Depression and Anxiety are the predominant mental health problems worldwide and classified among the main causes of disability and death.
Statistics appear to show an increase in the number of cases, perhaps partly due to an increase in people suffering from these conditions, and partly to a more effective and open disclosure of mental health conditions.
Reactive sadness (to a particular event) and grief can trigger an extreme reaction and intense pain. Clinical depression however is different.
Clinical Depression is characterised by:
Anxiety disorders can appear in different forms:
Early intervention and putting the right coping mechanisms in place could significantly improve the quality of life in someone suffering from depression or anxiety.
With the use of hypnotherapy and the learning of coping/managing mechanisms, episodes of depression and feelings of anxiety could become less controlling and help each person feel more at ease and empowered to deal with their symptoms.
Sleeping is one of the most important (if not the most important) activity for the physical health or any human, as well as their intellectual capacity to function.
Lack of sleep has been linked to later development of Alzheimer’s, to cardiovascular disease, deficient immune system, stress and anxiety, depression, cancer, obesity and many other serious diseases.
Research into the Science of Sleep reveals that the human brain is highly active during sleep and that this brain activity plays an important role in the physical and mental health.
Sleep is normally the first casualty, and often the first cause of stress – a cycle that perpetuates the issue.
Adult humans are designed to go to sleep at around 11pm and wake up at around 7am, which allows for the necessary 8 hours of sleep every night.
The combination of three factors determine the 11pm start; they are the amount of light that enters through the eyes and is received in the brain, an internal cycle or body clock, and the reach of a pick on the level of particular hormones that build up whilst awake. Eight hours of sleep each night is what is needed for the average human body and brain to function efficiently on the next day and in the long term.
In the first part of the night, sleep consists mostly of deep sleep with no dream; during this period, the body and the brain undergo a process of cleansing, growing and repairing (including the tissue of the organs and arteries, boosting of the immune system and freeing memory space); later stages of sleep and towards the morning, our sleep consists mostly of dream. During dream, individuals process their experiences, give them sense in a creative (and often bizarre) way, integrate them into their emotional system, memory and individual resources.
Reducing the earlier hours will shorten the rebooting of the body and brain, which could make a person more vulnerable to disease and infection; could also hinder the capacity to remember, to learn and do intellectual work. Cutting down on the later hours (dream time) will deprive the person of essential self-therapy time and has been associated with increased levels of anxiety and depression.
For help with understanding better and possibly improving your sleep, do get in touch as I may be able to help.
Alcohol and food (often chocolates, sweets) can play many roles such as company, release of stress, comfort, numbing, even audacity and power.
When the habit takes over the individual's will and becomes an installed addiction, this could lead to feelings of unhappiness and a menace to health and life.
Whatever the model for understanding and treating addiction - as a Disease a Choice or as Self-medication - addiction is seen as a subset of habits, those that are most extreme and difficult to extinguish. Addictions are more deeply and often more quickly formed, fuelled by intense desire, especially as they supress the interest in alternative pursuits.
It is said that addictions can start with a simple event or stem from a history of low self-esteem and possibly abuse. They can also be related to genetic factors.
Addictions may even develop from a simple habit, the filling of someone's absence, the way to erase an emptiness, a worthless moment or a negative state of mind.
Whatever its trigger or definition, alcohol and food are likely not the answer. And even less the answer to dealing with a stressful situation.
Excess of alcohol and/or sugar affect the brain and its capacity to make responsible choices. They can also jeopardize the quality of sleep, which is crucial to the capacity to overcoming stress; they can also bring feelings of depression and anxiety.
As the addiction progresses, more stimuli (such as the time of the day, the journey home, the sight of a shop, the place where it all happens) will become associated with the object of addiction; at the same time, previous interests are removed from the mind and no longer pursued. A cycle of powerless compulsion is created even when the addiction no longer offers pleasure, especially from the second glass or bar of chocolate.
If you feel you need professional help to manage your addiction do get in touch; I may be able to help you.
The breakup of a relationship is usually the source of major conflicts and deeply debilitating states of stress and anxiety.
Bereavement mechanisms arise related with financial stress, family, home, dreams and future.
New technologies have brought new challenges to modern life; a much wider variety of possibilities and risks are now inside the house and at the touch of a button.
Long lost contacts, online information, groups, support, debate, dating, … this is now all available.
Being connected to virtual networks has become so natural in our culture that people may find difficult to switch off from their phones and on with the people in their life. A new phobia has even been classified: Nomophobia- the fear or anxiety of not having access to a mobile phone, and which includes also not having reception or battery.
Change in the family habits and the progressive isolation of each individual in the home means that each member can escalate to a less functional state without being noticed; or, by the time this has been noticed, it is often too late.
Work issues and people are now present at home, any time day or night; and so are any issue, any person.
With this increased online activity comes also a raised effort in staying connected, offer an attractive profile and seek feedback and approval. Online bonding appears to be increasing faster than the traditional family bonding rituals.
It is no surprise that this often results in the family drifting apart and ultimately, its breakup.
A breakup inevitably brings an assembly of destructive emotions such as guilt, resentment, deception, shame, feelings of failure and so many others. The breakup of a family is understandably a very traumatic experience to everyone involved and especially when children are involved.
Even more stress is added when it becomes necessary to sell (and often move) home, negotiate possessions and time with children, deal with legal litigation and fees, redefine roles with the wider family and friends and so on.
Sometimes, relying on a network of support is sufficient to pull through this exceptional period; other times professional help may understandably be needed.
With my professional help I may be able to help you deal with each of the complex components of separation, minimize its hindering effects and strengthen your capacity to feel in control.