Counselling isn’t the answer for everyone. When the founder of Battle of Mind suffered very challenging times as he graduated from architecture he had tried many therapies on his journey of recovery. Counselling was one of his first treatments that he tried after being directed to a counselor by his university lecturer but for him, it wasn’t the tool to healing.
In this blog post we are going to discuss why counselling may not be the right treatment for everyone suffering from depression and other strategies to explore.
Not everyone depressed benefits from talking
Counselling is a great tool for those who enjoy talking, but for many, in particular men, don’t like to talk about how they feel as much as others.
When the founder of Battle of Mind had counselling from his university he remembered sitting in this small room, in a chair whilst someone sitting opposite asked him to explain how he felt and what negative experiences he had experienced.
As he spoke about his bad time with his counselor he felt that it was a little bit pretentious and that the counsellor didn’t really care. The counsellor would try to suggest a different way of looking at the negative experience or why it had happened, something that the founder of Battle of Mind was already doing and by the end of the hour session, if anything, he felt that the therapy had made him feel worse!
Speaking to a GP
If you also feel that counselling won’t work for you there are alternative courses of action you can take to try and help you overcome traumatic life experiences. When in ill health your first port of call should always be your GP.
The founder of Battle of Mind recommends that you should write down exactly how you feel and always go with an open mind and some of your own research, if you are able, of what you think might help you before visiting a GP but if not, it isn’t a problem.
We recommend looking into therapies that are known to help with depression and that you feel that you might benefit from as more often than not, when a GP is informed you are depressed they will give you anti-depressant tablets and maybe a small amount of a therapy such as CBT and possibly further assessment with a mental health nurse at a hospital.
For the founder he was given 40mg of citalopram and 5 hours of CBT.
Nothing more, nothing less, so he was left to fend for himself and discover a cure to his feelings (even though diagnosed at high risk of suicide by his GP).
Luckily, his family helped him through as he left his rented flat to go back to his family home due to being so ill and unable to look after himself. His mother, a reiki master, reflexologist and advocate of natural therapies also had many ideas of how to overcome depression that aren’t prescribed by a GP practitioner but benefited me greatly (some of which I will discuss further on below).
Speaking to a mental health nurse
If you are fortunate , your GP may refer you to a mental health hospital to be assessed by a nurse, specialist in mental health problems so they can look into your condition further.
If you feel that you may have an underlying condition that is part of your ill health then inform your GP (and or your nurse) and ask if you can be referred to a specialist who will be able to help you find out if you have a underlying mental health condition or not.
For the founder of BoM after struggling with big highs, deep lows, massive amounts of uncontrollable emotion and anxiety from his teen years onward and being of a creative nature he felt he may be bipolar but this has been left undiagnosed to this current day. If you do have an underlying condition, if you are diagnosed then further help can be sought for you.
The alternative route
Sometimes, when a GP can’t give you answers that you need and you feel like you are running out of options of how to improve your mental well being it is often the case that you wonder how you will ever feel ‘normal’ again but there is ALWAYS HOPE FOR CHANGE.
Alternative therapies that helped the founder
In this next section of this blog post we will discuss some alternative therapies that may not always be backed up by science but certainly helped the founder of BoM pick himself up and find his path in life again. These tools worked and were used by a someone who had severe depression and hopelessness.
As a youngster the founder of Battle of Mind trained as a graphic designer and fine artist until he eventually explored Architecture and ICT.
Art is a fantastic tool for expressing hidden and trapped emotions without having to speak a word, after all remember, a picture speaks 1000 words! Although he was trained as an artist and architect you don’t need to be trained to create art, not at all!
Art is simply about expressing yourself, a time in your life, a concept, a feeling and it is letting it out of your mind and into the creation you make. If you think of some famous artists like Jackson Pollock he is splashing paint in an emotive way, this is art and it is about exploring your thoughts and emotions whether your style is precise and accurate or loose and abstract, both are right.
