linical depression has been likened to a modern epidemic, with most cases undiagnosed and untreated. Yet the toll in human happiness and productivity is tremendous. Untreated depression can potentially lead to broken relationships, substance misuse, job loss, compulsive behaviours and, at the worst, self-harm.
About fifteen percent of us have a bout of major depression at some point in our lives and it is the fourth most common cause of disability worldwide. Each year in the United Kingdom about 4000 people tragically destroy themselves as the result of untreated depression
The symptoms of depression are varied. For some people, it's sleeping too much whilst others find it hard to get any sleep at all. Likewise, some people lose their appetites whilst others eat compulsively. Generally a sense of hopelessness, a feeling of low self-worth and a sense of being disappointed by others are present. The mood may be sad, irritable or, most characteristically, ‘flat' or ‘dead inside'. One sees the world and one's life through a negative lens which colours everything.
A large number of people experience clinical anxiety concurrent with clinical depression. On its own, clinical anxiety is less prevalent overall than depressive disorders, occurring in under five percent of the UK population.
The condition is characterised by excessive worry about a specific issue or, more generally, a problematically heightened level of stress. The condition makes it difficult to relax or to get a good night's sleep. Amongst the common physical symptoms are trembling, muscle tension, headaches, hot flushes or being startled easily. Increased irritability is a common symptom as well.
The most extreme form of anxiety disorder is called a panic attack. Panic attacks are abrupt periods of intense fear with a range of marked physical symptoms (such as difficulty breathing) as well as the thought that one is either going insane or about to die. Severe anxiety and panic may disrupt social situations, work and other daily routines as well as damage relationships due to increased conflict. Whilst anxiety is more common in women, the statistics on panic are equal for both genders.
For over three decades, Kenneth Demsky has helped many individuals suffering from different kinds of depressive and anxiety disorders. Conditions which are reactions to external events respond well to informed support and 'brainstorming'. Those that reflect unresolved conflicts from the past require a more sustained therapeutic engagement to bring about healing and promote growth. Cognitive-behavioural techniques (such as guided relaxation) are incorporated and referral for appropriate medication is considered. The goal in any case is to permanently establish a more stable and positive mood overall.