Depression

Don’t Let Depression Win...

You Want to Cry and Don’t Know Why

The alarm goes off and the depression count down begins. What can I delay today? Who can I cancel? Where can I delegate? All you want is your pillow. When you look in the mirror, you count the flaws and loathe what you see. The inner diatribe is sharp and unrelenting. This is depression and it makes working, playing, learning and parenting almost impossible. You suffer because you lack motivation. You are guilty because you can’t mobilize. You want to cry and you don’t know why. It makes no sense. You barely recognize yourself.

It Makes No Sense

You would do anything to feel better, and you’ve probably tried all of the usual fixes: omega-3s, gym memberships, yoga, meditation, affirmations and “being positive.” Self-help books and rock anthems might give you a momentary emotional boost, but perhaps the gray cloud of depression always manages to descend once again. Your job performance may be suffering, your loved ones are perhaps bewildered and you are likely worn out by the effort it takes to pay the bills, get out of bed in the morning or even tie your shoelaces. There’s a way out of this, but in your current state, hope has perhaps migrated south for the season.

It’s not your fault

Depression treatment also questions the high bars individuals set for themselves. Is it fair? Does it make sense? When patients learn to examine their wishes for perfection, they learn to weed out the goals that don’t matter anymore and keep only the important ones. Once the backbreaking ideals are retired, rest and relaxation can find a foothold. Pleasure and connection are right behind. With the help of counselling you can learn about your vulnerabilities to hurt, guilt, shame, and loneliness. You can recognise that you are backsliding into depression in a more timely manner and intercede with exceptional self-care.

I can barely get through my day


Yes. I know. Another obligation. Another place to be. You are already so burdened by your illness that you can’t imagine that someone could lighten the load you are already carrying. The hopeful part of you is reading this and searching for relief. At the same time, something powerful (and probably old) is working like acid on your hope. Think of taking the power of the sneering, hateful part and aiming all that energy at acquiring something you want instead of at your most vulnerable self.

Don’t Let Depression Win


With the help of depression treatment, it’s possible to get back in touch with the best of what you are. I have 8 years experience working as a counsellor and have worked with depression in all its disguises. You can take off the mask with me. Give me a call on 07769 218 281, or email enquiries@m-mcilroycounselling.co.uk. and make an appointment today.

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The algorithm for happiness

People spend a large amount of their life stressing over what never happens and will often lie awake feeling anxious.  They may argue, criticise, and shout about what isn’t happening while holding onto hope that their due to feel true happiness soon.


Happiness is what happens now! You’re alive right now, and now is all you have.  Happiness is something that many people only ever feel when life is going their way.  It is something that is equal to or greater than the difference between the way you view the events of your life minus your expectations about how life should be.  Instead of waiting for happiness to come, know that your default state should be happiness.


Once Maslow’s basic needs are met: to be fed, clothed, and cared for, we should be happy.  Much of our understanding of what happiness is and where to find it is distorted.  We think happiness is at the end of some high-achieving rainbow, that we have to strive to earn it. 


The algorithm for happiness says there are 6 grand illusions - thought, self, knowledge, time, control, and fear – that affect our happiness.  It also states that there’s 7 blind spots - filters, assumptions, memories, predictions, labels, emotions, and exaggerations that delude our judgements of life and the distorted picture makes us unhappy.  What’s more, there’s 5 ultimate truths that are the key to enduring happiness – now, change, love, death, and design.


Our brains produce 3 types of thoughts to make sense of the world – insightful thoughts, experiential thoughts, and narrative.  The first two problem solve and perform tasks, but we allow our brain to produce endless chatter with the third, which keeps us stuck in useless stress and suffering.  This may lead to blocking out the simple happiness of now! Confusing voices inside can block decision making and project starting through its endless loop.  The voice often goes unnoticed as we fail to notice what we fail to notice. 

Choose Happy: How to beat the winter blues

During the winter months, the short, darker days and the lack of sun light can affect even the best of us. If you find yourself suffering from that common, seasonal health complaint, you are among 2 million people who experience it every year in Britain.

The condition, described by some as a mild depression, is usually characterized by feeling a little down, lacking motivation and energy, increased fatigue and in some cases, greater appetite.

The good news is that there are some simple steps that you can take in order to improve your mental wellbeing. By doing so you may feel happier and more positive every day.

