Depression: Coping With The Desire To Hide Away

When we have depression, we sometimes feel like we want to run away from everything and everyone. The urge to get away and leave everything behind can seem like an attractive option. We may feel incredibly low, overwhelmed by what’s going on for us, claustrophobic and trapped in ourselves.

It’s usually the case however, that running away either isn’t a viable option, or, doesn’t in fact hold the answers to our problems. If you are relating to what has been mentioned so far, read on….

A fantasy

Our vision of what things could be like if we were able to just run away may seem idyllic. It may be a wonderful place of peace, calm and equilibrium we imagine we could run to. It’s a place where we don’t feel depressed. But, our vision isn’t a reality. It is highly likely that feelings of depression will move with us as we try to leave it behind in a futile attempt to start afresh.

Fed up?

So where to start?

If there’s a chance we can identify what it is that we’re wanting to run away from, there’s a chance that we can figure out what to do about it.

Identifying an issue in this way is the first step to taking action to limit the impact it is having on us. We can start to break down what the issue is until we have manageable chunks of resolvable smaller issues.

You may have established that a current issue is that you are in an unfulfilling relationship or stuck in a seemingly dead-end job offering little opportunity for you. Together we can start to break things down and work to find a way through.

An inability to take a step back and stop ourselves being engulfed with overwhelming emotion can often be a stumbling block to helping ourselves. An opportunity to gain perspective on our situation can help us to appreciate that there is a way to help us through.

Start now

If you’re after some simple and practical steps to get you through your darkest days, try some of the following;

  • Acknowledge where you are right now

Noticing how low you’re feeling and acknowledging how rubbish things may appear for you is a first step. Before you can fix issues you’re facing, acknowledging the pain you are feeling will bring your attention to the present moment. It will be an opportunity to ground yourself and be in touch with what’s going on for you. Seeing what is there is a chance to do something about what’s there.

  • Keep in touch

It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but keeping in touch with others around you is crucial to how you can help yourself out of your dark place. Finding a genuine connection we can touch base with when we’re feeling really bad, even if it’s just to make contact with, is a way we can be heard and noticed.

  • Get outside

Get outside for a walk each day. Even if you have no where to go or no place you need to be, getting out of the house and walking for half hour each day will really boost mental health. Having a chance to engage with the outside world may be a useful reminder to us that it is still there. There are people around who can help and support us and who will be people we can interact with if we choose to. It may lift your mood, give you a new environment to focus on and break patterns of thinking.

Talking It Through

Talking it through is also a practical first step.

The idea of talking to someone about what is going on may itself seem like an impossible task. If all you want to do is retreat from the world, opening up and talking to a therapist may not be on your radar. But, if there’s a chance that taking that first step and getting in touch is a step you’re willing to take, it could also be the first step on a journey to feeling better about yourself.

The opportunity to really be heard by someone else may be the glimmer of hope that we need to plough on through. Sharing your problems can provide clarity on what is going on for you and how you may be able to take steps forward. It may not be immediately obvious what we can do or where you would even begin, but my role as a therapist is to be there for you and alongside you on your journey.

Together we’ll find that space in which you can take a breath and begin to make headway on that journey.

If you would like to explore options, get in touch to find out more.


Best Things To Say To Someone With Depression

We quite often come across lists of things to avoid saying to someone with depression but can we say to someone suffering?

Our immediate inclination may be to want to help them out of their dark space. We want to make things better and we want whatever is troubling them to go away. If you haven’t suffered with clinical depression it may not be so clear what is useful and what is not useful to say. How can you know what it feels like if you haven’t been through it yourself? It may be an uncomfortable place to acknowledge that you’re not familiar with the depths of despair someone seems to be experiencing. Platitudes and rallying support may be met with a brick wall.

So What Is Useful To Say?

Even if you are very close to the person suffering, knowing what to say may be a challenge. The following are some starter tips for what to say to show support for someone experiencing depression.

“I Love You”

“Would you like some space?”

“You may not want to talk right now so can I just sit with you?”

“I’m here for you and I care”

“When you’re ready to talk I will be here to listen”

“Can I make you a cup of tea?”

“You are not alone”

“You matter”

“You are important to me”

“I know things are tough right now but I’ll always be here”

Getting help

Getting professional help and having counselling for depression is an important first step. Depression will affect 1 in 3 people at some point in their life so know that you are not alone in feeling the way you do.

Why Psychotherapy is Vital in Treating Depression

These days depression is so common that at any some point in our life we are bound to encounter someone experiencing some form of depression or experience depression ourselves. 1 in 5 people show symptoms of depression and prescriptions issued for anti-depressants are at an all time high in the UK.

As a nation then, are we more depressed or are GP’s more relaxed about prescribing anti-depressants? Maybe it’s neither of these. These days, we generally have a better understanding and appreciation of our own mental well-being. We are more aware of the importance of looking after our mind. Just as much as we care for our physical health, we are now more open and pro-active about helping ourselves when we feel unable to overcome certain issues ourselves. Altogether this contributes to broader awareness and openness about going to see a therapist if we need a bit of support with our mental health. So it may seem like the problem is getting worse but in reality it’s probably the same but it’s just out there more.

Depression and Anti-depressants

While the use of anti-depressants definitely has a place in the treatment of depression, they actually have little or no benefit in treating mild depression. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines state that for mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy is the preferred treatment. In many cases, psychotherapy is a perfect partner to anti-depressants. Medication supports us through certain stages and psychotherapy for depression takes us forward for longer-lasting changes.

So how does psychotherapy help with depression?

For a persistent low mood, studies have shown that medication alone does not tackle the underlying issues which may be causing the depression. Medication can of course be quite a saviour for many and they can be effective in keeping us afloat when we’re unable to cope nor do something else about our problems. However, the use of medication alone may result in high instances of relapse if stopped.

Depression can affect a person in many different ways spread over multiple different aspects of functioning. Psychotherapy for depression can help in many ways across these aspects by systematically tackling key issues that may be causing it. For example, psychotherapy can support someone with ways of thinking about themselves, their world and others. It can help with ways of processing emotions and also with the strategies we use to cope with problems. Psychotherapy actually has the potential to change our ways of looking at ourselves and our situation so that we are better able to see the wood for the trees. It enables us to make fundamental changes to how we feel, think or behave about certain things and to see where we could make improvements.

Talking to a therapist about issues you’re facing may ease stress and offer a new perspective on the source of your problems. By helping you to recognise problematic ways of thinking, feeling or behaving, psychotherapy supports you in finding new ways of being. Early intervention and having the chance to talk over your problems may also prevent depression worsening. Psychotherapy is also a tool that can have a lasting and profound impact on mental well-being.

Transactional Analysis psychotherapy and depression

Transactional Analysis is a systematic approach to psychotherapy and an excellent tool for diagnosis and treatment planning. TA makes use of a diverse range of concepts that can help therapist and client formulate a treatment plan that is tangible, clear and effective. Importantly, TA tools can also aid understanding of depression. It is also an empathic and a proactive approach that clients can find very useful.

As an example, Transactional Analysis can help you identify the ways in which you spend your time and whether those ways are getting your needs met. Are you perhaps spending your time withdrawing? Or are you perhaps still engaging with people but are finding it very unfulfilling with little prospect of enjoyable intimacy with anyone?

Research into Transactional Analysis has also shown that it is as effective as cognitive behavioural therapies in treating depression.

psychotherapy for depression


To find out more about psychotherapy for depression, get in touch with Alana for an initial no-obligation appointment.