Depression: Is it the New Normal?
There are more than 3 million Australians diagnosed with depression and taking prescribed anti-depressants right now! That is about 13% of the entire population! That is a horrific number of people who are not able to cope on a daily basis without support. Even scarier than that: 1 million of them are young people under the age of 27. The number of children under the age of 18 on anti-depressant pills has doubled in six years to 100,000 as Australia is losing the battle against mental health. Australia is ranked as the second most depressed country in the world, only Iceland is worse off.
Our youth suicide rate is escalating and is now the 2nd most likely way for youth under 27 years to die. During 2018, more than 3600 Australians died from suicide. However, 65,000 attempted to take their own life! These young ‘kids’ are in the prime of their lives! That is frightening. And the increase of prescriptions for anxiety, stress, and depression is still climbing for all age groups, even those over the age of 80! This percentage is expected to have risen significantly in 2019.
Our First responders are amongst the highest group of people most likely to attempt suicide. In fact, if you are employed in any area of “front line” activities whether in the military, Para-medic, firefighter, police, a doctor, or even a midwife or a teacher there is almost a 75% chance you have been exposed to events which may cause have caused trauma or P.T.S.D. Most of these people would not even ‘know’ they have P.T.S.D.
Emergency workers (first responders) are slow to ask for help when it comes to mental health. Based on our investigations, we have identified four factors that contributed to delays in getting appropriate help for mental health problems:
- The stigma associated with mental illness;
- The impact on career advancement and promotions long term;
- Emergency workers were unaware of their own need for help; and
- Those in positions of responsibility not knowing how to respond when one of their staff asks for help
Youth and First Responders – Who Else?
Part of the problem seems to be a lack of choice for the treatment for patients with mental health issues by our medical practitioners. It is almost a ‘one size’ needs to fit all, where antidepressants are the answer to everything, where that is never the case with mental health issues. Another problem is the lack of support for alternative therapies that could offer a more holistic approach for mental health by addressing the cause rather than the symptom of depression or anxiety. Therapies such as hypnosis, EFT and Mindfulness are not supported as ‘complimentary’ treatments in mental health issues, whereas they have proven success elsewhere overseas.
What about You?
So, how would you know if you (or your child) have severe anxiety or even PTSD?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you, or have you experienced sudden anxiety attacks?
- Is it hard to go to crowded places?
- Do you feel you are you “hyper-vigilant” – always prepared – just in case X happens?
- How often do you re-run movies of past events?
- Suffering from Depression, stress, and not coping with normal everyday situations?
- What addictive habits do you have: smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs, overeating?
- Have you had/having suicidal thoughts?
On a physical level: Do you suffer from constant neck and shoulder pain? Any problems with your digestive system? Is it hard for you to concentrate, or hard to make decisions? Are you suffering from “Foggy brain”? Can you imagine your future?
Fight Flight Freeze is a Normal Response
When you have a stressful or traumatic event in your life the brain goes into a survival mode called the fright, flight or freeze syndrome. In other words, the brain sets the body up to run away, fight or if the event is too much to “comprehend” at that moment, to freeze. This causes blood to go to the muscles and it floods the system with cortisol. Our stress levels rise.
This process is designed to enable us to cope with ups and downs of normal living and when the event is over the brain processes the event and turns it into memory and we go back to calm.
However, occasionally, the brain does not, or simply cannot, process the event and turn it into a memory. Scientists are not sure why this happens but the result of not processing the event means “you relive this event or events” constantly in your mind. It’s like a movie looping.
It is this Looping that causes the body and mind to stay in a constant state of flight, fright or freeze. It “presents as stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, phobias, anger, fits of rage, addictions and eventually will be diagnosed as PTSD.
For the brain to be able to process these unresolved events it needs to know two things:
- It’s over and you are safe.
- You have power over the event or events.
Conventional treatment and drugs take a long time to help a person overcome stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD and in many cases is not completely successful.
There is a unique hypnotherapy process that has been used successfully to resolve these “unprocessed events”. This “Trauma Therapy” TRTP achieves fast and effective results allowing a client to feel safe and empowered, and back in control of their emotions and their life.