All posts tagged: depression

This five step assessment will help break your low mood

Most of us will go through times of low mood at some point in our lives. Perhaps sparked by stressful life events – redundancy, grief, lack of sleep, pregnancy, loss, illness, or perhaps for no obvious reason, we just find ourselves stuck in a rut. It’s when this period of low mood goes on for a few weeks or more that it might be worth taking a PHQ9 depression test and speaking to your GP. But often there are certain factors we can influence and by implementing tiny changes, we can help break the cycle of negativity and pull ourselves out of the pit of doom. If you find yourself caught in a trap, with a continually low mood try this CBT approach and carry out the five key areas assessment, to see what factors are in your control. The five areas are: PEOPLE AND EVENTS AROUND YOU THINKING PATTERNS ALTERED FEELINGS PHYSICAL FEELINGS AND SENSATIONS ALTERED BEHAVIOUR AND ACTIVITY LEVELS Assessing your life in this way can help you see the impact of low …

9 Signs you Might be Depressed

Do you know the main signs of depression? Could you spot them in others? Feelings of inescapable sadness, emptiness or hopelessness Loss of interest in life and the simple things Unexplained weight loss or gain Difficulty sleeping and staying asleep Restless and irritable Feelings of guilt or worthlessness and low self-esteem Fatigue and low energy levels Problems concentrating, remembering and making decisions Thoughts of suicide and thoughts of death If you’ve had five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you might be depressed. Make an appointment with your local GP or talk to someone you can trust. You could also call one of the organisations listed here who offer help and support directly.

Poetry Friday

The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, Still, treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. Rumi    

24hr Social Media use Linked to Teenage Anxiety

Research from the University of Glasgow has found a strong link between teenage social media use and increased anxiety and depression. Lead researcher Dr Heather Cleland Woods carried out the study on 467 teenagers, looking at their overall and night-time specific social media use. Further tests measured sleep quality, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and the subjects’ emotional investment in social media, which relates to the pressure to be available 24/7 and any anxiety around not responding immediately to texts or posts. Results showed that overall and night-time specific social media use along with a higher emotional investment in social media, were related to poorer sleep quality, lower self-esteem and higher anxiety and depression levels. Dr Cleland Woods explained: “Adolescence can be a period of increased vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety, and poor sleep quality may contribute to this. It is important that we understand how social media use relates to these.” She went on to say “While overall social media use impacts on sleep quality, those who log on at night appear to …

Technology and Sleep Deprivation, the Facts

A lack of sleep is associated with depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, yet gone are the days when our bedrooms provided a sanctuary of tranquility and relaxation. Instead contemporary bedrooms are now filled with TVs, iPads, laptops and mobile phones – all doing their very best to ensure we’re permanently on call, over-stimulated and wound up. According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 60% of 13-64 year olds experience problems sleeping and a staggering 95% use electronics in the hour before they go to sleep. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to realise there could be a very strong link between the two! Especially when 95% of 18-29 year olds sleep with their phones right next to their beds. The self-luminous display light emitted from phones and tablets, is the main cause for concern, as a study from the Lighting Research Centre proved exposure to this artificial light before bed caused melatonin suppression – a hormone that regulates our body clock and tells us it’s nighttime! But what can we do to ensure we’re giving ourselves …

10 Benefits of Meditation

Evidence suggests meditation has been around since 1500 BCE, making it over 3500 years old. Yet the art of meditation only spread to Western society thousands of years later, and has only really gained household popularity in the last decade. What is about this ancient art form that’s survived the test of time and why do so many religions and gurus swear by its healing properties? We’ve chosen our top 10 benefits – It boosts Positive Emotions
 Powerful contemplative meditations like loving-kindness act as triggers for positive emotions. When we recall and allow ourselves to cultivate loving feelings, not only does it boost our mood, but we can more easily access those feelings after the mood has passed. Positive effect on our Physical Health Meditating encourages us to relax and therefore helps to reduce our stress level and boosts our immunity. It has also been proven to boost our immunity. Helps fight Depression Results now show that MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) is just as effective as anti-depressants in fighting mental illness. This is revolutionary for those who are …

Respond don’t React

Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day and the 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz liberation, so it seems apt that today’s post is about Viktor Frankl’s best-selling classic Man’s Search for Meaning. The extraordinary memoir of a psychotherapist who survived life in a Nazi concentration camp. The story is based on his experiences in camp where he laboured, starved and was subjected to horrific abuse, whilst his pregnant wife, brother and parents all perished. It is a profound book on the strength of the human spirit in the face of despair. There are two areas that really stand out for me in this book. The first is Frankl’s argument that we cannot avoid suffering, that life is suffering, but what is important is our perception of it and how we choose to react to it. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl  How we perceive something gives it its meaning and whilst we …

Put your phone down and pick up a book! 10 ways reading can boost your mental health

Technotox is here to try and encourage each of us to switch off to the drains and distractions of digital technology – emails, social media, addictive computer games – we spend far too many hours devoted to our screens, in fact the average person now checks their phone 150 times a day and unsurprisingly, it’s affecting our mental health. Being a slave to our phones can leave us feeling brain dead, overwhelmed and lost. So it’s time for a technology-detox and to rediscover more traditional activities that help promote our well-being, those which nuture rather than neglect our mental health. Reading is one such activity and has lots of wonderful merits, here are my top 10 – Stimulates the mind Reading keeps the brain sharp and the mind active. Unlike watching TV – a passive pastime, it stimulates our brain cells, helps build the memory muscle and gives our minds a workout. Reduces stress Reading is incredibly relaxing and can help us unwind after a hard day. It’s proven it reduces stress levels; as an engaging activity that requires …

10 ways to look after your mental health

The Mental Health Foundation published a list of 10 ways to look after your mental health. Can you think of any others? Talk about your feelings Keep active Eat well Drink sensibly Keep in touch with loved ones Ask for help Take a break Do something you’re good at Accept who you are Care for others Find out more at