• Emotions

• Hypnotherapy

"Should I take anti-depressants?"

Many people who discover they are depressed wonder "Should I take anti-depressants or not?" The short answer is: most often no; but sometimes, definitely.

Most depression is not a disease, but is caused by life-events, how we think about things, whether we are getting our needs met, and by unconscious feelings and emotions. (See causes of depression of psychological origin.) In this case, the right type of talking therapy is the perfect way to help you get back your aliveness and motivation. (In particular, a combination of solution-oriented cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy plus emotional healing such as inner child regression.)

At the same time, in some situations, medication is the life-saver. I certainly don't approve of "Prozac in the drinking water," but doctors now have some subtle and helpful medicines available. In correctly targeted cases of depression, well-chosen antidepressants can relieve the acute pain sufficiently for therapy to help the sufferer change their life. In some cases the anti-depressants are all that is needed.

On other pages:

Here’s one proof that depression is generally not a disease: it is ten times more likely in those born after 1945 than those born earlier. That’s even after factors such as more access to doctors and higher recognition by doctors are rigorously excluded. This has been attributed by researchers to the breakdown of communities and of religious, social and economic certainties, unbridled consumerism, and massive exposure to news media filled with bad news.

Despite that, it is a fact that depression does go hand in hand with altered brain chemicals, in particular, low serotonin levels. And from that fact, the drug companies are keen to argue that being depressed is caused by altered brain chemicals. So, they imply, profitable anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac are the treatment of choice.

However, the facts behind the hype are that Prozac-like antidepressants targeting serotonin levels work in around one third of patients, do some good for another third, and fail completely for the final third. Side effects can be severe and relapse rates are high. Antidepressants are by no means the happy-pill which the pharmaceutical companies claim. [Other, non-serotonin medications exist and have real value for severe clinical depression.]

In any case, many people know in their bones that the way to happiness is not a pill. They know that they need to change their lives. And they are right. Brain chemicals change how we think, but happily, how we think changes our brain chemicals. Serotonin levels are only a symptom. Drugs target effects, not causes.

There is excellent evidence that if you are depressed, what really works is the right type of talking therapy, such as my combination of solution-oriented cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy and emotional healing (eg inner child regression).. Such therapy:-

The more feeling depressed comes from your life situation or life history, the more it is talking therapy which can help you get back your vitality, drive, motivation and joy. To take the first step today, give me a ring: Andrew White 0845-3510604 / 0117-955-0490
I'm happy to answer questions or arrange, in Bristol or Taunton, a free, no-obligation half-hour initial meeting.

When you should go to the doctor: key symptoms of clinical depression

Medical help can be very valuable. In particular, if you fit the signs of clinical depression below, them go to your doctor at once. A well-chosen anti-depressant can reasonably be expected to make a significant improvement in a few weeks.  Then you will be much better placed to tackle any underlying life-issues.

THE ONLY WAY TO DIAGNOSE IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED IS TO VISIT YOUR DOCTOR AND I ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO THAT. This informal educational self-help information may not apply to everyone. It is not a diagnosis one way or the other and it not a substitute for going to the doctor. In particular, it is not to be read as:
"If I don't fit these criteria, I needn't go to the doctor."
The whole point of putting this information on a talking-therapy website is to emphasise that medical help can be very valuable and to encourage you to visit the doctor.

If you're not sure whether you are depressed, click here for a depression test. If you not sure if you may have a clinical depression, read on.

Symptoms of clinical depression

You should go to your doctor immediately if for even just two weeks, or more :

  • you have felt unremittingly down, sad, empty, despairing or hopeless with no breaks even when distracted by friends or enjoyable situations
  • OR, you feel terrible when you wake up (possibly waking early after disturbed sleep) but then slowly feel better as the day goes on. (In this case, be sure to see your doctor early in the morning.)
  • OR, you think of suicide either actively (“Maybe I should kill myself”) or passively (“If only I had some luck, I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow morning,” “What would it be like to drive my car into that tree?”). If you have started to plan how you might kill yourself, it is urgent to seek your doctor's help.

Advice given on these pages is not a substitute for your doctor's advice, and is intended to ENCOURAGE you to go and see your doctor.


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To arrange an appointment, or for more information, ring and speak to me direct. Clinics: In Bristol, 7, Unity St, BS1 5HH (off Park St, by College Green, easy parking) and in Clifton, on the edge of the Downs; in Central London; 2, Middle St Taunton, TA1 1SH.

0117-955-0490

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