You are browsing this page maybe because you or a person you know and care for show signs of:
- great sadness
- feelings of hopelessness (depressed mood)
- loss of motivation and decision-making
- decreased sense of pleasure
- eating and sleeping disorders
- morbid thoughts
- and feeling of worthlessness as an individual
Depression affects mood, thoughts and behavior, but also the body. Depression can be expressed in the body by back pain, stomach upset, and headache too.
You want to understand, you want to help them or yourself or you want to know how to get rid of it. You want a natural and gentle way of doing it but powerful and efficient.
Read below and contact me to know more.
- What is depression?
- What are the signs of depression?
- What causes depression?
- Types of depression
- How to treat depression?
- How to help someone with depression?
- The Lightning Process and depression?
What is depression?
First, you need to know that depression is not in your head!
Depression is a response to the disappointments that can be encountered in life. We all have ups and downs in our lives. You may feel bad about yourself after a sentimental or professional disappointment, however, these bouts of depression are usually quite short.
As time passes, the disappointment eventually disappears completely, and life normally resumes. But in the case of a chronic depression, the symptoms do not disappear, on the contrary they worsen.
What are the signs of depression?
A scientific definition: “Depression is a state of energy deprivation accompanied by a decline in neuropsychic tone and psychomotor retardation.”
But in real life, it’s so much more than this…
Depression … This word, which has become so common today, covers a reality that is still poorly understood.
Contrary to popular belief, depression is neither a fatality nor a weakness of character.
It is a disease that can affect everyone (regardless of age, gender, social level …), which causes significant suffering and discomfort and whose care requires the care of a competent professional.
Depression causes a “slowdown”
Depression causes a “slowdown” in all the registers of everyday life: emotional life, intellectual functioning, physical form, vital and body mechanisms.
This “slowdown” comes in multiple symptoms that persist for a long time (beyond fifteen days). Even if the symptoms are present, the person who suffers from depression often has trouble identifying them. The main obstacle to their identification lies in the difficulty of judging for oneself of one’s psychological state. Another reason is to consider his symptoms as normal, attributing them to a momentary difficulty in life.
There is a big difference between feeling temporarily depressed and suffering from a real depression. Some people describe it as living in a black hole without having the opportunity to get out of it. It is as if it is no longer possible to get rid of despair or sadness.
However, some people with nervous breakdowns may not feel sad. Instead, they feel that their life is empty and meaningless. In this state of apathy, they are unable to take pleasure in doing anything, even when they engage in activities they previously enjoyed. The signs and symptoms of nervous breakdown can also vary with people and can change over time in intensity.
People with depression tend to have low self-esteem and lack of confidence, particularly about their situation and future. Trapped in their pessimism, they think only of their problems while giving them an excessive importance. Unable to see the end of the tunnel, people with nervous breakdowns can come to the conclusion that suicide is the only solution.
Side effects of depression
Psychological side effects
1/ Depressive sadness
The sadness of a depressed person has the following characteristics:
- it succeeds to a state of sluggishness
- it permeates the perception of the present, the past and the future
- it creates an inability to experience pleasure (or anhedonia)
- it is comparable to that of a person who has just been mourned by a loved one: the world seems empty, nothing can have enough interest to alleviate this painful situation, the future is no longer ‘hope
- boredom, monotony but also moral pain also characterizes this sadness
- it is often associated with suicidal thoughts (the future seems hopeless for a depressed person)
In conclusion, the sadness of a depressed person is a real moral pain that causes deep suffering.
There is no depressed mood without anxiety and vice versa.
Anxiety is a feeling of inner tension, of imminent danger. It can be paralyzing or on the contrary cause agitation (inability to stay in place, …).
It can crystallize on a particular situation or an object: new fear of a social context with incapacity to face it (change of work for example), excessive preoccupations on one’s state of health, …
Anxiety becomes “anguish” when somatic symptoms are associated with these fears: chest tightness, palpitations, sweating, tremors, tight throat, difficulty swallowing, …
3/ Cognitive disorders
The depressive state is always accompanied by cognitive disorders. They are functional and reversible (that is, they disappear when the depressive state disappears). They manifest themselves especially when an effort of attention is necessary.
To a first degree, these cognitive disorders are manifested as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fatigability, annoying for example reading.
- Judgment and reasoning are imbued with sadness, anxiety, and pessimism.
Special case of the elderly person
In the elderly, cognitive symptoms can lead to an appearance of dementia with a failure of intellectual functions. Depression can induce a state of mental disorganization that resembles Alzheimer’s disease.
