Help with Anxiety and Depression in Brighton and Hove

Anxiety and depression are the words most commonly used by people when they enter the counselling room and explain what is troubling them, and it is quite common for these feelings to overlap.

Anxiety

Anxiety is often marked by feelings of nervousness and agitation, in a variety of settings. It may be a feeling that has has been with you for a long time that you have managed or masked by developing ways of coping. It may also be a response to certain times and experiences in your life where thoughts and feelings have became persistent and overwhelming, and where you felt panic and believed you could not cope. The word that often describes people's feeling in such situations is catastrophising.

Working with anxiety in counselling will depend on the details of your experience and particular needs, but at core it will be important for you to feel comfortable to share difficult thoughts and feelings in order to reduce the strength they have over you. It may also be helpful to explore and focus on situations and relationships where such feelings arise and explore ways , sometimes solution focussed, to reduce and live them better. Taking manageable steps and finding ways of living with the strong feelings you have will be key to reducing the anxiety you feel.

Depression

If anxiety is a state where thoughts and feelings speed up, depression is usually marked by a slowing down. Both anxiety and depression are marked by people holding negative and exaggerated feelings and thoughts about themselves, but depression has a further dimension where an individual's emotions become numbed, and behaviour can be marked by a withdrawal from family and friends.

My experience of working with people in the counselling room who describe and exhibit depression, has been to help them find words to express the felt sense of what it means to live in such a low mood, and the underlying feelings of low self esteem and low worth that accompany it. Staying with the bodily felt sense of those moods has been crucial to help change how you feel and restore meaning and purpose in their lives.


Gary Evident BACP registered member