Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. An astonishing statistic! A leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, depression and other mental health conditions are on the rise.
From experience as an NLP Master Coach, I feel we could do more to stem out this disease. The scary thing is that many people who are depressed don’t even know it. It seems to attack under the radar. It is at the end of the day, our responsibility to help ourselves, improving emotional wellness to inadvertently close the door on depression.
Many conservative people say “we have no time to get emotional.” This is about getting in touch with your emotions, a polar opposite to becoming emotional.
Understanding depression, it’s causes and how to recognise it would be a great step in the right direction.
The Mayo Clinic defines depression as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities and sometimes feel, life isn't worth living.”
In my opinion, having worked with so many clients over 20+ years, a first step is to raise self-awareness of how we operate, think and feel. How do we respond to situations and where do our triggers lie? Are we hearing the same internal voice telling us we are good for nothing.
Then to re-programme the mindset – getting rid of old thought patterns that are replaced by more empowering, balanced thoughts. Learning about belief systems and negative emotions installed when young and understanding how they drive our lives.
The cause of depression stems from this. Flushing out the root cause is the most difficult part as this sits in the domain of the unconscious mind, which most people have close to no knowledge about. At an NLP beginners class these are basic processes that are brought to the surface.
The wonderful aspect of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is that once this root cause is found, eradicating it is easy. This is why expertise is required to help find the deepest part that is causing depression in the first place. Many choose to read books and attempt a DIY approach which only wastes time and gets nowhere.
I had a gentleman who hovered around me for many years. He loved going out for a coffee, chatting about NLP and personal growth. He was well read in the subject and I prompted him to attend an NLP Practitioner certification class. He resisted for 5 years and eventually joined.
At the end of 7 days he apologised that he had wasted my time and his. He said the humongous amount he had read paled in comparison to what he learnt at the course. I heard that a lot over years. People resisted paying for expert help and only sought to forego their time.
If you could feel good about life now, wouldn’t that be awesome? You would be on the path to making excellent decisions for the future. Why wait?
Another aspect that came up repetitively was ‘learned helplessness’ that many believed to be true. Living life like they had no control over what happened. So they thought, felt and acted as if they were helpless.
In stark contrast to self-management which was far more empowering for it is replaced with a powerful positive anchored state of confidence, for example.
Traumatic events are also a major factor in causing depression, dealt with by firstly eradicating negative emotions and improving self-worth. Many past participants resolved this comfortably in a short space of time, as NLP has the propensity to produce accelerated results. Clients gained more control once they were taught how to rewire their brain.
There’s no single magic cure for depression. Medication, various psychotherapies, lifestyle and diet change, radical change in environment, getting out of dysfunctional relationships or jobs, are some of the common prescriptions.
Over the years, a number of healthcare systems in the UK, Australia and the US have added NLP to their treatment list as:
Four Ways NLP Helps:
Therefore, anything we experience is filtered through our individual beliefs, attitudes, memories and experiences. Clients realise they can choose to change their thoughts. Seeing a way out is the first step to improving emotional wellness.
Improving emotional wellness is now more important than ever. It helps safeguard our immunity in the current environment. Learning about NLP for mental health, helps take care of physical and emotional well-being.
Depression is termed as ‘the common cold’ of mental health problems. It’s no longer a stigma in most developed countries. We, as individuals and as a community, must be alert to its presence among our loved ones, friends and colleagues. Seeking help, whether through NLP for depression or other therapies, is perfectly fine.
Equipping yourself with self-management tools, understanding how the mind works enables early detection before it is too late.
Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.