Depression and Anxiety Treatment has been until recently the realm of psychologists and pscychiatrists, psychology is the main form of recognised therapy for people who have Depression or Anxiety. Yet psychology is a limited practice, it is generally limited to working with the ‘conscious mind’, and if no satisfactory outcome can be achieve through the engagement of the conscious mind medication is often prescribed. It’s only through engagement of the subconscious part of the patient that lasting results (free of medication) can be achieved.
Being a psychotherapist (not a psychologist) I’ve been interested in how a psychologist works and have attended a couple of sessions as an observer. On both occasions I did not feel the psychologist really connected with the client. The psychologists experienced had little insight into how the person would be helped without the use of medication. Instead they seemed to simply check in with the persons progress (or lack thereof) and prescribe medication. This is another reason why Depression and Anxiety Treatment is best using psychotherapy where the psychotherapist connects and listens deeply to the client.
The whole session was a process where the psychologist listened to the persons story, often looking down at some notes and making a comment or a suggestion now and again before encouraging the person to continue with the prescribed medication (simply because it was ‘managing’ the most extreme symptoms). So for around $180 for the hour nothing in real terms, no real shift was achieved for the patient. (This is my experiences of 2 separate occasions of sitting in on a session with a psychologist, and I’ve had my own experiences many years ago of having equally dissatisfying outcomes from psychologist visits).
I’m not saying all psychologists have no idea of how to help the client without medication I’m just saying that in my experience the psychologist or psychiatrists ability to help seems limited to advice and medication.
Add to these the 2 direct experiences of my own in attending my own psychologist and psychotherapist sessions where little was achieved other than new desks and décor in my therapists office. Since becoming a therapist many people over many years have come into my office and shared stories about spending time and money on psychology sessions where nothing seems to be achieved other than talking and more medication. (These clients often experience a vast inner shift after only one session of psychotherapy where we actually go ‘in’ to the subconsious and get some understanding and make some changes).
Does medication actually help ?
‘There is a place for everything under the sun’. This quote sums it up. In my experience there is a place for medication. But also Depression and Anxiety treatment can be successful without medication. Medication is valuable for some people who are in such a state that alternatives simply don’t ‘hold’ them or have any effect, or where there is a danger to the community or themselves, or the suffering is so great that relief is found only through medication. I am not against medication in all cases, but perhaps most cases.
Medication has a ‘masking’ or ‘dulling down’ effect. A person suffering the undesired condition or symptoms (Anxiety, Depression, PTSD etc.) will feel the effects of the psychological or emotional discomfort reduce. Once the medication is in the system it shuts down certain neural pathways or feeling centres so that the pain or discomfort isn’t experienced as intensely. And in some cases isn’t experienced at all. This is great outcome for many people who are in a desperate place of suffering.
Is medication a good long term option ?
In many cases people who begin regimes of medication have side effects. These side effects can range from minor physical symptoms to more severe such as hallucinations. Often clients experience that the medication has indeed reduced the worst of the ‘lows’ but has also eliminated any natural highs the person was experiencing. So there’s an experience of less energy and a kind of ‘dulling down’ of the person’s natural personality.
In my studies and experience medication is un-natural, and is not the answer to overcoming Anxiety and Depression in the long term (in most cases). Overcoming Anxiety and Depression without medication is the best option. But it leaves the person with fewer choices in how they do this.
I’m a Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist who works in Geelong and Melbourne to help people overcome Anxiety and Depression without medication, or if they are already on some form of medication I can assist them to wean off that medication over time (in collaboration with client, and the overseeing psychologist or doctor).
In my experience nothing comes for free (if medication were the answer those who take it would be consistently really happy and really healthy, but this is rarely the case). Medication usually has at least one side effect and as a result is rarely the ideal solution to our inner disruptions. Too many people are too easily influenced toward medication even though there were other options, and can quickly become reliant on medication.
Depression and Anxiety treatment without medication in Geelong or Melbourne ? (or anywhere else for that matter)
The therapy I would highly recommend for treating depression and anxiety without medication is either Hypnotherapy, or Psychotherapy. The reason I recommend these forms of therapy is because I’ve lived with Anxiety and Depression and have sought help for overcoming them. In my experience (and the experience of many others I’ve spoken to) is that many psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors have limited ability to deal with anxiety and depression without medication. This means that medication becomes part of the therapeutic approach for these specialists. Forget counsellors (I’m a trained and qualified counsellor myself), counselling alone will not have the ability or experience needed to sufficiently help someone suffering significant Anxiety or Depression.
