Read our posts about depression

Why Counsellors are so Busy at Christmas

Why Counsellors are so Busy at Christmas

Although Christmas is a festive period it's not always a happy time for everyone. Some people really struggle with life in December, perhaps more-so than at any other time of the year. As a result it is quite a common time for people to seek out a counsellor and start having counselling. This is partly because of the widespread preconceptions that we have about Christmas and the New Year, that this whole period should be a happy, sparkly, carefree time for socialising and celebrating with friends and family. But if the reality of our lives doesn't match...
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5 reasons anti-depressants are not the answer to women’s problems

5 reasons anti-depressants are not the answer to women’s problems

One in 10 women in England take anti-depressants, according to a report released this week by the Health Survey for England. This shockingly high figure - nearly twice the level for men, and higher than figures for Europe overall – should make us pause for thought. Does this mean that 10 percent of women in England are suffering from severe depression? Because that is what NICE recommends anti-depressants for. Whereas, for mild to moderate depression, the advice is not pills, but talking therapy, which is not nearly so easy to get hold of as an easy-to-write...
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Movember Moves Men's Health into Spotlight

Movember Moves Men's Health into Spotlight

For the past few years November has lost its harried run-up to Christmas feel and become a must-do month. Why? Movember, of course, when any self-respecting man forgoes a razor to grow a moustache (and only a moustache, no other beardy bits allowed). The money raised (by getting friends, colleagues and family to sponsor him) goes to men’s health - but more all these moustachioed men tell others what they’re doing, and - man to man - they talk about things that men rarely talk about. This week, at the Good Day at Work Conference which focused on wellbeing in...
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Depression: What it is and how to deal with it

Depression: What it is and how to deal with it

From time to time most of us may say "I'm feeling a bit down" but what does it actually mean to be depressed?  Depression can take many forms and vary in terms of how long it lasts and impacts us, however it usually involves more than just feeling a bit down. With at least one in ten of us experiencing depression in our lives it's likely that if you haven't experienced it yourself, you will know someone who has, even if you haven't been aware of it. Mild depression  At one end of the spectrum is what's often referred to as low level or mild depression....
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Coping with Depression at University

Coping with Depression at University

“I can’t be the only thing that makes you happy anymore”. Those were the last words my ex-girlfriend said to me just three weeks in to starting my degree at university. What was she talking about? I wasn’t unhappy. What an odd thing to say. She made it sound like I was hiding from something. I wasn’t hiding from anything… was I? At university, I was formally diagnosed with mental health conditions. You see since about the age of 12, I had battled with depression and anxiety. But I didn’t admit I had any problems: when I was a teenager, I couldn’t handle going...
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How Words Healed Me

How Words Healed Me

No-one now is a greater believer in therapy than me. But hitherto there’s been one huge problem with talking cures: finding the right therapist. It took me several years, three therapists and hundreds of pounds before I found Sarah who then transformed my life. First I had to believe that I needed to embark on therapy. I was initially resistant. Eventually it was my psychiatrist who persuaded me of how valuable therapy can be. A person, unlike a pill, can listen to your story when you are well enough to tell it, and give you a fresh perspective, he said....
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How the Alexander Technique Saved my Life

How the Alexander Technique Saved my Life

I didn’t come to the Alexander Technique through any particular aches and pains, but rather because I was losing the plot completely. I was in my mid 30’s happily married, with 2 children, when I found myself struggling to get up in the mornings after being unable to sleep all night.  I spent my nights knocking back sleeping pills but still wondering around the house in despair .  I had no idea what was the matter with me until I began the journey that I am still on today. I was prescribed Prozac. I tried psychotherapy, special diets and special supplements. I gave up...
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Drugs, Sex and Gay Clubs

Drugs, Sex and Gay Clubs

We are constantly being bombarded by messages telling us we all should expect better sex and we are not getting it right if our social life is not constantly hectic and we're not acquiring Facebook friends exponentially. In other words the pressure is on, to succeed. I first met Matt about eight months ago, and his story was certainly far from unfamiliar to me. I remember asking him what he wanted from counselling and how he felt it would help him? “ I want somebody who will understand me and where I am coming from, I don't want to be judged; just understood”! He...
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How Food Can Affect Depression

How Food Can Affect Depression

There is no one answer to treating depression and anxiety. A recent visit to MQ, a new charity funded by the Wellcome Trust to assess different approaches to treating mental illness such as depression, convinced me that my best bet is to combine multiple approaches: drugs if need be, mindfulness, exercise, therapy, but also to be careful with the food I eat. I have never considered myself a bad eater. It wasn’t as though I ate poorly before I became ill. At the height of my depressive episodes I couldn’t eat at all but as I recovered, instinctively, I felt I could no...
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How Sports Protect Girls' Self Esteem

How Sports Protect Girls' Self Esteem

From birth, a child begins to explore her body – what it can do, how it can be controlled, what gives it pain and pleasure.  Her body is not a thing but a process and tool.  But later in childhood something happens that transforms her body into an object that is constantly viewed and judged and pitted against an ideal physique.  No one who loves her wants this to happen.  Her parents tell her that she is more than her looks.  Her teachers coach her in self-acceptance.  But by the age of 10, there is a fifty-fifty chance that she will be dissatisfied with her weight, shape...
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