To some extent, there is an ordinariness about anxiety. A certain level of anxiety is just part of life. It is natural to anticipate events and to try, in our own mind, to prepare for what we might be presented with. Sometimes, however, our anxiety becomes too much and we cannot manage everything that we have to do. Sometimes the demands that we feel from work, from our family, from our partners, and even from life itself can become so great that we feel overwhelmed.
We might find ourselves trying in our mind to anticipate all the possible outcomes of each situation that we might encounter. We might find ourselves worrying about some other demand as we try to do whatever it is that we’re involved in at the moment. When we try to sleep, we can be disturbed by thoughts of what we have to do, or what we did during the day and whether we might have forgotten something.
There is a sense also that in anxiety we create our own demons. We frighten the life out of ourselves by imagining the dangers that might befall us. Ordinary things become extra-ordinary. Our thinking can become confused and it can all become too much. In the end, what can often happen is that we try to shut down. We become unable to manage. We can become afraid to face the world, sometimes even afraid to go out to do the ordinary things that once would not have cost us a thought.
So what might we do and where might we go with anxiety. Well, there are two effective antidotes to anxiety. The first is action, the second is to talk about it in all its detail. For the person who is suffering with anxiety it will take an effort, first to seek help, then to actually go and avail of the help that is there to be had. Speaking to a trained and experienced psychotherapist is where help can be found. And it will take effort to make the phone-call and to turn up for the appointment. In the end it will be worth it and it will make a difference.
Bereavement and Loss
The death of someone close to us leaves a great chasm in our lives. Sometimes the pain of this loss will seem more that we can bear. Even when such loss is expected, as in the case of an elderly parent, for instance, the impact is often much greater than ever imagined. Our friends, our parents, and especially our life-partners and our children form part of the fabric of our life. They are our warp and our weft. When the one we love disappears, the threads of our life can unravel; our life is rent open. There is no escape from the pain of such loss; it must be borne.
Feeling the loss of the one we love is also the last connection that we have with them. We long for them, we grieve for their loss. We can find ourselves remembering the times we spent with those who are gone, reliving in our minds the last moments. We might remember good times with the one who’s absent; we will remember times that we regret. Sometimes, there are memories and feeling that are difficult to speak about. Sometimes it is hard to speak about our loss to those that we are closest to, since they too are suffering the same loss. Yet only speaking will salve the loss, though it can bring tears and longing. In these times, speaking to a therapist who can offer undivided listening and who will not be overwhelmed can ease the pain.
You’ll find our premises to be a welcoming, safe and comfortable place. The area is really well-served by public transport and there is plenty of pay-parking in the immediate vicinity. There’s also a bike-rack right outside if you prefer to arrive under your own steam.
Depression always has a history. When a person becomes depressed it seldom happens all at once, but develops gradually, sometimes so gradually and insidiously that we can’t make sense what has happened. Sometimes, however, it is only when some new or unexpected difficulty arises that a person can come to acknowledge that they are depressed. This new event, some disappointment in life, or in love, or in how the person sees themselves, can bring about a loss of hope, a feeling that there is little or no point in life. Life itself can seem like a burden.
What often happens when we become depressed is that the unhappiness that we all encounter through the difficulties and disappointments of life, now spills out and overwhelm us. For much of our life till now, we may have mostly managed to keep these disappointments at bay or may have even put them behind us. Now however, as all these spill in upon us we can come to feel hopeless, flattened, without the energy or the resources that we all need to keep going.
In these circumstances we can easily begin to think about our life in a way that drags us even lower. Past successes can seem pointless, past failures and disappointments are dwelt upon and exaggerated. The feelings connected to things that we did or that we failed to do are felt again, often with even more intensity. We feel again the embarrassment of what we might have said, the shame of what we might have done. We can paint a picture of ourselves in our own mind as unworthy, as hopeless, and as pointless. Often we do all this in an almost automatic way, without really being aware of how we have turned upon ourselves.
When things come to such a pass, it can seem impossible for a person, without help, to find a way out; so what does one do in the face of depression?
Actually, one of the most effective ways of addressing these debilitating effects is to begin to speak. What helps is to find a place where we can put into words all the difficult and disturbing thoughts that assail our mind. This is what psychotherapy provides. Psychotherapy can and does help a person to get a clearer perspective on the difficulties that they have encountered, and it will help in finding a way of addressing these difficulties. Psychotherapy is not easy, but it is not impossible either. Often when a person has become depressed there are aspects of their life that they will find difficult to talk about. So, what effective psychotherapy requires is time, a commitment to speak about everything, and an experienced and properly trained and experienced psychotherapist who will guide the person through their difficulties and back to a life that offers hope.