By seeking out a good Hypnotherapist or Psychotherapist there is a deeper ability for the therapist to get to the underlying causes of the conditions. Depression and anxiety treatment can be successful in a short period of time. In many instances the people I have worked with have experienced vast internal changes from the first session because of some underlying issue that was not accessible until deeper work uncovered it. Sometimes there can be a very powerful ‘key’ that is found that has a ‘releasing’ effect on the person, creating instant, and lasting relief.
In some cases it can take weeks, or even months of regular sessions to uncover and work with all the issues hidden in the subconscious. *The subconscious holds all the old suppressed hurts and resentments, fears, unexpressed grief, childhood emotions and much more. Therapists who work predominantly with the conscious mind alone (psychotherapy and psychiatry for example) have little hope of helping the person deeply heal those hidden emotions.
What else can I do for Depression and Anxiety Treatment ?
Apart from psychotherapy and hypnotherapy there is plenty you can do to help with Depression and Anxiety treatment without medication, or anywhere else for that matter. Here’s a few of them;
- Yoga and Meditation:
I put this first because it’s probably the main one that helped me overcome Depression and Anxiety when I was going through it. Yoga is perhaps the ‘highest’ form of exercise on the planet (*I’ve tried Lots of different forms of exercise). There is something about it that leaves you feeling deeply relaxed and rejuvenated when practiced regularly. Do it on your own or join a group. Meditation is equally as effective in overcoming or managing the effects of Anxiety or depression. The practice of closing the eyes and just allowing thoughts to arrive and leave the mind is a very powerful one because through this act of allowing thoughts to be there but not focusing on them we tend to see that they have no power over us. We start to become the witness of the thoughts rather than be led around (into dark places) by them.
Exercise is an amazing way to help with Depression. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. See if you can commit to regular exercise, eg. a swim at the local pool, a walk along the river or a run out in nature, these are all really good ways of giving you something positive to do that will really help lift your spirits.
- Face the fear and do it anyway, desensitise yourself:
If you really want to overcome Anxiety you could start thinking about how you will overcome it. Eg. a fear of elevators could begin with a trip to a local shopping centre and stand near the elevator and ‘feel the fear’ and after a few times work up to getting in the elevator and taking it 1 floor, get out and see how you ‘feel’ (it’s all about the feeling), and so on until comfortable with the experience.
- Take up a hobby or join a group:
There are so many options out there to take an interest in. Reading a book is a simple one, there are many second hand book shops around. You could take up some writing. Maybe drawing or art, photography (even your phone will do initially for a camera), bushwalking, stamp collecting, train sets, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, join a meditation group, join a focused group eg. reading club or group helping people with mental illness. Get online and have a look, there’ll be something right for you.
- Improve your diet:
There are always improvements to be made with our dietary choices, and often when we’re depressed or full of anxiety we choose poorly when it comes to what we put in our bodies. Make a conscious decision to improve your diet. A few simple adjustments can make a big difference to how you feel. Eg. start your day with a glass of water, have more fruit with your breakfast, include more fresh green food, quit sugar and cakes, quit coffee, have a freshly squeezed juice each day.
So there is plenty you can do for yourself to help yourself, Depression and Anxiety treatment is up to you as well as your health professional. There are many psychotherapists and hypnotherapists ready and willing to help you overcome the effects of depression and anxiety without medication.
My personal journey led me to becoming qualified in those very fields that helped me overcome depression and anxiety without medication. I live in Geelong and have an office here, I also help people in Melbourne through Skype sessions. I also run meditation classes, and my partner runs yoga. I’m also interested in health and wellness through food choices.
If you are interested in exploring Depression and Anxiety treatment without medication in Geelong or Melbourne give me a call or send me an email and we can discuss how I can help you do just that. Having had my own experience makes it a more personal and intimate experience because I’ve been to that place (and can lead you out of that place).
I’m a psychotherapist who works in Geelong, I also provide Skype sessions for those people seeking help outside the Geelong area. Check out my website www.stevetibbits.com.au, or call or text me on 0414 586 910, or send me an email [email protected] . I also provide skype sessions if you can’t get to see me in person. I look forward to hearing from you soon.