“My mood is a lot more buoyant and I don’t always take things quite so seriously, not ploughing face first through the silt in the bottom of the pond anymore!! And it’s really good to feel that. Most exciting is that I’ve rediscovered a bit of creativity – painting a picture I’ve been meaning to for two years. Many thanks for your help.” (From a client who had been experiencing low mood).
We all experience fluctuations of mood from time to time. It’s a natural part of being human. Our emotions can be a useful indicator of how much stress we are under, or it might point to an important need that is not being met. It is also natural and very healthy to feel sad as a result of a loss of some kind.
A low mood might result in a period of withdrawal from our usual activities until such time as the clouds in our mind start to disperse, and we can again start to feel more optimistic and alive, with the energy to engage fully in life.
If however you have been feeling sad, down, blue or depressed for a month or more and have stopped being interested in the things that you are normally interested in, this could be an indicator that it is time to seek help.
Depression is a condition characterised by low mood and a loss of interest in things that normally bring pleasure. It is more than just occasional sadness. A person in the grip of depression can feel physically exhausted one minute and then over-agitated the next. Life seems to lose its meaning and getting through the day might seem like wading through treacle.
For nearly half a century it has been known that people with depression have excessive amounts of REM sleep, i.e. the phase of sleep during which dreaming takes place. The psychologist Joe Griffin has proposed that this excessive dreaming is an attempt by the brain to defuse the emotional arousal that has been generated by negative introspections that have not been acted on during the day. This excessive dreaming uses up a lot of energy resulting in exhaustion and a difficulty in focusing outwards.
Human Givens therapy for depression is aimed at breaking this cycle of depression. It does this in a number of ways: physical and mental relaxation; calming techniques to reduce emotional arousal; practical problem-solving and re-engagement in rewarding activities. As always in Human Givens therapy the emphasis is on getting one’s basic human needs met in balance by drawing on the resources to hand. These resources include personal qualities and strengths.
If you want any help in lifting your mood then a few sessions of Human Givens Therapy will be very beneficial.
Kevan Owen HG.Dip.P., MHGI, DHypPsych (UK).
Human Givens Therapist. Mobile: 07717 289373.
The Bell Surgery, 453 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 8AU.
Trinity House Practice, 150-152 Cumberland Street, Macclesfield, SK10 1BP.