Behavioural side effects
1/ Psychomotor slow down
They feel tired, they feel that everything is effort.
2/ The depressed person perceives a paralysis of thought and action
In the extreme, psychomotor slow down can lead to paralysis of thought and action.
Some behaviors are characteristic of a serious depressive situation:
- clinophilia or inability to stand up
- loss of initiative
- withdrawal in one self
3/ Suicidal thoughts
80% of the depressed suffer from suicidal thoughts. The entourage must try to facilitate its expression, this can only help the depressed to feel more understood.
4/ Behavioral disorders
Mood disorders: hostile depression
Some forms of depression are expressed in a hostile way (so-called hostile depressions). They associate irritable mood and character disorders (irritability, aggressiveness …). This is mostly found in adolescents or young women with fragile personality.
Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia) can be a sign of depressive disorder.
Physical side effects
The main somatic signs of depression are:
- Weight loss related to anorexia, loss of taste, feeling of tightness in the throat
- Sleep disorders: insomnia of falling asleep, nocturnal awakenings with nightmares, insomnia of late night often associated with suicidal thoughts more pregnant.
- Hypersomnia is another form of sleep disorder: the patient finds refuge in a sleep that has lost its restorative value, resulting in a feeling of fatigue when waking up.
- Disorders of libido: decreased sexual appetite, impotence or frigidity.
- Digestive disorders: diarrhea or constipation, anorexia, gastralgia.
- Cardiovascular disorders: palpitations, flushing, hypotension and bradycardia in severe forms.
- Weight gain to compensate feeling of emptiness and hopelessness.
What causes depression?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. It is a combination of several factors that each play a greater or lesser role: stress of everyday life, low self-esteem, quality of relationships, heredity, lifestyle, etc.
Understanding the role these different factors play in one’s own depression can sometimes help beginning to overcome the problem, avoiding the same mistakes, and setting up a personal development plan that will directly address the sources of depression … but not always…
Why the depression? Why me?
In the face of a depression, we often look for explanations, and the first questions we ask ourselves are: “Why me? What happened? What is it due to? What did I do?”.
Our need to understand and make sense of what is happening to us is a natural process, especially when we have painful experiences. It is then common to resort to seemingly plausible explanations.
We then talk about external causes “It’s because it’s not going well in my work”, “When I will not have these financial problems, it’ll be better”, “I need to meet someone to no longer alone … or internal causes “It’s my fault”, “I’m good for nothing”, “I’ve never been able to succeed like the others “…
Yet these interpretations are most often far removed from the “real origins” of depression. They often even hinder the process of care and healing, by preventing us from consulting a doctor. Depression, like most mental illnesses, does not come from a single factor. On the contrary, it results from a set of mechanisms of various kinds, still imperfectly known.
Factors of depression
Biological, psychological, and environmental “factors” are usually distinguished (related to the social or family environment). Some of these factors intervene well before the depression, they “prepare the ground”, then we speak of risk factors (or factors of vulnerability).
For example, having parents who have had depression would increase the risk of being affected by the disease. Similarly, experiencing traumatic events or significant parental conflict in infancy would be associated with an increased risk of depression in later life.
Other factors intervene just before the depression, they “trigger” it: we speak then of precipitating factors.
Finally, there are also the environmental factors that you live in the present moment. For example, we can mention psychological and social factors. This can include the level of stress in your life, family support, your outlook on the world, your lifestyle and lifestyle choices, your beliefs and values, all of this generating chemical disruptions in your brain.
Can chemical disruptions be the cause of depression?
That is an interesting question. The Lightning Process has a clear position on this subject. Let’s start by explaining a few scientific facts first.
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers of our brain. They play a role in everything our brain is supposed to regulate, including moods and emotions.
People with depression have lower levels of three neurotransmitters:
- and dopamine.
This discovery is behind the theory of chemical deregulation that depression is caused by deficiencies in one of these brain neurotransmitters.
However, scientists do not know for sure if this fall in neurotransmitters is causing depression or if it is the depression that causes this decline. In addition, medical research has shown that not all people with depression suffer from decreased activity of these neurotransmitters. Some studies have even shown increased levels of norepinephrine in patients with depression.
We are nowhere close to understand the cause of depression!
Stress and depression
Stress is another usual suspect. Traumatic or stressful events can trigger depression in people who already have a vulnerable personality or people suffering from a chronic illness. How many times have I heard my clients telling me that the doctor said they didn’t have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue or allergies, “you are just stressed!”.
