Archive for September, 2011

Horrid Twin – Siblings! Depression & Anxiety!

September 11, 2011

Many People don’t know that they are depressed!

Something that touches me deeply at my counseling practice (http://www.chh.com.sg) is the number of people who don’t know they are depressed. People are usually prompted to call for help not because of subjective feelings of depression or anxiety (or both), but because something is going wrong in their lives; their children won’t listen anymore, there is a marital problem, they are having trouble at work. But it often doesn’t take much digging to find that the caller has been depressed for long time. Thus the family problem, the job problem is a manifestation, not a cause of the depression. This is a person who feels almost no joy in life, who has no hope, no ambition, who feels stuck, who feels life stinks, powerless and continuously sad (or angry) – and who thinks this is the normal way to feel. But it’s not!         

 Is Depression a Self centeredness disease?

Many of my “depressed” clients experience intense feelings of hopelessness, a lack of self-esteem and an inability to concentrate or make any decisions. Usually, they have  lost their feelings for pleasure.

They often appear totally self-obsessed because their minds, and often their conversation keep returning to the same hurtful events and anxieties.

Quite often, relatives and others who care about the “depressed” person call it  ‘the self-centeredness disease’, because that is how it often appears to partners, family and friends. This perceived ‘self-absorption’ of the depressed person tends to make people draw back just when the sufferer desperately needs the help and care of others. This is partly the reason why depression can destroy family relationships and friendships. Thus it is important for family members, relatives, friends and supporters to not misunderstand the perceived self-absorption of the depressed and worried person as a ‘self-centeredness’ disease.

Undoing Anxiety  and Depression

Why do I  talk about undoing depression (this is also the title of a valuable and helpful book from Richard O’Connor) and anxiety?

Many people think that Depression takes away their entire energy and makes them lethargic, while Anxiety (as the other extreme) negatively pumps them up and makes them extremely afraid. People who suffer from Depression are often incapable of getting out of bed, whereas people who are suffering from Anxiety cannot sleep and wish it would be morning already in order to escape from the nightmare’s bed.

The Truth is that Depression and Anxiety often are horrid twin siblings!

Where one sibling is creating trouble, the other one is there too, to make life even more difficult!

For People who are Depressed, Anxiety is a multiplier of suffering and vise versa. In other words: Many of the symptoms of Depression and Anxiety overlap and it seems like one is endlessly caught in a trap of misery.

Unfortunately, the combination of Depression and Anxiety can be particularly severe, and many people don’t get the correct diagnosis and thus not the appropriate treatment.

The later can be avoided with the right selection of experienced health professionals, who must work together in the interest of the client  and a mixed bag of complementary, holistic treatment alternatives (e.g. Cognitive behavior therapy & Hypnosis, Medication, life style changes) for tackling both conditions.

The Girl Friend from Hell

September 6, 2011

Hypnotherapy (Counseling + Hypnosis) is quite effective in treating OCD

Andrew (not his real name) American lawyer, 42 years old good looking, became extremely obsessed with Fiona (not her real name), a 24 years old  stewardess (with a South East Asian Airline).  They broke up their stormy relationship many times – but he never was able to forget her and always started the relationship again by using every compulsive method possible: Stalking her with love laden, sweet, nasty, harsh, threatening SMSs, morally pressured her with phone calls every hour (how can you leave me after all the things I did for you?), followed her whenever possible and even visited her parents on a daily basis to make her feel bad and guilty. Consciously he knew that he had to end this unhealthy relationship and to stop these unwanted thoughts about her (Obsession). His behavior started to jeopardize his work moral and efficiency. His bosses gave him the friendly advice to simply forget her otherwise… Subconsciously he couldn’t get out of his mental and emotional trap – namely being still in love with her – despite all her flaws.

… And this is how he described “lovely” Fiona and their relationship:

1) She lied about the nature of her previous relationship – she said he was just dating him & never had intercourse. Later she admitted that they had intercourse!

2) She lied about the number of times she had intercourse with her first boyfriend – initially she said she had intercourse 5 times – but stopped because “they felt guilty as unmarried because of their religion”. She later admitted it was hundreds of times & she enjoyed it very much.

3) She is the most undependable person I have ever met when it comes to time commitments – for entire course of 3 years relationship – she always was late (sometimes hours).

4) She is the most finicky eater I have ever seen – compulsive checks to make sure anything she eats is Halal.

5) She is prone to fiery temper tantrums where her first reaction is to break-up, pictures are ripped up or turned backwards.

6) In the first half of our relationship, I constantly had problems with her staring at “handsome” strangers and head swiveling around to check out other guys. This behavior made many people uncomfortable and I have never seen anyone act so disrespectful.

7) She had a crush on my model housemate and flirted so overtly in front of other friends which caused major embarrassing incidents.

8) Upon meeting one of my good friends, she informed me (very seriously) that if we break up, she would like to “get to know him”. When I asked her if that implied that she would like to have sex with him – she replied that once we break up – she could do anything she wants and its none of my business anymore – even if it means having sex with one of my friends.

9) Her behavior towards me during breakups was vicious. She said incredible hurtful things, informed all of her friends of all (my) dirty laundry and always left a nuclear winter landscape that I always tried to patch up.

10) Once we were broken up, it was always me trying to rescue the relationship and bring her out of her dark hole.

11) Everything was always my fault and she was virtually incapable of saying sorry. She probably never apologized.

….but I still love her!

Andrew knew that his obsession and compulsion made no sense (as she has left him for good and moved to another country), but he couldn’t ignore or stop them.

That’s why he came seeing me. I have a great deal of experience with obsessive compulsive individuals (OCD) who are tearing themselves apart with their miserable thoughts. Andrew responded well to hypnotherapy sessions (cognitive behavior therapy +clinical hypnosis) which mainly focused on teaching him how to distract his mind from his obsession with Fiona and dwell on more positive and productive thoughts.

Final result:  A Phone call from Andrew: “I have a new girlfriend and I don’t think about Fiona anymore!