Is An Unshakable Sadness Keeping You From Living An Engaged And Meaningful Life?
Are you struggling with feelings of sadness, uncertainty, anger or sorrow that you just can’t shake? Do you often engage in negative self-talk or judge yourself harshly? Perhaps you’re struggling to meaningfully connect with your loved ones and often prefer to be alone, which is placing strain on your relationships. Or maybe you’ve lost interest in activities that you once enjoyed. Have you turned to drugs or alcohol as a way to mitigate feelings of sadness or to cope with depression pain? Do you struggle to get out of the bed in the morning, often wondering what the point of anything is? Do you wish you could find a way through the heavy fog that’s been consuming you and live with more clarity, confidence, peace and joy?
Living with depression can be a heavy, frustrating and lonely experience. You may be experiencing feelings of lethargy and acute sadness, making completing routine tasks and engaging with your children, partner, friends or colleagues a challenge. You may also be judging yourself and experiencing guilt, especially if you struggle to understand where your depression stems from. You may desperately want to break free from the ongoing cycle of dissatisfaction, sadness or pain, but feel hopeless to find a way out.
Depression is a defensive reaction to the normal feelings of uncertainty, anger, hopelessness, sadness and sorrow that all humans experience. When we don’t allow these feelings to rise and release and, instead, feel defeated, suppress feelings or go into denial, depression can emerge. When we bury, resist or defend against difficult feelings, we allow an energetic blockage to form. This blockage zaps our aliveness and replaces it with lethargy. We begin criticizing ourselves and viewing the world with pessimism and hopelessness.
If you’re experiencing depression, it is not your fault, and you are not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S., with major depressive disorder affecting almost 15 million Americans every year. Some people are genetically predisposed to depression and struggle with it off and on throughout their lives. Others experience situational depression, which can occur following a trauma, loss or significant life transition.
The good news is that depression is one of the most easily managed mental health issues. With the right approach and the support and guidance of an experienced depression therapist, you can better understand your experience with depression, shift your perspective and begin living with more ease, energy, joy and peace.
Depression Treatment Can Help You Find Sustainable Relief
One of the first things you’ll learn in depression therapy is that it’s not about what happened – rather, it’s about what you tell yourself about what happened. As humans, we are attached to the stories we create. When these stories are negative, destructive thoughts, behaviors and patterns become ingrained. They can cause the feelings of bitterness, sadness, hopelessness, anger and lethargy that are part of the depression experience. But, when we learn to accept these feelings, rather than resist them, and shift into more positive thinking, we can create an experience that is more joyful, positive and peaceful.
In depression counseling sessions, I can help you get past the stories that are contributing to your depression. Together, we can delve beneath the storylines, deconstruct the untruths and tap into the vulnerable, authentic feelings that live underneath the surface. Once you allow these normal and natural feelings to emerge and really feel them, it’s possible to reconnect with a sense of aliveness. There is energy in anger and sadness and uncertainty. And, these feelings are as much a part of life as happiness and contentment. And, once you really feel these feelings, they often dissipate and lose their power.
As you break down negative beliefs and feel and release difficult emotions, you can discover a shift in perspective. You can recognize that nothing is permanent and that change is an inevitable, natural and beautiful part of the ebb and flow of life. You can stop blaming yourself, others and the world so harshly and open up to the uncertainty, fear and sorrow that have kept you stuck and unhappy. You truly can begin to understand that there is what happens in life and then there is what you tell yourself about what happens in life. Once you understand this concept and apply it to your thinking, you can experience empowerment over your depression and experience lasting relief.
While some people will always struggle with depression, it can be effectively managed. Life can be consistently brighter and more beautiful. Once you accept that your stories are not necessarily true – that they are just thoughts that you chose to believe – a whole new perspective and way of thinking can emerge. With depression counseling, you can learn to reframe negative thoughts, flow through challenging emotions and learn how to manage symptoms in healthy, effective ways. With help, support and a willingness to let go of stories, it is very possible to live a joyful, connected life.
I’ve heard that medication is a helpful form of depression treatment.
In cases of severe or chronic depression, medication can help to relieve some symptoms, but it should be taken in tandem with therapy for the most effective form of depression treatment. While some people can really benefit from medication, especially if it helps them engage in therapy and other important aspects of their life, it does not provide long-term, lasting relief. It is only through developing an understanding about how depression works, accepting it and applying techniques to work through negative thinking patterns that true healing becomes possible.
I’m afraid that talking about my feelings and issues will make me feel worse than I already do.
Whether you are talking about your feelings or not, they are still there. In order to truly become unstuck and experience relief from depression, you need to deconstruct the stories you’ve been telling yourself and shift into a new and healthier perspective. And, although it may feel scary to think about sharing your experience with another person and really feel your feelings, doing so often comes with so much relief. I’ll never push you to disclose anything you’re not ready to. We can move at a pace that feels comfortable for you.
I’ve been depressed for years. Can depression therapy really help me at this point?
The short answer is that you won’t know if depression treatment can work for you unless you try. And, in all honesty, there are some people who never really overcome depression. That said, learning how to lean into your feelings, accept them and make simple changes to how you think about yourself and the world can alleviate so much pain. While on some level, you may continue dealing with depression, you can make friends with it and learn how to manage it in effective and healthy ways.