In today’s world, people are suffering increasingly with anxiety or depression. Voluntary organisation Aware estimated in 2015 that one in 10 people in Ireland suffer from depression at any one time. Thousands more people suffer from anxiety, the most common mental health issue alongside depression. It’s estimated that one in 9 people in Ireland will experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.
For many people with depression or anxiety, they suffer alone, preferring not to seek help or treatment. For some, the slow-to-change stigma of mental health issues might stop them asking for help. For others, fear of dependency on prescription anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs hinders help.
The use of mood altering prescription drugs is high in Ireland, with some areas such as Limerick prescribing to ten per cent of the county’s population. However, it is not the only way to cope with depression or anxiety.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) has been proven to reduce levels of mild to moderate depression. CBT is a talk therapy based on the theory that all thoughts, feelings, actions and physical symptoms are all connected. By changing one aspect, we can alter the others. With the help of a trained therapist, CBT can help you notice negative behaviour patterns and work to change them.
Simple changes to one’s diet and lifestyle can also help suffers cope without meds:
- Reducing or avoiding caffeine
- Avoiding alcohol or recreational drugs
- Taking regular exercise
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Learning or practising mindfulness
Don’t be afraid to get help if you feel can’t cope. There’s no shame in getting support and you are not alone in suffering from depression or anxiety.
As a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist, I use an ‘integrative pot’ of therapy to help you cope without meds. I tailor our sessions to your needs. Your therapy may include CBT as well as other therapies such as EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), Gestalt therapy, or person centred therapy. I may also include creative approaches including drama, art & music therapy or somatic therapy.
If you’d like to explore coping without meds, please get in touch with me.