unrealistic fear and worry,
difficulty making decisions,
disturbed sleep and
Anxiety can cause:
avoidance of situations and
repetitive compulsive behaviour.
This client has asked to remain anonymous but was keen to share their experience with Lynn:
A client in her 60s a smoker for over 40 years came for a quit smoking session, in her own words she was finished with feeling unhealthy.
For the first part of the quit smoking 2 hour session I explain the facts about smoking. In particular the devastating impact it has on the body, on your life. I then discuss the benefits of quitting smoking. Even after 40 years the body can start to repair itself; it is an amazing machine. The good news is that the benefits start immediately you quit. Before I begin the second hour I ensure that my client is ready and committed. This part of the session is used for hypnosis and suggestion re-programming your subconscious mind to help it quit smoking.
After the session my client felt relaxed, positive and committed.
A few months later I received feedback thanking me and telling me she is richer in her pocket but, more importantly, she is richer in her health. In the past, when out for a walk with her brother, he would often joke that he hardly scored any ‘points’ on his FitBit. Scoring 28 recently where they would normally have scored just 5 or 6 they were pleasantly surprised. This was because she was able to cope with a faster pace averaging a little over 3mph. Positive proof that her fitness level has improved (and continues to do so).
Quality of Life
Another interesting improvement is that her taste buds have come back. She realised this when the family ordered an Indian Takeaway and she asked for her usual vindaloo. At her first mouthful she complained that the order must have been wrong because it was way too hot. She now eats milder curries, even madras is too hot for her. A big shock for my client after 40 years of eating vindaloos but on the plus side a big improvement to her taste buds!
The chemicals in tobacco cause a loss of taste in smokers as well as structural changes to the fungiform papillae of the tongue where the taste buds are found; you can read more about this here.
Spring is almost here so why not spring forward into a healthy lifestyle, now is the time to sow seeds for the future. Do you need help to get to the gym every week? Do you need to break an unwanted habit? Or do you need to be the best sportsman for your sport? We all need a little help at this time of year especially after a long winter. Hypnotherapy is a great tool to use to get you motivated and on the right path for you.
All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.