Seasonal Affective Disorder

male dression silhouette

Light, Exercise, and Diet Help Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Transitioning to the long, dark days of winter usually takes a little time. It’s hard reacclimatising to waking up in the dark and returning home from work in the dark. For most people, adjusting to the change of season once again as everyday activities move indoors is just business as usual. However, according to American Family Physician, as much as 6 percent of the population suffers from a form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is also known as winter depression.
Fatigue, an unhealthy craving for carbohydrates, and a persistently bad mood are common symptoms of SAD. In the more severe cases, work productivity may suffer and individuals might avoid going outside altogether. Feelings of hopelessness and low motivation often ensue. When SAD impairs your ability to function normally, it’s time to adopt self-help strategies that can help get you reenergised.
Research has shown that a lack of exposure to natural light is a leading cause of seasonal affective disorder. It creates a hormonal imbalance that has a direct effect on mood and motivation. House lamps aren’t strong enough and often use the wrong kind of light (white light is necessary). A light box, one that generates at least 10,000 lux (100 times stronger than a lightbulb), is usually prescribed in such cases. They’re made specifically for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, and they’re safe because they filter out ultraviolet light. In fact, some people keep a light box at work so they’re exposed to light throughout the day. It’s also important to get as much exposure to natural light as possible. If you can, make a point of taking a walk on your lunch hour or walk (or ride a bicycle) to the store instead of driving.

Balanced Diet
People who struggle with SAD tend to overeat comfort foods that are heavy in carbohydrates, which causes weight gain. Overeating becomes a form of unhealthy emotional compensation, so it’s important to stick with a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and protein. Emphasise foods rich in vitamin D, a byproduct of sunlight which is in short supply late in the year. Salmon, eggs, mushrooms, and foods rich in omega 3 are especially beneficial late in the year.
Find Ways to Stay Active
Exercise is a good way to improve your mental outlook. It activates feel-good hormones in the brain that encourage you to continue exercising. Physical activity gets your blood flowing and heart pumping, a self-invigorating form of care that can help you overcome the effects of fatigue and lethargy. Research has shown that even one hour of exercise a week can mitigate the effects of depression.
Social Interaction
Getting out and about may be the last thing an individual plagued by seasonal affective disorder feels like doing, but it’s important for combatting poor moods and feelings of isolation. Simple acts like going for a walk outdoors with a neighbor or relative can improve your sense of well-being. Or, make a point of having coffee with a friend once a week at your favourite shop. Sometimes, just sharing happy memories with people you care about can have an uplifting effect on your spirits.
Meditate and Contemplate
Sometimes, engaging in contemplative disciplines like meditation and journaling can help you achieve a new perspective, one that helps you overcome depression and keep problems in their proper perspective. Meditation is a good way to strengthen the mind-body connection, whereas keeping a journal helps you make sense of your thoughts and feelings in a way that nothing else can.
Gut Health
It’s very difficult to feel good about things when your digestive health is suffering. Maintaining a balance between good and bad gut bacteria is essential for good digestion and your overall physical well-being.
Caring for your mental and physical needs can help stave off the emotionally debilitating effects of seasonal affective disorder. So, remember to stay physically active and set aside some time to process your thoughts, both of which are important strategies when the long days and lack of sunlight weigh down on you.
With special thanks to guest blogger Kimberly Hayes

If you would like more information about how our service can help with SAD or any other form of generalised anxiety disorder then click here for a FREE exploratory consultation.

Wishing you a peaceful day,
David Faratian


The power of words in hypnosis part 1


Today we are going to discuss an aspect of hypnosis that most people are probably unaware of. This is the area of language and how it is used in hypnotherapy. The reason why this is so important for the work we do as therapists is because all language is processed and created unconsciously. This is why therapy does not fit into a neat box and it can never be a case of one size fits all, especially when it comes to delivering language to the unconscious of our clients. Therapists who use scripts are merely indulging the 'junk food' of hypnosis. Before you write to me defending the script based approach, let me tell you I used to be exactly in the same school of thought. All that has now changed and here's why..

