the depression cycle
The word depression is sometimes used to describe a mild feeling of sadness or low spirits. At other times, it indicates a much more serious emotional state that really should not be ignored. Of course, almost everyone will feel down from time to time, but should feelings of emptiness and despair take a hold of your life, you may be depressed in the real clinical or medical sense of the word. If this is the case, the condition could leave you feeling helpless, hopeless and numb.
Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand with each other. Anxiety tends to be triggered by worry, which occurs when you use your imagination in self-defeating ways. A pattern of worry will usually begin with you imagining things going wrong in one way or another. If you let this negative process persist, your mind will be kept busy with repetitive thoughts that involve these imagined bad outcomes. This stressful mental activity is likely to make it difficult for you to concentrate, relax and sleep. On-going worry is then likely cause anxiety; and once you become anxious, feelings of depression might well follow, setting in place a nasty vicious cycle.
When such a pattern of anxiety, exhaustion and depression has been established, it becomes quite difficult to challenge negative thoughts. Unhelpful states-of-mind then tend to reinforce other unhelpful states-of-mind and, if left unchecked, things can begin to spiral. Those feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and numbness may intensify and, after a while, you may even start to feel depressed about your very depression. Ironically, your depression may by now have become even more difficult to deal with than whatever it was that first triggered it.
If your symptoms don’t pass fairly quickly, or if they keep coming back, it may be time to seek professional support. You should also seek professional support if your symptoms interfere with the way you function. Depression can be a serious condition, so it is important that you make a conscious decision to do something about it as soon as is possible. Although no single intervention is exactly right for everyone, depression will usually respond well to hypnotherapy and its related disciplines - particularly mindfulness. It is a safe, drug-free treatment, and with the right help, you should soon be able to get your life back on track.
Read about prescription drugs and about the related conditions of grieving and anxiety. You can also find information about the symptoms of depression, about the causes of depression and about various types of depression here.
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Worrying helps you some—it seems as if you were doing something when you're worrying.
L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, 1908
Canadian novelist (1874 - 1942)