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When someone comes to see me at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic and tells me they’re depressed, I need to determine if this is actually the case or whether in fact they are just feeling sad.

There is a distinction. Someone who is sad, or feeling a bit down is unlikely to continue being miserable for too long. I am able to reassure them that their mood will change and if they so wish we can help them at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic. But I inform them that it is only natural to be sad at times.

Depression in the medical sense of the word, on the other hand, is far more serious. If the sadness a client complains about is indeed depression it will be impinging on his or her life to detrimental effect. Depression can erode a person’s well-being and last for weeks and return again and again.

As with so many other conditions, depression manifests itself to varying degrees.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is often recommended and available at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, though before treatment commences we insist clients consult a doctor first. This is done in the interest of clients as there are cases of depression where pharmacological intervention is the best form of treatment. At its worse, depression can drive people to suicide or they may simply lose the will to live.

There are several types of depression:

Postnatal depression

This is more serious than what is known as baby blues that usually last for only a few days. PND is quite common, affecting around 12% of new mothers and it is not fully understood why some women suffer from the condition while others don’t. Sometimes a mother may suffer PND after a second child, having shown no symptoms with the first born. It should be emphasised that PND is no indication that an affected woman is a bad mother. It is thought that in some cases PND can be brought on for secondary reasons ie anxiety about other issues in the woman’s life. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is often effective.

 Seasonal affective disorder

As the name suggests, this form of depression is related to the seasons and usually begins when the days start to shorten. Sometimes it is known as winter depression and is thought to be linked to the reduction in sunlight during winter months which affects the body’s hormone balance and natural rhythms. Treatment can include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as offered by Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic. Other forms of treatment include exposure to light therapy. In some cases drugs may be prescribed by a doctor.

 Bipolar disorder

This is a mood disorder once commonly known as manic depression. Its causes are thought to be diverse, though genetics is widely considered a significant contributor.

People with the disorder experience mania alternating with periods of depression. Individuals with mild levels of mania, termed hypomania, can be highly creative and productive but if mania escalates their lives become more erratic and those with severe mania can experience psychosis (which might be described as loss of reality), sometimes misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.

Depression is the other aspect of the disorder with episodes lasting for at least two week but often much longer. Symptoms of the depressive phase might include social anxiety and extreme feelings of hoplessness.

The management of bipolar disorder is diverse with both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic techniques available. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is considered useful in helping to prevent relapses.

 Causes of depression

There is no single specific cause of depression and it might be triggered by a combination of factors.
Anxiety, though, goes hand in hand with the disorder.

Common triggers of clinical depression are stress, loss, trauma, bereavement, illness, drugs and alcohol and loneliness.

Physical causes can be significant – including low blood sugar levels and sleep problems, medication and even diet. Although no gene has been identified that renders a person prone to depression it has been observed that the condition does run in families.

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