COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged depression

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Some Information on the Highly Sensitive Person

Roughly 20% of the population struggle with high sensitivity. Typical traits include the following:

1. As students, they work differently from other people. They often pick up on subtleties and may think deeply about a subject before sharing in a discussion or contributing in a classroom setting. (This does not necessarily mean they don’t understand the material, or are too shy to speak in public. It has more to do with the way the person processes information.)

2. They tend to be highly conscientious in their work. They notice and pay attention to details, and they think things through very carefully. Also, often being highly sensitive is equated with higher levels of intelligence, being highly intuitive and having a vivid imagination. Highly sensitive individuals work and learn best in quiet and calm environments.

3. Highly sensitive students and employees generally underperform when they are being evaluated. They are highly conscious of being watched, and this inhibits their ability to function at their peak.

4. Although some individuals who are born with this trait may seem to be more introverted by nature, being introverted and highly sensitive do not always go together. Instead, environmental factors have a greater influence on how the individual feels and reacts.

5. People with high sensitivity are more sensitive to both negative and positive experiences. Thus, they are more affected by rough treatment, pain, heartaches and insensitivity from others … but also seem to benefit more from being treated with kindness, care and thoughtfulness.

6. Other common characteristics of the highly sensitive person being easily over-stimulated (hence the need for quiet and calm), being more emotionally reactive than others, and having higher levels of empathy.   

Filed under sensitive counselling psychology therapy personality depression anxiety mental health mental illness relationships moods happiness success self help self improvement online counselling college

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Some Signs that Life is Demanding Your Attention

1. The same themes and patterns (which are usually self-defeating) keep reappearing, or repeating themselves.

2. Unresolved issues and heatache from your past, are stopping you from living and enjoying your life now. These are triggered more frequently and easily today.

3. You have trouble coping with powerful emotions – like overwhelming anger or excessive crying.

4. You feel anxious, restless and dissatisfied, and feel as if something needs to change in your life.

5. You feel dazed or shocked by something that has happened, and can’t pick up the pieces and “be normal” again.

6. You keep pushing down your feelings, and denying your emotions, but they keep resurfacing – and just won’t go away.

7. You make superficial changes as you’re scared of digging deeper.  - but that doesn’t work for long as the real problem’s still there.

8. You can’t let go of something that meant a lot to you – a disappointment, or a failure, or a past relationship.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy self help self improvement mental health mental illness inspiration motivation depression online counselling college

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Tips for Coping with a Dreary Mood

1. Accept that we all feel low at times (but recognize that’s different from clinical depression.)

2. Don’t beat yourself up about feeling miserable. Remind yourself it’s normal to feel this way sometimes. (That is, we all feel bored, discouraged or a failure at times.)  

3. Be real and acknowledge that today is a bad day so it’s going to be harder to keep your motivation.

4. Think about one thing you can try or do to interrupt your thinking and take your mind off things.

5. Get up from sofa, or switch off your computer, and make the small commitment to take some form of action. For example, just going for a walk can start to lift and change your mood.

6. Smile at yourself, and other people you encounter. You’ll start to feel more human, and things won’t seem so bad.

7. Don’t keep looking back, or going over what went wrong. That won’t help your feelings, or help to move you on.

8. Think of things that make you happy, or people you enjoy, or all the many things that you are grateful for.   

Filed under counselling psychology therapy self help self improvement inspiration motivation moods eotions mental health mental illness depression online counselling college

