Has your depression stopped you from living the life you want to live?
Do you wake up feeling exhausted and dreading the day? Are you struggling to feel alive, healthy and energized? Are you feeling depleted, defeated, discouraged or chronically empty? Have you been withdrawing from friends and feeling too emotionally drained to connect with others? Do you have trouble concentrating, being productive or completing basic tasks?
Living with depression can be a painful and lonely experience. Depression can make it tremendously difficult to experience happiness, complete every day tasks and even engage with the people in your life who are closest to you. Your typical eating and sleeping patterns can be disrupted, and destructive self-medicating behaviors – such as using drugs or alcohol, excessive online shopping or gambling or turning to food to self-soothe – can develop in an effort to feel better. When you’re depressed, a deep sense of isolation stirs within you and can paralyze you with feelings of guilt, shame and self-criticism. It’s common for people struggling with depression to blame themselves for feeling so miserable, which can lead to deeper isolation and self-judgment, creating a rapid decline into despair. How many times have you asked yourself: Is this ever going to stop? What’s wrong with me?
Many People Struggle With Depression – You’re Not Alone.
We all experience life challenges that can trigger symptoms that feel like depression. It is completely normal to feel frustrated, sad and overwhelmed during times of stress or loss. How we handle these challenges, however, is directly related to our personal resilience, coping skills and general mental and physical health. While some people can bounce back from challenges relatively easily, others find it more difficult. If feelings of extreme sadness and a sense of hopelessness persist, and you notice it impacting many areas of your life, you may be experiencing depression.
There are numerous causes of depression and the range of symptoms and severity are wide. Depression can be triggered by hormones, illnesses, traumas, and major life transitions (ie: the death of a loved one, menopause, or losing your job). Surprisingly, the stressors of seemingly positive events such as having a baby, buying a house, or entering retirement can even bring on depression. People experience depression in very different ways and can manifest as ongoing feelings of the “blues,” prolonged irritability and moodiness, or a deep hopelessness that makes it impossible to get out of bed. The good news, however, is that regardless of severity or symptoms, there are many therapeutic and medical approaches that can help alleviate depression symptoms, so that you can feel better and be an active participant in your own life.
Depression Treatment Can Help You Feel Joy, Hope And Personal Fulfillment.
Working closely and collaboratively with a trained mental health professional who is experienced and truly understands depression can provide you with much needed relief. Making sense of your experience and knowing how to work with it is the goal when learning to manage depression. Sometimes, depression can feel like layers of heavy blankets, weighing you down with what seems like warmth and comfort but when you begin to lift one blanket off at a time, you realize how suffocated, isolated and paralyzed your depression kept you, and you’re able to gain a fresh perspective. You’re able to learn behavioral strategies that can help eliminate self-destructive patterns that have kept you stuck. When working with me, you can begin to identify and address depression symptoms, learn ways to take better care of yourself and those who depend on you, and learn how to live your life in more fulfilling and empowering ways.
In our sessions together, I will give you straightforward feedback in a safe and supportive environment as you explore what’s blocking your ability to experience continued joy. Together we will identify your destructive thoughts and behaviors that you may not even know you have and learn how to shift them from critical to complimentary. You can also learn concrete, practical ways to comfort yourself and foster meaningful and attainable goals every day. While teaching you healthier ways to manage stress and difficult emotions, I will highlight your strengths in your current life. When education about depression is available, there is often a sense of relief. Learning about depression enables you to discover your own inner strength and confidence to gain a sense of purpose and meaning in your life.
Even though you may be feeling hopeless right now, it is possible to heal and have a positive future. You can feel better about yourself and your life situation. With help, you can begin to restore your life and your Self. Depression treatment can help you get to know yourself better by learning about your needs, emotions and capabilities which can empower you to take healthy personal risks.
But, you still may have questions or concerns about depression treatment…
Therapy is not cheap and can take awhile to work. I’m not sure it’s useful.
Therapy is an investment in your wellbeing and overall health – not only for you but for your family and friends as well. By investing in your Self now, you’re choosing to cultivate a life full of meaning and purpose. Working through your depression provides you with a unique opportunity to feel better sooner and help you gain and maintain a more encouraging outlook on your life. Depression impacts how you engage in relationships, influences productivity at work, and increases stress. However, getting depression treatment can create the space for you to develop emotionally healthy relationships, increase productivity in your work life and help you enrich a more empowered and balanced sense of Self.
I’m afraid that if I say I’m depressed I’ll have to take medication.
Depression treatment does not always include taking medication. In fact, many people with mild to moderate depression have found counseling and other lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and some sort of spiritual practice to be very effective for overcoming depression. However, if your symptoms are debilitating or other approaches simply aren’t working for you, I may suggest that you meet with a psychiatrist to discuss the option of taking medication. Please know that it is completely up to you to decide whether or not to try medication. Also, medication can oftentimes be a temporary solution to help decrease your symptoms so you can begin to feel good enough to actively engage in counseling. People often report experiencing the best results with a combination of medication depression treatment therapy.
I’m worried that if I pursue depression treatment, I might learn that I’m really messed up. I should be able to do this on my own.
Did you know that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates as many as one in 10 Americans report being depressed? It is also estimated that only half that number ever seek and receive treatment. That’s a lot of suffering.
You may discover something is wrong in your life, but you kind of already knew that. Depression may be your body and brain’s way of getting your attention and alerting you that something (or many things) in your life is out of balance. Getting connected to your feelings and understanding what they are telling you is the best way to live a healthy and happy life. Exploring heavy and difficult emotions with a licensed therapist will make it less likely that you’ll lose control. When you better understand your depression and gain self-awareness and healthy coping skills, you can become more effective at handling difficult emotions and situations. People suffering from depression are affected on so many levels. It is an illness that affects how you perceive and experience your world. This means that your brain is not working optimally. When you feel irritable, overwhelmed, forgetful, unmotivated, and exhausted, it’s ok to admit that doing it on your own hasn’t produced the desired results. So, when you reach out for depression treatment, you are making steps to feel and function better and to gain control of your life.
What kinds of people do you usually work with with regard to depression treatment?
The interesting thing is that there’s not a “type” of person who experiences depression. There isn’t necessarily a typical client that I work with, as young adults in their late teens and twenties as well as adults and elders come to me for help with depression. Many of the people who contact me for help with depression are in different stages of their lives and yet they arrive with similar feelings, struggles and inner strength that gets them in the door.
Whereas there is not a distinctive client, there is a distinctive effort to individualize treatment for each person. I work with people who do not wish to use medications as well as those who feel like medication has changed their lives dramatically. Sometimes we focus on work performance. Sometimes I see couples to help them navigate and enhance relationship. What is the immediate need? Where does the client have energy to focus? That’s where we start.
Do you still have questions about depression treatment? I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation for individuals who want to discuss how counseling can help. Call me at 714-390-1652 or email me here to schedule a time to speak and together we can discover what you need to start enjoying your life again.