Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by depressed mood, loss of interest, decreased ability to feel pleasure, and feelings of inappropriate worth or guilt. According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017, major depressive disorder affected more than 300 million people around the world, which means that 4.4% of the world’s population suffers from this disorder.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) was derived from an accidental discovery by North American psychologist Francine Shapiro in 1989: she found that spontaneous eye movements could quickly reduce the distress caused by her disturbing memories. At present, EMDR therapy techniques have developed into standardized EMDR stages, containing patient history, preparation, assessment, desensitization, fitting, body examination, closure, and reassessment.
According to the adaptive information processing (AIP) model, a traumatic experience that cannot be fully processed will be stored in the memory network of individuals in a frozen state. Such dysfunctional stored memories will enhance the chance of suffering from mental disorders. While making eye movements; while recalling negative memories, reprocessing the negative experience is facilitated, leading to alleviating suffering.
Depression and trauma go hand in hand. Many people who have experienced the trauma have symptoms of depression. When EMDR therapy depression overwhelms the body and mind due to a traumatic event, its natural response is to turn off emotions and feelings… both good and bad. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a non-drug treatment that can help some people with depression. EMDR therapy is very effective for PTSD and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Symptoms of depression
Symptoms of depression include; Sadness, loss of pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, weight change, difficulty sleeping or excessive sleep, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can be diagnosed in people when their symptoms last two weeks or longer. 20 million people suffer from depression in the United States.
If the depression is dependent on the trauma, EMDR removes the trauma and the depression disappears. EMDR can treat trauma-based depression whether it is related to PTSD or a smaller trauma such as relational injury. Some of the trauma that causes depression is subtle. We work with clients to identify the exact traumas that can cause or affect depression.
Research studies show the effectiveness of EMDR on depression
Systematic studies have demonstrated the effects of EMDR treatment on PTSD-related depression. Renowned trauma specialist Bisel van der Kolk and colleagues in a randomized clinical trial compared the efficacy of fluoxetine (Prozac) with EMDR and placebo in a PTSD population (van der Kolk et al., 2007). After the intervention, the EMDR therapist group had significantly lower BDI scores than the fluoxetine group. This led the authors of this study to conclude that “once the trauma is resolved, other areas of the psychological function appear to automatically improve.”
EMDR therapy is very effective for PTSD and post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also help relieve symptoms and improve stability from other causes of depression such as bipolar disorder, major genetic depression, and low-grade depression called dysthymia. EMDR therapy does not relieve mood disorders, but it can help people manage their moods, influence coping skills, and increase and increase positive thoughts and feelings about themselves. It can also help increase their inner resources and allow them to envision a future in which they can feel positive and confident.
Even if depression was not originally caused by trauma, people can develop trauma-related symptoms with ongoing stress or chronic medical situations. EMDR can relieve shock and reduce symptoms. Some people with depression experience painless events such as medical problems or the stress of a situation.
Depression affects the whole body emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We take a holistic approach to help clients recover from depression. In addition to the use of EMDR therapy, research shows a benefit for some clients in combining adjuvant therapies. To recover from trauma and depression, clients benefit from engaging in self-care techniques to build resilience to life stresses and prevent relapse.
- Depression. The effects of major depressive disorder include loss of interest, depressed mood, inability to feel pleasure, and feelings of inappropriate self-worth.
- Past trauma including past abuse are often the underlying causes and deep-rooted issues behind a lot of the personal problems that individuals face. Traditional counseling & EMDR therapy can help.
- The death of a loved one causes emotional and physical pain that impairs your ability to function normally in both the short- and long-term.
- One-on-one counseling for relationship issues can be an effective way to restore your happiness.
- Anger becomes becomes a problem for individuals when you express the anger in a way that causes harm to others or yourself.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) & Mental Health Service Provider (MHSP) in Tennessee
I have worked with individuals and families throughout Tennessee on the personal issues that trouble them for over 15 years. From managing depression and dealing with grief to addressing past trauma, anger and relationship issues, I am here to help. The reason I mention EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) so much in relation to dealing with personal issues is because EMDR therapy works quickly to help the therapist find the deep-rooted problems and traumas that are the cause of many issues.
Steven Lepley LPC, MHSP
Licensed in Tennessee
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Services Provider & EMDR Therapist offering virtual telemedicine appointments throughout all of Tennessee.
Ask me about my experience & how I can help you address the challenges you are facing. Call me or text me at 615.330.2659.