Depression symptoms

Symptoms of Depression

We all have times when we feel low but how can you tell if you are suffering from depression as opposed to just feeling sad? The most common symptoms of depression include:

Overeating or loss of appetite

Insomnia (waking early or over sleeping)

Loss of libido and no interest in sex

Low energy and fatigue

A persistent sad, anxious or empty mood

Feeling helpless, hopeless and pessimistic

Feeling worthless and having suicidal thoughts

Lack of motivation, interest or pleasure in activities that you once enjoyed

Irritability and restlessness

Difficulty maintaining concentration, being indecisive and memory loss

Causes and types of depression


It should be noted that being depressed as a result of reacting to life’s events, or having low self esteem or having an inappropriate negative thinking style is different to manic or clinical depression which may be caused by a chemical imbalance and requires long term medication to control. 

A tendency to worry can, and often does, lead to sleep problems. It has been established that there is a strong link between our sleeping patterns and depression. If you are suffering from the symptoms of depression you might spend up to 4 times longer in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) state when asleep. Although REM is known as a sleep state it is the state we are in when we dream and programme the brain to learn. See my explanation of what hypnosis is and how it mirrors the REM sleep state.

If you have too much REM sleep and not enough deep sleep you may experience too much emotional arousal through your dreams and then wake up feeling tired and emotionally drained.

Depression robs the body of its production of serotonin, the hormone which regulates mood, appetite and energy levels.

The ‘Solution Focussed’ approach to treating the symptoms of depression

  • You will be helped to have your innate emotional needs met. All human beings need to feel secure, to have control over their lives, to receive attention, feel competent and valued, to be emotionally attached to others through friendship and family, to feel connected with the wider community and feel that their life has meaning and purpose.
  • Lifestyle improvements will be identified that will help you to naturally produce more serotonin which includes guidance on nutrition and physical exercise.
  • You will learn strategies and techniques to improve the quality of your sleep.
  • If you have rigid beliefs that limit your potential to change or you have a ‘black and white’ or negative thinking style you will learn how to be more flexible with your thoughts.
  • Negative emotions from memories of past events will be de-traumatised.
  • You will learn how to relax deeply, mentally, physically and emotionally and to utilise guided imagery to activate the solution focussed part of your brain.
  • Your confidence will be boosted by reconnecting you with your inner strengths and resources by reminding you of your past successes and what you are capable of.



See Mary’s case history and other success stories from people who have become happier, more positive and more relaxed with The Spence Practice.

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