Moreover, problems at work, including job loss or unemployment can also trigger depression. Or the loss or risk of losing the loved one in a divorce, death or any kind of separation can lead to depression too.
Several diseases can have an impact on mood and lead to depression, especially pathologies that affect the brain such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Depression can also occur with cases of heart disease or diabetes and generally when the immune or hormonal system is affected.
Drugs, alcohol and depression
Although some people think that alcohol or drug use will make the symptoms of depression disappear, we now have the certainty that these abuses cause and maintain the nervous breakdown. Alcohol, which decreases the effect of drugs and slows the activity of our brain, is particularly dangerous.
Excessive marijuana use can also lead to depression. In the end, even though the use of amphetamines gives the impression of stimulating your brain, depression returns systematically once their effect is over.
In conclusion, the truth is, at this stage, everybody talking about depression is just guessing and trying to make sense of it… even me!
Types of depression
Depression is most often in the form of episodes: it is called a depressive episode characterized (or major depressive episode).
When depression sets in over time, it is called dysthymia or (more radical form) chronic depression.
Bipolar disorders are a specific disorder that alternates phases of depression and overexcitation phases.
Unfortunately, people with depression do not always get the help they need when they need it because of the misunderstanding of the disease by those around them or because of fear of the judgement by others.
Prenatal and Postpartum
Giving birth to a child is never easy. For several months, women experience many physical, hormonal and psychological changes that can more or less have an impact on the long term.
During pregnancy (prenatal depression), or during the first weeks after childbirth (postpartum), an adaptation crisis occurs (the baby blues), more or less severe, thus triggering a prenatal or postnatal depression.
Manic depression, hypomania, bipolar depression
We all have ups and downs, days when we are in good shape and others during which we are rather sad or depressed. Bipolar disorder is characterized by these same emotions of joy and sadness but with a much stronger intensity and much more severe than normal.
Typically, bipolar disorder is divided into two phases: an overactive phase, and a melancholic depressive phase.
Recognizing bipolar disorder is therefore the first step in treatment that can control and treat it. In addition, untreated bipolar disorder tends to worsen over time and years.
How to treat depression?
What does exist that can have a positive impact on depression? Today, the classic ways to treat depression are the following ones.
Medication and depression
I am not a doctor, and this is not my area of expertise.
You have been there, done that… not many positive changes? So, what else?
Natural treatment and depression
I can’t speak for other disciplines but in my “depression” period, I had tried homeopathy, naturopathy, Chinese medicine, etc.
They helped me, but they got me so far…
Food, nutrition and depression
A healthy and balanced diet never hurts and could go a long way to helping you. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables (the famous “5 fruits and vegetables a day”), can have a positive influence on your mood.
In fact, imbalances in certain vitamins and minerals can be the cause of depression. For example, deficiencies in folic acid (vitamin B9) or vitamin B12 are symptoms of depression. A lack of vitamin C, found in people who do not eat fruits or vegetables, is a symptom of fatigue and sadness.
In addition, low fat diets that do not include enough Omega 3 are not recommended.
Sport, physical exercise and depression
Sport can have a huge influence on your morale. Researchers even say that exercising at least three times a week can reduce the effects of depression. A daily walk of at least thirty minutes is even more beneficial. Many doctors consider that sport is at least as effective, if not more, than an antidepressant treatment.
Alternative therapies and depression
CBT is getting some results as far as I know.
I am myself helping people with Neuro Linguistic Programming when the depression is not too severe. When it is then I advise people to go for the Lightning Process.
The Lightning Process is a programme based on the recent discoveries in neurosciences. It relies on neuroplasticity.
It is powerful because it helps you to re-wire your brain into creating or using positive neurological pathways. This action is possible thanks to the mental exercise that I’ll teach you. This one-minute exercise will help you to regain control over your anxiety and the physiological response of your body.
From shutting down the fight and flight response, you will regain serenity, physical abilities, cognitive power, positive thoughts, useful behaviours, and proper eating habits.
The success rate for getting rid of depression with the Lightning Process is higher than 80 %. To know more about the Lightning Process please, click here.
How to help someone with depression?
How to help and live with a depressed person while protecting yourself?
If someone you love is suffering from a nervous breakdown, you are probably wondering what you can do to help him. Your support and encouragement can play a major role in healing depression.
