Nicola had suffered with depression for a number of years. She had been subscribed medication from her GP (citalopram) which helped, however she still had days where she felt she could not face the world. She did not want her GP to increase her dosage of medication so wanted to see if she could help herself.
The first half a dozen sessions with Nicola were all about release; she had never felt that she could express her inner most feelings and thoughts. This is indicative of many people I see; they don't want to cause pain to the people in their lives, so they hold in their emotions. Nicolas coping mechanism was to go back to bed - people suffering with depression can just 'stay in their caves' until the pain subsides.
Nicola felt that certain events in her life caused a change in her behaviour; she didn't appreciate that between those two states were thoughts and emotions, things she had control over. I trained Nicola to NOTICE that following an event (which could be and was mostly self talk) were thoughts (which were generally negative and unhelpful to Nicola), then emotions (mental and physiological) and then came the behaviour and consequence. Once Nicola understood this she began NOTICING her thinking was negative and she would sometimes overgeneralise or jump to conclusions or disqualify any positives. With help and PRACTICE Nicola started to change her thinking. This alone had a profound effect on her day to day mood.
We then worked on removing emotions from the past using 'Time Line Therapy'. This in itself was an emotional journey, however the weight of emotions held in for many year immediately began to lift.
We used other techniques, such as hypnosis (to help with controlling anxiety) and also meditation - Nicola starts her day now with a 10 minute meditation on gratitude.
Nicola still has the odd day where she feels she cannot face the world, she will contact me, talk it through and I assume get back 'on the tracks'. Life is never easy and I always use the analogy with my clients of a train; you are travelling along the track, when suddenly you might change tracks or become derailed. This is something that will always happen, however if you have to tools to deal with each issue as it arises it makes things easier; you have control.
I myself have the odd blip and have to revert to looking at my thinking :). We all suffer with the symptoms of depression from time to time, some of us can cope and some of us just need a little support.
Did you know that one in seven people each year suffer with symptoms of depression and have of those are will be unable to continue their normal working life.