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Depression Treatments in Sydney Australia

Our Sydney clinic, based in Edgecliff, is a relaxing centre where our director, Francoise Nicoloff, welcomes you to join her for counselling depression.

Francoise has over 32 years experience in treating people for depression and is a trained clinical psychologist as well as a specialist in the Tomatis Method, a modality which has been proven to assist with depression.

You can contact us via e-mail: info@tomatis.com.au or by telephone (toll free) 1800 677 010.

Depression, Suicide Attempts and Tomatis Method

Suicide is the intentional taking of one’s own life. Suicide may occur for a number of reasons, including depression, shame, guilt, desperation, physical pain, emotional pressure, anxiety, financial difficulties, or other undesirable situations. The World Health Organization noted that over one million people commit suicide every year, and that it is one of the leading causes of death among teenagers and adults under 35. (1) There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non fatal attempted suicides every year worldwide. (2)

The predominant view of modern medicine is that suicide is a mental health concern, associated with psychological factors such as the difficulty of coping with depression, inescapable suffering or fear, or other mental disorders and pressure. A suicide attempt is sometimes interpreted as a “cry for help” and attention, or to express despair and the wish to escape, rather than a genuine intent to die. (3) Most people who attempt suicide do not complete suicide on a first attempt; those who later gain a history of repetitions have a significantly higher probability of eventual completion of suicide (4).

Gender and Suicides

In the Western world, males die much more often by means of suicide than do females, although females attempt suicide more often. In the USA, suicide is around 4.5 times more common in men than in women. This pattern has held for at least a century. Some medical professionals believe this stems from the fact that males are more likely to end their lives through effective violent means (guns, knives, hanging etc.), while women primarily use more failure-prone methods such as overdosing on medications.

Suicide and mental illness

Studies show a high incidence of mental disorders in suicide victims at the time of their death with the total figure ranging from 98% (5) to 87.3% (6) mood disorders and substance abuse being the two most common. A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may commit suicide for a number of reasons, including because of depression. Suicide among people suffering from bipolar disorder is often an impulse, which is due to the sufferer’s extreme mood swings (one of the main symptoms of bipolar disorder), or also possibly an outcome of delusions occurring during an episode of mania or psychotic depression. Major depressive disorder is associated with a higher than average rate of suicide, especially in men. 90% of suicides can be traced to depression (either linked to manic-depression (bipolar). depression (unipolar), schizophrenia or personality disorders). Comorbodity of mental disorders increases suicide risk, especially anxiety or panic attacks.

Biographical and historical factors

The literature on this subject consistently shows that a family history of committed suicide in first-degree relatives, adverse childhood experiences (parental loss and emotional physical and sexual abuse), and adverse life situations (unemployment, isolation and acute psychosocial stressors) are associated with suicide risk.

Impact of suicide

It is estimated that each suicide in the Western World leaves an average of six people intimately affected by the death, either as spouse, parent, significant other, sibling, or child of the deceased person. These people are referred to as “survivors”.

This long introduction was to present the following two cases. They reveal the depression tendencies and suicidal thoughts of a child following the suicide of one of his/her parents, as well as its impact on the listening test.

Here is the case of Donovan, a French man who has lived in Australia since he was 14. His family moved to Australia after his father’s suicide when he was 13. His father had already attempted suicide a few years before and was very depressed and dissatisfied with his life. Donovan is now 33, but attempted suicide at 18 years of age. He is no longer feeling suicidal having found some comfort in spirituality. Donovan still lacks stability, goes from one job to another and has no relationship. His last one was about 5 years ago. He says that he still feels depressed, doesn’t take medication as he prefers natural alternatives. No Tomatis program has been done with Donovan. I did his test recently and found some common ground with the case I was going to present to you at the IARCTC conference.