If you need some guidance of what to create or an idea to pursue, there are plenty of art groups that you can join, or art competitions in your local area ( simply type art competition and your hometown into google and see what comes up ) and see if anything inspires you, then , get yourself some paints, a canvas and splash some paint around and you may feel a sense of release from your feeling and a sense of completion for creating something new which can be a very rewarding experience and remember, no matter what you create art is never wrong.
An amazing and free tool (if you can push yourself to do it, I know its hard when depressed) to improve upon feelings of depression is exercise! Exercise really helped the founder to improve his mood day by day.
He exercised in two ways, firstly his family had recently purchased a Westland Terrier and he often needed walks so he would walk him three times a day.
Secondly, he would use Wii Fit to track his weight and undertake fitness regimes. Later, he bought an xbox with kinect and started using several other fitness games that were lots of fun! In particular he loved the boxing game as it tracked your body and made it appear like you were knocking blocks out.
Using these forms of exercise helped him to get back in shape but also released ‘natural anti-depressants’ in the brain and after exercising made him feel fantastic and at peace again.
If you are feeling anxious you don’t necessarily need to go a gym to exercise games consoles are so advanced now that they are like your own personal trainer.
This therapy has helped the founder of BoM immensely when he was going through troubled times, speaking to someone who is meant to be able to read into the future and speak to people who have passed over.
For many, they don’t believe a psychic is able to do what they do but why not? Is everything in life so black and white? Right or wrong? Good or bad?
Even if a psychic can’t read the future or do what they say they can they can give people hope for a brighter future ahead and the drive to make the future happen, this is something every depressed person needs because they need hope things can improve.
The founder of BoM highly recommends one psychic who he feels is extremely accurate and it was impossible for him to know so many things about his life and his future that came true. His name is Alan Curtis and he does psychic readings over Skype as well as in person. You can visit his website here or his facebook page here.
To read more about psychic readings please click this link.
One of the final therapies that the founder explored was hypnotherapy. His initial impression was that he would loose all control of what was going on and he would be unable to maintain what he was saying to my therapist but nothing could be further from the truth.
When you go under a hypnotic trance you become very very relaxed and your brain waves go from being in a beta state to a delta wave state meaning you are able to activate your subconscious mind and recall memories that you had forgotten from years gone by , things that have bothered you but chose to bury away. (To find out more about brain waves and the conscious mind in hypnotherapy please click this link.)
The way my therapist explained it was our subconscious mind is like a hard drive in a computer where all files are stored. We don’t access all the files at once when on a computer and it is same in the mind but by hypnotising our mind we are able to access every memory. Being under hypnotherapy is like a virus protection, it is able to identify ‘corrupt’ memories that are affecting our current reality and begin to fix it.
This therapy helped remove the feelings of severe social anxiety for the therapist and restored some of his self confidence back. In a future post he will discuss hypnotherapy in more detail but what this therapy did for him was amazing and is similar to counselling but with more clarity to the exact problem that caused his depression and anxiety.
The therapist I used that I found to be of a high calibre and helped no end is Geoff Loveday.
Counselling will benefit some
This isn’t an attack on counselling as it is known, by science, to have helped quite a few people to overcome their problems and also help them understand why they are feeling the way they do.
If it works for you that is great but if not it is important to know there are alternative ways of healing yourself naturally and that is what got the founder of Battle of Mind through.
Find your therapies
The most important thing I am trying to explain from this blog post that it is important to find a therapy that works well for you. What works for one person may not necessarily work for every person, depression is a very personal illness and has happened to each person usually for different reasons so taking a tablet to cure it is only the tip of the iceberg and its important to discover ways to not only heal from depression but also maintain peace of mind once you are in a better state of mind.
In the very near future Battle of Mind will be releasing a new part of the website that is attempting to bring together lots of different therapists in one database so that you can find a therapy and therapist that is local to you and give you an insight into what to expect before you arrive in pictures, videos, descriptions, contact details and more!
If you are interested in this new tool and want to know when ot will be released to the public then please leave your email below and we will contact you as it launches.
We hope you find the therapy you need today to help you heal your mind.