Maggie Bell Counsellor Hypnotherapist

Maggie Bell Counselling & Hypnotherapy (Bromley & Lewisham)

Counsellor, Hypnotherapist & NLP Coach
Complimentary Pre-initial Assessment, based on over 20 years NHS experience, community, inpatients, and Private Practice.
Mob: 07950 906421 / 07704 499544

What is depression?

Depression can be described as a normal reaction to an upsetting event or a set of symptoms relating to emotions; physically, mentally with behavioural effects for no apparent reason.

If you feel that you are depressed, or that a medical practitioner has diagnosed you with depression, then you are likely to have periods where you are noticing your mood is low with a feeling of emptiness, sluggish and lethargic, where you are irritable and have lost interest in pleasure.  Your thinking is probably more negative; self critical about yourself and the world.  The depressed person can become withdrawn from social activities and usual behaviours, stay in bed for long periods and feel slowed down, agitated and restless.  You may have noticed a change in appetite, sleep and energy levels.  All off the above can create a negative cycle where you go around and around and not knowing where to begin to recover.

Causes of depression can also stem from negative childhood experiences, relationship difficulties, disrupted social connection, maladaptive behaviours and personality traits.  Stressors play an important tole in triggering depressive reactions.


It is said that approximately 12 per cent of us experience depression, although I wonder how this figure is known, as I am sure that there are a lot of people that struggle with depression and do not go to their GP or seek help, so that figure is probably higher.

In my experience depression can manifest in many different ways.  There is a list of criteria that is symptomatic of depression although usually the person who is depressed will notice that they feel very sad or low. There may be other symptoms such as lethargy, sleep issues, negative thought, feelings and behaviour.  Loss of appetite, or overeating.  Loss in interests and / or hobbies.  Self care.  The person may find it hard to make decisions.  We are all unique so these symptoms are generic.

Depression can range from a mild depressive reaction (mild mood fluctuations) to  severe clinical depression (unable to function).  People with severe clinical depression usually experience noticeable physical symptoms where the depression can be more related to biochemical changes in the brain.  This kind of depression may need medical intervention through your GP.

Depressive reaction can be triggered by a set of life events where the person has found it difficult to cope and where it feels like it is impossible to break the negative patterns, although you can gradually free yourself from this kind of depression with the right kind of help for you as an individual.

Depression Management:
In my professional opinion, we can all experience low mood at some time or other. Exploring what is the underlying cause can really empower you to take control of your mood. Once you understand just feeling empowered can impact in a positive way on you mood. However, the symptoms of Depression or low mood can be a chemical imbalance which may require medication. A therapeutic arrangement in place is a start.

Major Depression:
In summary, and in my experience, if you think you have been experiencing chronic (long-term) major depression; with some of the symptoms being where you feel extremely sad, hopeless, unmotivated, inactive, lethargic, irritable, unable to concentration, poor sleep and appetite, maybe guilt, physical pain, and negative thoughts, then as you are reading this page it sounds like you are ready to do something different.

Dysthymia Depression:
Generally reported to be less serious than major depression, however, does require management. Although reported to be less impacting on the person’s functioning it is usually symptomatic of a low mood longish term, where the person functions well enough but not at their best. Other symptoms may be sadness, lack of concentration, fatigue, poor sleep habits and appetite.
This depression type is noted in the NICE Guidelines to respond better to talk therapy than medication, though some research suggests combining medication. (NICE Guidelines)

Postpartum Depression:
Generally reported that over 75% of new mums feel sad after giving birth and that more than 15% fits into the depression family where this is a diagnosable type of depression.
Some of the symptoms may be extreme sadness, anxiety, lethargy, feeling alone, hopeless, negative thoughts about self and baby, and feeling disconnected from the child. Again, a combination of talk therapy and drug therapy is suggested in the NICE Guidelines. (NICE Guidelines)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
In my experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), has symptoms in general of the person not wanting to go out when the weather is not nice where there is a repeated pattern. This can lead to weight gain, feeling low, where there the person becomes withdrawn. Further symptoms are anxiety, irritability, lethargy. There is usually a pattern of the symptoms starting in the early winter days and lasting to Spring. It is noted that this kind of low mood can be treated with talk therapy and/or other treatments.

Atypical Depression:
In my experience, this is a common type of depression that can be overlooked and less known about than major depression. Signs of this type of depression can be heaviness in arms and legs; more so with excessive sleep and eating which can be combined with weight gain, irritability and relationship issues. Reactive moods to good and bad things happening with a long-term pattern of sensitivity to external factory with a fear of rejection.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS):
Premenstrual Syndrome is a type of fluctuating mood state that affects women at certain times of the month, sometimes called PMS; usually in the latter part of her monthly cycle, where symptoms may include low mood, anxiety, and where maybe relationships are impacted .

If you have been reading this page, then perhaps you have been struggling with your mood recently and wondering what is happening.  Or maybe you have identified some negative patterns that have been repeating over a short or longer period of time.  Sometimes we know something is wrong, but we just cannot put our finger on it, and if we are psychologically challenged or struggling, then we are not in a good place to identify what the underlying issues are that are causing the symptoms being experienced.

So remember, we are all individuals who have different life experiences and depression is no different in as much as we can experience low mood or depression in different ways, however, there is usually a significant degree of sadness or feeling low in mood.  Other characteristics of depression may include sleeplessness, thus feeling tired, unmotivated where there maybe issues around decision making, loss of interest, appetite changes, and then at what may feel like a difficult time in your life; where you really want to make the right decision to get help, you may find yourself googling and researching therapy, only to find that there are many different therapies at your disposal that leave you feeling even more confused and thus overwhelmed.  So I would say think about your decision to get the right kind of help, for you to help yourself.  It can start with a phone call with no obligation.

Call me on 07950 906421 / 07704 455944, and I will be happy to discuss with you further what your pathway may be, as well as the way I work if you are interested – I look forward to hearing from you.


If you would like to discuss your symptoms and experiences in more depth, please take advantage of my FREE TELEPHONE CONSULTATION, to discuss your personal therapeutic pathway forward.  I will be delighted to hear from you.

Maggie Bell
Maggie Bell Counselling & Hypnotherapy (Bromley & Lewisham)
Mobile:  07950 906421 / 07704 455944