At the same time, you must not forget to take care of yourself. Indeed, depression can also affect the entourage of the person who suffers. In the following tips, you will be able to learn how to help a person with depression, without doing this to the detriment of your own balance.
If one of your loved ones is depressed, make sure your health and morale are strong enough before you begin to help. You will not relieve the person concerned if you collapse under pressure and do not finally feel the courage to help that person. Continuing to take care of yourself when a loved one is depressed is not a selfish act, on the contrary, it allows you to continue to love and care for that person.
In addition to paying attention to yourself, there are two other ways to help a depressed person:
- provide emotional support
- help them follow their treatment
It may sound simple, but anyone who has experienced this situation will tell you that there is nothing easy to handle in depression. The following tips should help you get started:
- Learn about depression
- Be understanding
- Stay zen and don’t take anything personally
- Be patient
- Be aware of your limitations as a helper
Provide emotional support
The most important thing you can do to help a friend or family member with depression is to show them how much you love them and how much you are willing to help them. (H3)
This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not necessarily easy when you have to deal with a negative mood on a daily basis. Showing support involves showing signs of encouragement and hope. Very often, it is enough to choose the right words to succeed in restoring confidence to a depressed person.
Here is a list of things you can say to a depressive to show your support:
- “I love you, no matter what you say or what you do”
- “Never think you’re alone to fight this disease, I’m here to help you”
- “Please tell me what I can do for you, here, now”
- “I know I cannot understand how you feel, but I’m here for you if you need to talk”
- “I cannot imagine how difficult it must be”
- “You are so important to me”
- “We can get by, there are people who can help us for that”
- “You will not always stay that way, we’ll find a way to make you feel better”
What not to say to a depressed person
Sometimes it’s even more important to know what not to say to someone who has depression. You should avoid saying things like:
- “It’s all in your head that’s happening”
- “We all know the same thing at one time or another”
- “It will get better, stop worrying”
- “Look on the bright side”
- “You still have so much to live, why do you want to die?”
- “I cannot do anything about it”
- “Stop acting stupidly”
- “What’s your problem?”
- “You should not start feeling better since the time it lasts?”
Encourage the depressed person to take their treatment or go on with the method they chose.
Family and friends are often the first line of defense against depression. They can detect the warning signs of a depression before the sufferer realizes it, and they can motivate the patient to seek help.
Getting help for depression
However, getting help is not always an easy path. The very nature of depression makes it extremely difficult for a depressed person to agree to seek help. Depression decreases the level of energy and motivation, making the smallest of actions an insurmountable obstacle.
A person with depression must admit that they have a problem and recognize that this problem can be solved. This is the first important step in the path to healing depression.
If your friend or someone in your family does not want to be diagnosed or seek proper treatment, there are other solutions. For example, suggest that you do a checkup instead. This has two advantages. First, what appears to be depression can have a purely medical reason that the doctor can identify.
Secondly, the patient may be less anxious about going to see a doctor rather than a psychiatrist or psychologist.
If the doctor confirms the diagnosis of depression, he can convince the patient to get help. Indeed, sometimes a “professional” opinion can make all the difference when a depressed person is in the denial of his situation or opposed to a treatment.
Helping the depressed person during the treatment of the depression.
Once your friend or family member acknowledges depression and agrees to be helped, you can help during treatment by introducing the treatment process as a team effort. However, remember that healing depression is a personal process, you should never make decisions in the place of the patient.
The Lightning Process and depression?
In conclusion, the Lightning Process is a powerful and efficient technique. Indeed, the work I’ll do with you will consist in identifying these mechanisms that lead to depression. Next, I’ll give you the tools to destroy the wrong neurological pathways.
Then, I’ll teach you the tools to rebuild sounds and positive, life enhancing ones. Therefore, they will act naturally in maintaining your emotional balance. In fact, you won’t need months or years of therapy to get back happy thoughts and emotions! Consequently, it can happen fast, and it has happened to several of my clients already.
Furthermore, the Lightning Process will be used to deal with the most severe conditions.
In summary, the Lightning Process helps by teaching a set of tools which have enabled people to change their mood at the deepest levels. Henceforth, they restore better hormonal and neurotransmitters function. And finally, it helps them rediscover how to influence life-promoting behaviours.
The Lightning Process Outcome Measures Study included participants who were self-diagnosed as suffering from anxiety or depression. The results from the preliminary data indicates that the Lightning Process makes a considerable positive impact. It resulted in increased health status at 6 weeks, persisting at 3 months. In addition, it demonstrated improvements in all of the quality of life measures.