Recession? Depression Hot On Its Heels? Psychotherapy?

For Love Or Money Or Talking Therapy?

So, the era of the £1500 handbag, weekends in Dubai and regular six figure hedge fund bonuses are over. How, I wonder, is that making us feel? Glad, maybe for the end of such excess? Sorry maybe that the streets will have fewer Aston Martins for us to peer into, fewer braches of Prada and Gucci for us to press our noses against? Which ever, reality means that the losses of the hedge funders will soon be our losses. Even if our style was more Marks and Spencer than Marc Jacobs and our sense of prosperity came from the rising value of our homes, not our stock portfolio, things aren’t going to be the same for a while. The boom has turned to bust and the world around us is changing fast. We need to prepare ourselves for the new age of austerity.

The transition from feeling prosperous to feeling precarious may not be easy – especially if we’ve lost our job or livelihoods. We’re moving from an age where anything seemed possible to an age where our lives may become more restricted, our horizons narrowed. These kinds of changes are difficult to negotiate – it means a loss of a certain type of life and attitude and with loss, depression can come hot on its heels.

Symptoms of depression can include constant feelings of sadness, irritability or stress, decreased interest or pleasure in usual activities or hobbies, loss of energy, lack of concentration, restlessness, sleeplessness or the desire to sleep all day, feelings of worthlessness, relationship breakdown, hopelessness or thoughts of suicide.

If we were once a person with an enjoyable job and money in the bank, losing these things and the life style that came with them, is going to be hard. The jobs that we do are often inextricably linked to our identity – to who we believe we are. If an essential component of who we think we are is taken away, we can be left floundering for a meaning in our lives.

This though, is maybe the moment you can look inward, rather than outward for answers and real meaning. It may be possible for you to discover through counselling, psychotherapy, or simply through your own reflection, who you really are and what you really want from life. This maybe a time to invest in relationships, not hedge funds – it’s love, after all, that gives us the potential to be happy.

Stress at Work: How Psychotherapy Can Help

A Psychotherapy Approach To Stress and Recession

Mind, the mental health charity has just released figures that suggest that some 7% of workers have sought help for stress and related mental health problems since the start of the recession.

The economic climate is increasing pressure on workers to perform better and to work longer hours, in order to hold onto jobs, amid a culture of redundancy and budget cuts.

Stress can manifest in several different ways; symptoms can include anger, crying, sleeplessness, a sense of panic and a loss of perspective. Physical symptoms can include headaches, skin irritations and weight loss.

Increasing numbers of workers are seeking counselling and psychotherapy to help cope with the pressures in the work place. Talking through symptoms and concerns with a professional therapist can help alleviate symptoms, regain clarity and find a positive way forward.

The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice, based in the Doctorcall building in Harley Street, has introduced a Stress Counselling Clinic where individuals take a series of six therapy sessions over six weeks to help them through a particularly stressful period of their lives.  See Stress at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice.

Women and Mid-Life Depression

How can Psychotherapy Help with Mid-Life Depression?

Journalist Allison Pearson, in an article in today’s edition of the Daily Mail, writes of her struggle with depression and suggests that women hitting their middle years, and of this generation, are prone to the condition. Emma Thompson and Fiona Phillips are cited  as high profile women who, having hit mid-life are experiencing depression.

What hits many women approaching mid life is multiple loss and with loss, comes depression.  Loss doesn’t have to be about death – it can be about a loss of identity, a loss of purpose or meaning in life. Women who have had a career may be plateauing at this point, realising that it’s not all they want and, indeed,  that there are a hundred younger women behind them, snapping at their heels.   Of course looks and youth are a loss to the mid-lifer – the demise of youth and beauty, and the premium society puts on appearance, means that as they age, women can experience a kind of bereavement.  As mothers, moving into middle age there is  also a loss to negotiate; that of  the dependent child. Watching children separate and move away can be a tremendous loss to a mid-life mother; the purpose and focus of life has changed. Fertility is also on the decline and for the mid-life women, this too may be experienced as a loss – a point in life where women may re-evaluate who they are.

These life changes that middle aged women come up against go largely unacknowledged. A mid-life woman presenting at a GP with depression will be frequently sent home with a prescription which may well make them feel better -but not understood.  Therapy with a professional psychotherapist, such as those at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice in London, can help explore the feelings of loss,  reduce the depression and help the individual move on to explore new opportunities.

Post Natal Depression and Therapy

Post Natal Depression and Therapy

One in ten mothers are likely to suffer from post natal depression. The condition comes with the usual symptoms of depression; low mood, low motivation, anxiety, poor sleep and relationship difficulties. The condition, untreated or unnoticed, can persist for months and occasionally, years. Women with a history of depression or a difficult relationship with a partner or their own mother, are more likely to suffer with PND.

It’s normal to experience confused feelings around mother hood. On one level you may be delighted to be a mother, on the other, you may feel sad, or at times angry, that you’ve lost your old life and your freedom. You may have ambivalent feelings about your baby; you may love him or her but, if you’ve had a difficult relationship with your own mother, you may be anxious about bonding with your own child and anxious about the kind of mother you might be.  Expressing these mixed feelings is hard; there’s huge pressure on us to bloom as new mothers but it’s important that you monitor your feelings and seek help for post natal depression. Talking to a therapist who will not judge you, but support you, can really help relieve the symptoms and stop the feelings from overwhelming you and enable you to move forward and build a greater sense of confidence as a woman and as a mother.

If you are pregnant and depressed, or  have a history of depression, it may be a good idea to seek some short term, focused counselling or psychotherapy before the baby is born – this way you may be able to prevent the onset of post natal depression and be better able to form a healthy and happy relationship with your baby.

The therapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice in London can help you.