Do you feel like you are drowning in unbearable feelings and negative thoughts?
Have you tried just about everything to pull yourself out of the murky waters of depression only to find that you are getting pulled under more and more?
Do you wonder how you will make it through another day?
Are you starting to lose hope that things will ever get better?
Are you wishing that you could experience joy and fulfillment in your life once again?
Living with depression is an incredibly painful, lonely, demoralizing, and isolating experience. Yet depression is very common in our society, affecting nearly ten percent of adults in the United States at any given time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over half of people who experience depression find that it returns, sometimes again and again.
Depression shows up differently for each person, but the most common symptoms of depression are:
Feeling depressed or sad most of the day
Not having interest in friends, activities and things you used to enjoy
Frequent feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or shame
Being more irritable, agitated, or short-tempered
Having trouble concentrating, thinking clearly, or making decisions
Thinking about suicide (with or without a clear plan for committing suicide)
Significant changes in your appetite; either eating noticeably more or less
Having trouble sleeping or sleeping more than you normally do
Feeling tired, worn out, or lacking the energy needed to get through the day
Experiencing physical discomfort such as muscle aches, backaches, stomach pain, and back pain
You may have been trying to find a way out on your own…
Depression brings with it a bleak outlook, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, as well as guilt and shame about being depressed. We are bombarded by social messages about how we are ‘supposed to be’ and how we ‘should feel’ which leave little room for the natural ups and downs of the human experience, and place the burden of getting well entirely on us. All of these factors may make it that much harder to seek out help when you really need it. Many of us try to cope on our own, believing that this is our only option. In our search for relief from the depths of despair, we may engage in behaviors that actually worsen the symptoms of depression:
We may try to ‘will’ ourselves out of depression by being harshly critical, judgmental, and demanding towards ourselves.
We may spend excessive time thinking negative thoughts about the past or future.
We may rely excessively on food, alcohol, or drugs (prescription or otherwise) to numb difficult feelings and quiet negative thoughts.
We may engage in behavior such as compulsive gambling, excessive spending, reckless driving, or dangerous sports to escape from the numbness or pain that we feel.
We may work more and exhaust ourselves to compensate for our reduced ability to get things done.
We may withdraw from socializing with loved ones and friends, and we might stop engaging in activities that we used to enjoy because we feel so dispirited.
We may put up a ‘front’ that we are feeling fine, preventing others from knowing how much distress we are experiencing.
These ways of coping are very common, and some of them do offer temporary relief. Unfortunately, in the long-run these behaviors lead to greater pain and suffering by contributing to reduced self-esteem; feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness; addiction; relationship problems; loneliness and isolation; physical health issues; and financial strain. Real and lasting relief can be achieved by healing the underlying causes of depression in combination with increasing healthy coping strategies to bolster yourself during the healing process. This can be hard to do on your own and working with an experienced and caring professional can get you on the right path. If you are ready to start moving towards joy and fulfillment once again, I may be able to help.
Why am I depressed?
Depression demands our attention and is a symptom indicating that healing or change need to take place in our lives. The pain of depression lets us know that we have veered off the path that is most fulfilling and nourishing to us. Depression can also occur if we have experienced a distressing event (in the past or present) which has shaken our foundation and has left our psyche in need of mending and revival.
There are are many factors which contribute to the onset of depression, including: experiencing loss, not having adequate social support, loneliness, problems in your relationship, experiencing financial strain, unemployment or underemployment, lack of job satisfaction, life transitions and stressful life events, family history of depression, substance abuse, history of abuse or traumatic events during childhood, and facing health problems or chronic pain.
How thinking contributes to depression:
Our way of thinking may also be a major culprit in worsening depression and causing us to stay depressed for longer. When we are depressed, we have a tendency to turn events from the past or worries about the future, over and over in our minds. We may think about what we could have done differently or what we should be doing now. We may judge and berate ourselves for feeling the way we do. We do this in an attempt to help make things right, but this usually leads to feelings of guilt, shame, anger, regret, despair, and dread. These harsh thoughts and feelings create tension and pain in our bodies, make us feel exhausted and depleted, and cause us to turn away from ourselves and the world more and more. We may believe that there is ‘something wrong with us’ if we feel depressed, instead of viewing depression as an indication of our psyche’s natural drive towards growth and healing.
When we are depressed, we are presented with a golden opportunity to heal that which needs to be healed, to bring our life back into alignment with our core needs and values, and to rediscover our inner strengths and capacities. A supportive and engaged therapeutic relationship can help restore our psyche and bring our life into balance. Through my work, I have helped many individuals heal from depression and find joy and fulfillment once again.
You may be interested in therapy, but you may still have some concerns...
“Isn’t going to therapy a sign of weakness?”
Actually, going to therapy is a sign of strength and commitment to overall well-being. Talking to a therapist about your real internal experience and working together to shift aspects of your life that are no longer working takes a lot of courage, but the joy and vitality that you can achieve as a result are well worth it.
You may have tried to ‘will’ yourself out of depression by using self-blame and criticism, only to find yourself feeling more worthlessness, sadness, and hopelessness. In reality, we have to learn how to be fundamentally kind and loving towards ourselves when facing life’s difficulties. It is also important to heal the root causes of depression and make necessary changes in our lives so that depression does not return. All of these new ways of being can be reached much more quickly with an experienced professional.
“Won’t talking about all of this make me more depressed?”
It is not uncommon to experience deep emotions such as sadness, anger, and grief during the healing process. These feelings come to the surface to be worked through and released; allowing you to return to living the life you are meant to have. Often times, these feelings can be frightening, painful, and overwhelming to feel by yourself, but much work can be done with a caring and experienced therapist. My working style is warm, empathic, emotionally engaged, and open. This stance allows me to form meaningful connections with my clients so that we can do the restorative work together in a safe and supportive environment. I help my clients tap into internal resources and learn to use the power of emotion for healing and personal growth.
Working with me:
My approach to therapy combines several powerful modalities to help my clients achieve lasting and meaningful change in their lives. I believe, first and foremost, in the power of human relationships and strive to show up authentically in the therapy. I use the therapy relationship as a safe foundation for deep healing work. I teach my clients powerful skills of reconnecting to their emotions, their bodies, and the present moment as a path back to an enlivened existence. Finally, I help clients untangle the knots that keep them stuck and cause much pain and suffering. By healing the past, my clients are able to begin fully living their lives in the present.
It can be hard to take the first step towards healing depression; especially when your mind blames you and you barely have enough life energy to get through the day. I understand and work to establish a warm, non-judgmental, and authentic connection from the very start. I have helped many people begin to experience joy and fulfillment once again by helping them heal the underlying causes of depression with innovative approaches-and I may be able to help you.
Start on a path towards wellness and call me today for a free phone consultation. You can ask me any questions that you have about depression treatment, my practice, and my unique approach to helping clients heal once and for all.