Depression & Mood Swings Course

Been feeling depressed for ages ?

Things got on top of you and now you are stuck in a rut ?

Do you find managing relationships difficult?

Feeling  isolated?  Sometimes we may shut ourselves off perhaps initially as a way of coping, but if this approach to life continues on for a longer period of time, we may find ourselves isolated and fearful of social situations.

A group experience can help you to explore what happens when we are with others, and give you the opportunity to experience the benefits of being part of a group, and re-evaluating what you have to offer to others.

Jacqui and Paul facilitate the course at Brighton Therapy Centre.  They met up with Howard Edmunds, author of the Depression & Mood swings course and asked him some questions about how it all works…

Qu. What kind of things do people say about what benefits them from coming on the course?

A.    Realising they’re not the only one !  So many people with depression or mood swings will mask their problems and pretend to colleagues and friends that things are okay when really they are not at all.

Hearing about other people’s experiences of depression or mood swings can be really helpful in helping to understand themselves better.

 And then there is something we call mirroring : Listening to other people and feeling heard can be like seeing parts of ourselves in other people and can help people make sense of the symptoms and feelings when they see them in others. Hearing about other people’s symptoms is also helpful in helping them to get a sense of perspective. A lot of the interpersonal skills group involves people telling their story; how they became depressed, what has been happening in their lives that has been so difficult, or important things from the past that affected them and they want to share in the group.   When they hear other peoples stories it can be like a light going on ; that’s like me !  I’m not the only one !  Seeing something of ourselves in other people can be very helpful

 Qu. You stress that people need to take their feelings seriously, what does that mean exactly?

 A.    Many people with mood problems have learnt to cope by discounting  what they feel; trying to tough it out and get on with life.  But paradoxically it is this approach that makes their problems worse in the long run. We spend a lot of time on the course helping participants to over come their blocks in putting words to what they feel and sharing with others in a safe group.  Unexpressed feelings are risky : they tend to get repressed or build up and come out in a rush.  That’s really common with people who experience mood swings.  Feelings are a bit like rain; it is best if they drizzle out slowly rather than all coming down in a sudden down pour!

 Qu. What about people who just feel numb? 

 A.    They can tell the facts of their lives but don’t connect to their emotions.  When they tell their story in the group, you sometimes find that the other people in the group start to feel what the person speaking has cut off from.  Like if someone talks about being hurt in the past but feel numb about it, another person can end up feeling angry on their behalf.  It can be quite a surprise to realize how much others are affected by your story.

 If you are interested in this subject, there will be more blogs to follow.  Click here for more information.


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