Adjusting your diet

Paying attention to your diet and making some healthy choices can positively affect your mood and energy levels. Try to keep those carb cravings at bay by maintaining your blood sugar levels, it will help you to feel more energetic. Reduce the intake of sweets and simple carbs because eating them will lead to sudden peaks and troughs in the amount of glucose in your blood. This in turn, results in irritability, poor concentration, dizziness, crying spells or fatigue.
You should monitor your caffeine intake too. High levels of caffeine in your daily diet can lead to agitation and nervousness. Various studies shown that cutting down on caffeine can lift effects of depression.

Getting a portion of exercise

As shown by many studies people who exercise regularly experience positive boost to their moods and therefore lower rates of depression. This is because exercising relieves the build-up of stress hormones in the body and promotes overall relaxation of the nervous system. It also releases happy chemicals called endorphins.
Incorporating regular fitness routine into your life doesn’t require buying expensive gym membership. It is enough to just add little activity into your daily schedule.
According to University of Bristol, as little as 20 mins of exercising a day is enough to boost your happiness levels.

Investing time in your social life


Studies shown that socializing has a positive effect on one’s mental health. However, during the winter months we often tend to spend more time in the warmth of our homes, limiting our time with others.
Keeping in touch with people who care about us is considered one of the best mood boosters out there. So if you are feeling low, instead of dwelling on it, pick up a phone and call a good friend, spend more time with your family or join a club in your local area to meet new people.

Getting outside


Lack of sunlight can make the winter blues worse. Spending time outdoors, as little as 15 minutes a day, can reduce stress levels and boost your mood. If your work requires long hours spent indoors, try to sit near to the window whenever you can.

Developing hobbies and interests


Cold winter months may push us to spend more time indoors, but that doesn’t mean that our free time should be spent entirely in front of TV. Try to proactively research options for indoor hobbies, some of the most popular include baking, painting, reading, writing or learning a new language.

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SAD ’Seasonal Affective Disorder’

SAD is a type of depression that relates to changes in season. SAD usually begins and ends about the same time each year, beginning in the autumn and continuing through the winter. SAD can sap all your energy, make you feel miserable and moody in December and depressed in the spring. We know the symptoms of depression!


We can take steps to overcome these symptoms, to increase our mood and motivation, even prevent SAD from taking hold:


Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, trim tree branches that block sunlight or add skylights to your home. Sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.

Get outside. Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.

Exercise regularly. Exercise and other types of physical activity help relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase SAD symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.

If you are already suffering from low energy, feeling irritable, have low energy or feeling depressed it may help to

  • consider alternative medicine
  • see your GP who may suggest anti-depressants
  • take care of yourself, really indulge in your favourite pleasures
  • get out and socialise
  • contact a counsellor to resolve your anxieties and depression.

5 Key Habits to a Happier Life

We all strive for happiness, often by looking for it in a wide variety of places, perceiving it as a state that we can arrive at. But happiness is a journey, not a destination. It is not a place that you can reach for good. The good news is that we can develop our own happiness plan, by consciously exercising some positive habits. So here they are, five, psychologically proven habits that will help you to live a happier and more fulfilled life:

1. Express Gratitude- happiness really starts from counting your blessings. Psychological studies over the years have consistently shown that an ongoing practice of gratitude brings surprising life improvements. Yes, gratitude, just like any other skill requires practice. So start consciously reminding yourself things that you can be grateful for, you may chose to write a gratitude journal or simply verbalise the feeling of gratitude on regular basis.

2. Forgive- being able to forgive and let go will empower you. And it applies to both, forgiving others and yourself. By doing so you will remove a heavy and a painful load off your back. Forgiveness, however difficult, will set you free so you can lave the trap of endless revenge and experience more joy and connection in your life.

3. Turn jealousy into motivation- the feeling of jealousy is often associated with negativity. However, if we chose to look at jealousy from another perspective we can turn it into a healthy tool. When approached in a constructive way jealousy can help us to fulfill our wants, needs and goals. Move from a jealousy mode into a ‘student’ mode to be inspired and learn from the success of others.

4. Smile more- research shows that our emotions are reinforced by our responding facial expressions. In simple words, smiling more will make you feel happier. Recent study by University of Cardiff discovered that people who have botox injections, are happier on average than people who can frown. Smiling is very powerful, it helps us to crate a much happier environment around us as people respond to it and gravitate towards happy, stimulating individuals.

5. Embrace your inner child and learn something new- children are curious and always ready to learn something new. Try to let go of your inner perfectionist and embrace new skills. Remember, it’s ok not getting it right the first time around.

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