Lucia Aurora aged 23 is a French woman who came to spend a year in Australia with a working holiday visa as she wanted to make a change in her life. When she comes to the centre she is very depressed and “wants to die”. I felt “heart ache – mal au Coeur”. She feels very isolated and has difficulties to communicate with others as her English is very weak. It is also about the time of the anniversary of her mother’s death. She committed suicide when Lucia was 13 years old. My mother was depressed and very anxious and died at 44 years old. She attempted suicide at 18 and then at 24 and again when I was 6 or 7 years old. She has taken drugs. The morning of the day her mother decided to quit her life, they had a fight and Lucia went to school slamming the door. She only got to know the sad news two days later when her father told her the news. She thought that was in response to a prayer she had done in the past about her mother’s death. Lucia went through anorexia and bulimia between 13 and 17 years till her father told her to seek for help with professionals. She has done 9 years of psychotherapy to get rid of the culpability feeling but still carries it.

Her father is 59 years old and is a consultant in logistic. He got remarried with a woman from Cameroun, the marriage has only lasted 2 months and then he divorced then got remarried again and divorced again. He lives with another woman from Madagascar. “My father is a good listener, very generous and of good advice, although he is quite authoritarian. He has his rules . However, we have always talked and communicated well.

My mother was a taxation agent, she used to smoke a lot and was taking antidepressants. She was violent against herself and was not sleeping. Lucia was her only child born after 2 years of marriage following a good pregnancy and a long birth process (18hours). Lucia was breastfed for 3 months as her mother had to go back to work.

Following the suicide attempt of her mother when Lucia was 6, her father started to fully take of her. When Lucia sees pictures of herself during her childhood, they show a happy little girl. Both parents were quite happy together. As a child Lucia was always very healthy and never missed one day of school. Her mother did not want more children as she was too anxious and stressed.

Following her mother’s death, Lucia became compulsive with food. “I used to eat without enjoying enjoyment, it was a way for me to stay at home”. I was forcing myself to vomit as I had “heart ache”. Now I eat when I feel to and I enjoy my food. I don’t weigh myself anymore and I tend to crave for sweet when I don’t feel well.

Lucia usually sleeps well. She is left handed while her parents were right handed. She was studying law in France. She wants to finish her degree to be a primary teacher. However she is very confused in terms of attention, concentration and memory.

Her expectations are to get rid of her culpability feeling. "I want to find a sense to my life and want to be a teacher. I do not want culpability to destroy me, I want to be alive even when I don’t feel well."

The listening test showed a big asymmetry between the two ears. I said to Lucia to have her ears checked by a physician doctor and offered her to do 15 days, and 8 days twice as I knew she was temporary in Sydney. She wanted to travel through Australia. Her inheritance was given her the means to survive and to do what she wanted.

I started with a basic program MNF GC with R 0 P 50 and E 10 for the first 10 hours. Then I chose to progressively filter the music till MF6 as it brings a sense of wellbeing and also to help her with English.

Lucia felt more balanced at the end of the program and happier. She was less anxious. Lucia felt more alive and started to create some relationship. She wanted to find a job. She was able to be in contact with me at any time during the break of 4 weeks.

However after the 4 weeks break, she felt miserable again, depressed and anxious and was eager to come back.

Again her listening test showed that her left ear was going down and very imbalanced. So we started an eight day program. I used KBP, VL and scanning MF0-3000, MF0-4000, MF0-6000, MF0-8000 and some actives in English. Again she felt quickly much better and overall more positive. We had decided to do another 15 days as Lucia wanted to travel and did not know when she will be back to Sydney. Then I decided to a sonic birth. Here is the test at the end of TP2 (15 days).

Then the two ears are balanced again. She was far less anxious and did not feel depressed anymore. She had projects and wanted to study English so she could take the IELTS (equivalent to TOEFL). She was sharing accommodation with Brazilian guys and was really enjoying the male company. She also had made friends with some girls at the English school she was attending.

I did a lot of emotional release with her in private sessions and Lucia was calling me often during the period of the break.

She came back in March 2008 for a check after 3 months and we did a new listening test.