When we speak we don’t actually know how we produce language we just make various sounds and the words seem to just emerge from our mouths as sentences with meaning. Whenever I initiate a trance in any of my clients I don’t think about what I’m going to say in advance I just seem to ‘know’ what to say. I’m not following a teleprompter I’m not following a pre written script, I’m just saying what comes to mind and letting the ideas ‘flow’, In fact, unless I say something random during a particular train of thought like “butterfly” you will naturally make sense of everything I say to you, because as the subject you are also processing information unconsciously. There is a neuroscience and the neurology going on behind the scenes. This is why language when it comes to hypnotherapy and change work. If the therapist cannot deliver language which evokes a person's own unique representation of their world, then how can he hope to engage with their perceived reality and change it? Language is produced unconsciously, it’s comprehended unconsciously and it’s perceived unconsciously. Language is able to produce powerful hypnotic states, emotional states, deep feeling states. Language can cause us to create pictures in our minds. You only have to think about your favourite novel that you’ve ever read that stimulated your imagination. Why was that? Clearly the language that you were reading was being perceived through your brain as a set of emotional and visual associations and connections which brought the story to life. However, the way you perceive the story is very different from how someone else perceives it based on how they unconsciously process that language. All language is hypnotic, which is why there are certain words and phrases that carry more power than others. In my next blog I will talk about these in more depth.

David Faratian


Nightmares, flashbacks, trauma

ptsd trauma cloud

Probably one the most distressing side effects of trauma is the nightmares it can evoke. Nightmares attack when you're peacefully asleep and your conscious mind is off guard. By not dealing consciously with the nightmare, symptoms can worsen and the capacity to get a good night's rest may start to endanger your wellbeing. What should occur is the contrary. The memories which are essentially trapped at some point in time need to come out and be expressed and experienced in order for you to be free from them. Repressing them simply causes the initial pain to be prolonged unnecessarily for the rest of your life.  

Most nightmares are repetitive in nature, and the surreal way in which your dreams replay the part of the trauma can make the experience appear to be far worse than it actually may have been in reality. Regular nightmares which aren't related to trauma have a tendency to be distinctive each time. Obviously nevertheless this is the way it goes. Our fears may be also reflected by trauma nightmares. You might start to dream that members of your household get hurt. You might start to fantasise that you just get hurt in another way. This is your mind expressing what it fears, instead of what occurred. 

These dreams supply you with important details about what you fear. Traumatic nightmares are good in some sense. How can something be good? Nightmares allow you to know the problem is being worked on by your mind. Our brains are fabulous things. When we get hurt they act like computers replaying repeatedly the event, attempting to make sense of it. Our brains treat traumas as issues to be solved. Your brain is also attempting to take what happened to you and somehow make sense of it or to reduce the sense of overwhelm. In other words, to just get used to the idea that something horrible occurred. To get used to the emotions of powerlessness. Rather than dismissing them, drowning them out with sedatives or alcohol or staying up all night to avoid sleep, one should treat them as vital information. 

The brain remembers that you've been hurt once and is attempting to give you details about where, how so that should a similar event happen again you could either avoid it in the future and be in a stronger position to know how to deal with it next time. 

Hypnotherapy has an excellent track record when it comes to rationalising the stuck state of a nightmare, traumatic memory or flashback. Unlike most approaches to eradicate nightmares which rely on faith that the nightmare will eventually subside, hypnosis can effectively bring the memory out of its stuck state into an area of conscious awareness where it can be worked with and therefore eliminated. Nobody wants the fear that going to sleep is going to be unpleasant. If you are currently suffering from this unhealthy psychological imbalance and would like to explore options for curing the problem then please click the following link for more information and an opportunity to discuss your problem with a professional advanced hypnotherapist.

Wishing you a peaceful day

David Faratian


Hypnotherapy Gives Cancer Survivor Her Life Back

Cancer Care offers Hypnotherapy

Picture of Melissa Fox

When Melissa Fox was recovering from breast cancer she turned to CancerCare in Barrow for help, not anticipating that it would completely change her life in more ways than one.

Melissa, who lives in Barrow, said the hypnotherapy she received to help her cope with the fact she’d had cancer also helped her to deal with a severe alcohol problem caused by personal problems.

A care worker, mum and grandmother, Melissa, said CancerCare had given her a second chance at life.

She said hypnotherapist, David Faratian, had saved her from self-destruction and helped her to realise that there was a lot to live for.

Melissa, who has been married twice and now lives around the corner from her daughter in Barrow, has recently had the ‘all clear’ from breast cancer following her treatment five years ago.

She said: “I felt fine even during my treatment for breast cancer but I had a lot of anxiety afterwards and, due to some other personal problems, I was drinking too much.

“I had heard about CancerCare and when I spoke to the team they suggested that hypnotherapy might help.”

CancerCare’s Barrow base is at the Trinity Church Centre on Warwick Street near Abbey Road. Free hypnotherapy, counselling, aromatherapy massage and other therapies are available to people affected by cancer.

Melissa, who was 14 years old when she moved from Guisborough in Yorkshire to Barrow with her family, said she didn’t know what to expect from the hypnotherapy sessions.

