Mental health issues are currently something of a hot topic in the news at present.
Whether it is learning to cope with or reduce levels of stress, dealing with anxiety or looking into the causes and treatments of depression, as a society, we have never been more aware of the many complex, sometimes contradictory, issues regarding mental health.
As a fully qualified sophrologist, I am acutely aware of these issues and the negative impact they can have on an individual and their loved ones. Not only that, but a quick scan of the research reveals more people are affected by the effects of depression, anxiety and stress than ever before.
Taking depression as an example, there are some startling statistics about this frequently misunderstood illness which give food for thought:
- Depression affects people of both sexes, of all ages, backgrounds, lifestyles and nationalities, with very, very few exceptions.
- Globally, it is estimated that 1/5th of the world’s population will suffer with depression at some point in their lives.
- Currently, it is estimated that 350 million people across the world are suffering from depression at this very minute.
- Since 1945, the number of people diagnosed with depression has increased ten-fold.
- Depression is not something that is typical with middle or old age. The average age of a first depressive episode is just 25 to 29 years of age.
Such is the problem of depression globally that the World Health Assembly in May 2012 drafted a resolution that called for a comprehensive and coordinated global response to mental disorders at a national level.
These facts certainly make grim reading but all is not doom and gloom. I am living evidence of that very fact and there are lots of people who, like me, have discovered the benefits of Sophrology as an antidote to the negative effects of stress, anxiety and depression.
As a treatment, sophrology was initially developed to treat war-traumatised victims suffering from trauma and depression and it achieved excellent results. Over the years, the techniques have been refined and improved so that it not only can be used as an effective treatment for these key mental health issues (and more besides), but also as a form of prevention.
A modern sophrologist therefore not only treats people suffering from stress, anxiety, fears, burn-out, depression or all of the above, but also teaches many others how to avoid avoid them. We often say that we are helping people to be stress, anxious and depression proof.
Given that ten-times as many people are now being diagnosed as being depressed than back in 1945, what is precipitating this change? It is unlikely that this is a result of genetic or biological differences, our bodies do not make such rapid transitions over just a couple of generations.
Therefore, this leaves us with the fact that our society and lifestyle, and how they have changed, is having a clearly negative effect on our societies mental health.
Can sophrology offer any kind of hope in the fight against this?
It seems so. A leading Swiss health insurance company revealed that a statistical analysis of their data revealed that the medical expense bills of their clients who had undertaken Sophrology training had medical bills that were typically 30% less than their clients who had not.
I also recently chatted to a professor at the EPFL in Lausanne, who is studying Alzheimer’s Disease and she said that her studies and discussions with eminent colleagues revealed that one of the main contributory factors for the onset of the disease was stress.
Indeed, the very word “disease” stems from dis-ease; a feeling of being ill-at-ease.
As an individual who has suffered from the effects of burn-out many years ago, sophrology was the resource that I felt played the most significant and beneficial part in my recovery. So much so that over the past 20-years, I have taught Sophrology to many others and have seen similar, fast and long-lasting results in other people.
The great news is that sophrology is easy to work into your life. Our structured programme of mind/body exercises are very easy to follow and fit into a daily routine. They soon become a reaffirming, positive habit, just like brushing your teeth at night. It only takes a few weeks for the individual to notice real, positive changes so, this inspires people to do more and feel even better.
I’m living proof that Sophrology works and with mental health issues now affecting so many more people than in years past, I want to share my experiences, expertise and the techniques, resources and exercises that I have learned to help ensure people like you don’t suffer from these sapping, destructive illnesses and instead lead a happy, positive life.