She had maintained the balance between the two ears. She had finally forgiven her mother for what she had done. She had reconciled with her mother and let go of her knowing that her mother will still be there in her heart. Lucia was enjoying life and she wanted to return to France earlier than expected as she had gained what she expected from her trip to Australia. She listened to Mozart a couple of hours every day and loved it. She wanted to continue her studies to become a teacher. That was clear in her mind.

That is when I really questioned the fact that imbalanced ears could have an effect on the mood and on the limbic system as this is the area of the brain that regulates activities such as emotions, physical and sexual drives, and the stress response. In fact during the program, Lucia felt a lot of sexual arousal and more appetite for life. The limbic system houses the hypothalamus, the amygdale and hippocampus. We know how the vestibular and cochlear integrators are connected to these parts of the limbic system.

Regarding depression, the Tomatis Method has certainly an effect on the neurotransmitters which still needs to be proven like the norepinephrine. The level of this neurotransmitter varies with people suffering with depression.

Problems with hormone levels may be intertwined with the changes in brain chemistry that are seen in clinical depression. The endocrine system is connected with the brain at the hypothalamus which controls many bodily activities such as sleep, appetite and sexual drive. The hypothalamus also regulates the pituitary gland that, in turn, controls the hormonal secretion of other glands.

Studies show also that of those individuals who are clinically depressed, about one-half will have an excess of hormone in their blood called cortisol which is also related to stress. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands.

So has the TM an effect on the thalamus, the production of neurotransmitters and the release of cortisol in the blood? More in depth studies need to show the correlation if it does exist.

What triggered me in those two cases were the asymmetry between the two ears: for Donovan the right ear was affected and that was his father who committed suicide and for Lucia it was her mother and her left ear was affected. Interesting to notice when symbolism is father is right side and mother is left side.

If you have any case of that sort we could collect them and do a mini survey to find out if there is correlation.

Here is what Lucia has written:

"Son témoignage

J’écris ces quelques mots pour vous faire part de mon expérience ! Tout a commencé en Octobre 2007, j’avais des problèmes liés a mon passé qui me faisaient encore souffrir. J’en ai eu marre et j’ai décidé de voir une psychologue qui pouvait parler français. Finalement j’ai franchi les portes du Centre Tomatis de Sydney."

Translation: "I am writing those words to share with you my experience. It has started in October 2007. I had problems linked to my past which I was suffering from. I had enough and decided to look for a French speaking psychologist. At last, I went through the doors of the Tomatis Centre in Sydney."

"Ca a été magique, croyez moi. Jai commence par écouter de la musique classique, plus particulièrement Mozart et les effets se sont fait sentir immédiatement. La culpabilité liée a la mort de ma mère qui me rongeait a disparu. Je n’aurai jamais pu penser que Mozart en quoi que ce soit dans ma vie ! et aujourd’hui je ne peux pas vivre sans sa musique. La musique classique fait disparaitre les bleus de l’âme ! Mais pas seulement ! Mozart peut vous aider a vous concentrer dans vos études."

"It was like magic! Believe me! I started to listen to classical music, especially Mozart. I immediately felt the effects. The culpability linked to my mother’s death which was XXXXXX, has disappeared. I would never have thought that Mozart could have helped me in any way! And yet today I cannot survive without his music. The classical music helps to disappear the “blows in the soul”. And not only this, but Mozart can help you to concentrate while studying."

"Quand j’ai écouté Mozart, ma perception des choses a change. Je voyais et je vois les couleurs. la luminosité de la nature maintenant . J’entends le chant des oiseaux. Je regarde autour de moi. Il y a une différence entre vivre et survivre et quand vous vivez, tout est plus intense, plus fort.

Merci Mozart, Merci Tomatis, Merci Françoise."

"When I listened to Mozart, my perception has dramatically changed. I can now see colors, now I can see the luminosity of nature. I can hear the birds singing. I am looking around me, I am more aware of what is around me. There is a big difference between living and surviving and when you live, everything is stronger and more intense.

Thanks to Mozart! Thanks to Tomatis, thanks to Françoise."

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