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04 Jan

Professional Counselling and Help for Depression

posted by Máire Rían

Professional Counselling and Help for Depression (as published in the September 2016 edition of The Meath Coaster

by Em Ryan

Counselling is not a luxury. At certain times, we all hit roadblocks that we need to overcome. This is the adventure of life: peaks and valleys. Every now and then, we may feel overwhelmed, depressed or stuck by our situation. That is where a qualified counsellor can help.

There is no need to suffer in silence or self-medicate with binge behaviors or any other coping mechanisms.  Destructive behaviors simply numb symptoms but do not treat them. If you are religiously inclined, seeking assistance from your parish priest can be helpful.  Calling a hotline may offer temporary assistance, from well-intentioned individuals who may or may not have completed coursework in psychology.

Still, you will receive the best care from a university degreed professional counsellor or psychotherapist. For example, if you broke your leg, would drinking beer help you walk again? Would calling a free phone number, set the broken bones? Obviously, only a well-trained professional, such as a doctor, could help you mend what is broken. So it is with mental health. It is important that you put yourself first, at trying times in your life. Seek out the very best to help guide you to self-discovery and to help you heal what is broken within you.

Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues. There are quite a few holistic remedies available that complement one-to-one talk therapy with a qualified professional. A degreed social worker, psychotherapist, or counsellor can help you deal with behaviors arising from a depressed state. In extreme cases, a psychiatrist’s help may be necessary, for medication.  However, if you are feeling depressed for longer than a week or so, it may be time to seek professional help.

As you await your appointment, try these remedies to boost your mood and potentially lift the brain fog that is often associated with depression. Taking the daily recommended dosage of St. John’s Wort and Kava Kava are two of the best natural vitamins to help with moving through depression.  Often depression is accompanied by sleep disturbances – either too much sleep or too little. Valerian, holy basil, ashwaganda, Sam-E are other natural herbals that come in vitamin form or as a tea.

Immediate relief of some depressive symptoms can come from beginning a practice of daily meditation. Simply learning how to take deep, diaphragmatic breaths can help in alleviating mild depression.  There are even free apps for your smart phone that guide you in learning how to breathe deeply for relaxation and improved mental clarity. “Breathing Lessons” is most well known for training the breath.  Mindfulness and guided meditations are also complementary, holistic practices to talk therapy.

Seeking assistance from a well-trained professional is tantamount to fixing what is broken.  Be sure to check their credentials so that you are assured of receiving the best, most qualified care for your broken leg or heart or head, whether physically or mentally. It is important to put yourself first in times of stress and transition, so that you may heal and be there for family and friends.


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