“Sometimes I feel as if I’m sitting in a dense black cloud that’s sucking the life out of me. I can’t move, can’t think, can’t do anything.”

“It’s as if a blanket has come down and is smothering me alive. I’m the living dead.”

“It feels like I’m an alien. I can’t connect with people; I can’t be bothered to speak to anyone. They don’t understand me anyway; we don’t speak the same language. Time feels different. It drags.  It’s all too much effort”

Dr Tim Cantopher says in his book, “DEPRESSION” is “The Curse of The Strong” (Sheldon Press. 2012. A helpful read!) It is a physical illness and actually changes the function of the brain. And it often afflicts caring, thoughtful, sensitive and considerate people. People like you and me. Depression is quite common and affects about one in ten of us at some point. It affects men and women, young and old. Depression is quite common and affects about one in ten of us at some point. It affects men and women, young and old.

  • Depression may consist of a variety of negative emotions including sadness, feeling “blue” or “down in the dumps”, pessimism, or a loss of interest in or pleasure from things that were once enjoyable.
  • While most people are able to shake off these feelings and pull themselves out of a temporary depressive state, others are not.
  • When those feelings persist, or become serious enough to interfere with normal functioning, they are considered symptoms of a mental illness that is often referred to as “clinical depression”.

As moods depend on your beliefs about your -self, your world & your place in it; your physical, social, mental, spiritual circumstances, a CBT approach is often offered by the NHS to help cope with the effects of the depression. But in my experience, there are often much deeper issues at work. Sometimes depression is triggered by a one- off event- childbirth, redundancy, illness, loss or grief etc but often it is due to a pile up of deeply painful incidents or memories that just can’t be contained any longer and the brain takes over to numb the pain.


  • Loss of interest in pleasure
  • Depressed mood
  • Changes in appetite
  • Decreased energy
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Difficulty thinking


So what can be done? 

Firstly: visit your doctor. Don’t be put off he asks you to get some exercise because moving in some form -walking the dog, a visit to the gym or swimming etc does change the chemical balance in your body. Don’t be put off either if he suggests medication because this also helps your “happy hormones” to reconnect.

Secondly: find yourself a good counsellor, psychotherapist or someone outside your usual circle to talk to. Use the break the medication is giving you to work out what is happening and why. Find some ways to change thoughts and behaviours and to improve your quality of life together. Enjoy the support that this person can offer, someone who understands and can walk with you through this time.

The best approach is to do both. See your doctor AND see a counsellor/ psychotherapist.  That combination tackles the physical as well as the emotional and psychological issues together and ensures a higher likelihood of success.


  • The Mindful Way Through Depression by M Williams,
  • The curse of the strong by Dr Tim Cantopher
  • Dorothy Rowe books

Useful websites:

I regularly see people who have not been able to find solutions at home and need someone to talk to. I am trained to listen and most importantly can be there solely for you. You can find the space you need, away from the noise of your life, to consider your life and start to work out some solutions. I can support you in this search.

I won’t give you the answers because I can’t live your life for you but I can be a support and a special place especially for you.   It might be that you will need to chat to your doctor for help at the same time. There is no shame in asking for help to sleep or a break from the bleakness of depression while we work things out together by talking. And hopefully you will soon be back in the swing of things and able to deal with life’s messiness.

Carolyn Powell