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Counselling a Friend

You should never counsel your family or friends as you can’t be objective in a close relationship. However, you can offer support and be there for them when they need to unload and are looking for a friend. So what are some tips that can help you with this?
1) Encourage them to talk; ask them what’s on their mind - If you think your friend’s depressed or is bottling something up don’t pretend you haven’t noticed … ask if something’s bothering them. And unless you get the sense that they don’t want to talk, be persistent and keep asking in a gentle, caring way. This will send the clear message that you genuinely care.
2) Give your full attention and listen carefully – If your friend is brave enough to share what’s really bothering them, then give them the respect of listening carefully – without interrupting or offering them advice. Pay close attention and focus, and try to understand their perspective on their problems, and how that makes them feel. The only time you should speak is to clarify a point, or to ask open questions that will help them unload more. Also, encourage them to talk through your use of body language – such as nodding while they’re talking and sitting very still. Never fidget, look around or get distracted while they’re speaking – as that sends the message that you’re losing interest fast.
3) Unless specifically requested, don’t offer them advice - Once you’ve got the gist of what’s happening with your friend, resist the instinct to give them some advice. This is often very hard as we usually want to help … but most people resent this – they just want to be heard. Instead, the best way forward is to keep on asking questions to help them find solutions to their problems for themselves.
4) Remember it’s all about them; it’s not about you – Most people want to somehow turn the conversation round to talking about them, and their own experiences. This is so annoying; it’s the worst thing you could do. You are meant to be focused on your friend’s experiences!  
5) Be sensitive, respectful and non judgmental – Don’t react or seem shocked when they tell you something awful (like saying “OMG – I can’t believe you did that!”). And be tactful if you feel you must share something tough - as you honestly believe it would help to hear the truth. You don’t have to destroy them in your efforts to get real.

6) Nothing changes if we don’t do anything – Although it’s often helpful to unburden yourself if you just dump on others then nothing much will change. Thus, it’s important you encourage them to take some active steps – so ask them what they’ll do to try to start to turn their life around. Don’t only act as a crutch or a short term dumping ground.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy self help self improvement relationships friends depression mental health mental illness online counselling college

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When You Feel Discouraged

1.  Try and figure out the reasons behind it. Make a list – and then highlight the main factors.

2.  Go through your list, item by item. Try and dig more deeply for the underlying reasons. Is it because you are afraid of being seen as a failure? Is it an area that’s important to key people – so you feel they will judge your value by that? Are you afraid of disappointing and letting yourself down, or disappointing someone else who matters to you?

3.  Try and gain a broader, and more balanced, perspective. This is only tiny aspect of your life. There’s so much more to you, and your personality.

4. Think about your physical and mental health. Are you totally exhausted, run down or burnt out? Are you lacking sleep, or emotionally drained?

5. Is there someone you can talk to, who believes in you, and will help to build you up, and can see your gifts and strengths? We all need friends who can see beyond the chaos – and remind of our worth, and how valuable we are. 

6.  Reassess your plan, and maybe think about some changes. Do you need to change your goals, or re-set your expectations. As things change in life we have to make some adaptations. That may be all that’s needed for things to turn around.

7. See how you are feeling as being temporary. There’s still hope for the future! In time, things will work out.

Filed under discouragement depression mental health mental illness counselling Therapeutic Relationship self help self improvement failure online counselling college

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When you’re Fighting Depression or a Negative Mood

1. Remind yourself that thoughts and feelings aren’t facts. Often we think extreme and negative things – which are not completely true in reality. Try to get perspective and to be more balanced – and try to counteract accusing, negative thoughts.

2. Be patient, understanding and gentle with yourself. When you’re fighting depression or are feeling overwhelmed then that uses up a lot of your energy. Accept that today is likely to be hard, and put fewer expectations on yourself.

3. Do one small thing as it will help you to get moving - and you’ll start feel more hopeful as you see yourself make progress. Also, keeping yourself busy will interrupt your thinking, and will help to stop your feelings from getting even worse.

4. Although it’s not usually helpful to isolate ourselves, be wise in the people that you choose to be around. If other people are too happy – or too harsh and critical – it will compound your feelings of negativity.

5. Remember that tomorrow could be a better day. You only need to find the energy to make it through today.  

Filed under counselling psychology therapy depression mood mental health mental illness self help self improvement inspiration motivation online counselling college