She said: “It’s not like what you see on TV where the hypnotherapist makes you do different things.

“David taught me various methods for coping with how I was feeling and behaving.

“He helped me to see that I didn’t need to drink to escape from my negative thoughts.

“He also gave me a recording to listen to and help me relax. I’m usually quite hyper but he showed me ways to relax. I saw him six times at his premises at Roa Island and he was very professional.


“We visualised situations where I might have had a drink and he helped me to react differently. Being under hypnosis and visualising situations felt very real.

“Another thing he helped me to realise was that I had recovered from cancer so why would I want to kill myself with drink? It was amazing. It really worked.

“I stopped wanting a drink. Now I can go for days without drinking and if I do it’s just a social drink.

“Being treated by David has made such a difference to my life. I’m not addicted to alcohol now and I don’t want to go back down that road again.”

Melissa attended Alfred Barrow Girls’ School and then Dowdales School in Dalton before leaving to work in various local factories including Blair’s in Dalton and Lister’s in Barrow.

She has a daughter called Hannah who lives close by in Barrow. She has three grandchildren named Dakota, 10, Amaya, 5, and Emelise, 2. 

“I see them lots,” said Melissa. “I love them to bits.”

Melissa has a sister called Andrea and two brothers, Martin and Barry. She also had a brother called Anthony who has passed away.

Melissa is surprised and delighted with the success of her hypnotherapy treatment and said she would recommend it to others.

She added: “Life is so much better now.

“I don’t think I would still be here if it wasn’t for David and the hypnotherapy. He’s wonderful!”

David Faratian said: “It has been a privilege working with Melissa and helping her to reach a point in her life where she feels more empowered.
“Hypnotherapy has a very good track record in helping people to deal with any limiting belief, behaviour or emotion they were not born with.
To find out if you would be able to have hypnotherapy through CancerCare please email or call 01524 381 820 and ask for the Therapy CoordinationTeam.


Dealing with trauma

Can hypnotherapy help with trauma?
Put simply, most definitely yes. In the following blog I would like to delve into the very serious area of trauma based therapy and how EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitising and Reprocessing can help lessen if not completely eradicate any stuck memories or emotions in the past, as well as remove any recurring nightmares in the present.

So what exactly is EMDR? The idea that distressing memories could be eliminated and reprogrammed simply through rapid lateral eye movement sounds almost like something that would come out of a sci-fi novel. In fact this very process is one of the most available and scientifically accepted and verified therapies available today; even validated by the NHS. Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing has been used in clinical situations for decades and is used in many cases to be able to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) as well as conditions which relate to other common traumas and which invariably lead to nightmares and flashbacks. In a typical session the subject will be asked to think of the distressing memory while they rapidly move their eyes laterally from left to right. In most cases the person will experience a dramatic reduction in the intensity of the memory or the connection that they've created between themselves and the past memory and through EMDR they can, in effect, start to look at memory in a more natural way rather than with the heightened emotion that they originally attached to that memory. One of my recent clients said that following EMDR, she was able to evaluate and process what she had experienced in a more 'detached way'

So the question is how does it actually work? When a person is involved in any kind of trauma they become overwhelmed by the experience which in turn doesn't give the brain enough time to process the information at a neurological level. Unresolved, the memory quickly becomes trapped and unprocessed so essentially instead of it being a normal memory which can be stored in a non-permanent part of the brain a person ends up experiencing the distressing memory in all of it's sensory detail over and over again often in the form of flashbacks and or nightmares. By stimulating the left to right rapid eye movement the memory can in effect be brought out of it's trapped, 'fossilised' state so that it can finally be processed correctly, This in turn allows the the memory to lose its intensity and become more like a normal memory. Traditional counselling is not as effective at dealing with this area of psychology because speaking about the memory is only replaying it in the patient's mind and not really addressing the route which very often is at neurological level, overwhelming and very real to the person who is suffering. Repressed memories, especially when it comes to rape victims or people who have undergone specific traumas like a car crash can manifest spontaneously which can be very upsetting and debilitating. Through Hypnotherapy and EMDR these often deeply rooted psychological traumas can be brought out of the frozen state into the part of the unconscious mind where the memory can be trained to experience the event differently or eliminated altogether allowing the person to start functioning again. The removal of the stuck experience can very quickly lead to an elimination of flashbacks and nightmares, or at the very least, help greatly reduce the frequency and intensity of the traumatic thoughts. If you would like to find out how I can help you with this specific area then please click on the link below and request your FREE no obligation callback. All information is treated in the strictest of confidence.


David Faratian