Has Depression Taken Away Your Ability to Connect, Engage And Feel Joy?
Are you feeling slow, stuck and struggling with an emotional and physical heaviness? Perhaps it feels like the rest of the world is moving along and living fully and joyfully while you feel isolated, drained and unable to move forward. Does everything feel like it takes too much energy, regardless of how much sleep you get? Maybe you are struggling to find interest in anything – including relationships, tasks and new opportunities – that you want to be or feel like you should be excited about. Are you carrying around a deep sense of sadness and don’t know why? You may be struggling to connect with others and feeling frustrated and more isolated by their inability to understand or relate to your unhappiness and heaviness. Do you want to feel lighter and more alive? Do you wish you could find a way to handle life’s challenges without going to a depressive place?
Depression can affect your self-esteem, increase self-doubts and cause you to constantly put yourself down. These feelings can lead to an inability to express yourself and an overwhelming numbness. Depression can make you feel painfully lonely. You may be self-medicating or developing other, unhealthy coping mechanisms to try to cut through the heavy numbness and feel something other than pain and loneliness.
There Are Degrees Of Depression
You may be suffering from a chronic and ongoing form of depression, which can worsen – making life feel unmanageable – when tasked with a difficult or emotional event or situation. Or, you may feel like you’re riding the ups and downs of an emotional rollercoaster. There may be lengths of time when you experience joy and productivity, but suddenly become immobilized by depression and don’t know why. Or, the depression you are experiencing may be situational – triggered by a specific event. Living with depression is hard, regardless of the form or degree. You may feel like life is too hard. Responsibilities may be too heavy to carry. And, numbness and isolation may make it too overwhelming to connect with others.
Depression Is More Common Than You May Think
People with depression suffer internally. Depression is not a big, in-your-face ailment. It’s quiet, sad and lonely. Most people do not talk openly about their depressive symptoms and related feelings. We live in a culture that puts so much emphasis on being happy and productive, which causes many people living with depression to experience shame and guilt. It’s not uncommon for people with depression to put themselves down and give themselves an emotional beating for all that they should be doing and feeling, but cannot. And, rather than get help and learn how to manage depression, many people self-medicate or turn to other, unhealthy coping mechanisms in an attempt to feel better – which oftentimes makes them feel worse. However, with help, you can alleviate the need for emotional Band-Aids and get to the root of your depression – and of yourself. You can learn how to manage your depression now and in the long-term in ways that are healthy and help you feel good.
Therapy Can Help You Manage Your Depression And Live A More Joyful Life
Experience shows us that therapy can be an extremely effective way to treat depression. Therapy can increase self-awareness and help you better understand your depression. You can learn where your depression comes from, how it affects you, and what you can do to feel better.
Isolation is a big part of depression. In our initial sessions, we will begin to develop a partnership. Developing a trusting and comforting relationship with another who really understands depression and relates with you in a safe and nonjudgmental way can break down the isolation you’ve been experiencing and provide immediate, significant relief. Oftentimes, connecting with another after prolonged emotional isolation can help you to feel engaged, hopeful and alive again. As our relationship continues to build and strengthen, you may find that you’re taking that aliveness into other realms and relationships within your life.
I Can Help You Better Understand Your Depression And Create Space To Heal
In our work together, we’ll also explore the root causes of your depression. You can begin to understand the origin of your depression – if it stems from your family or past – and how your personal history impacts how you function today. You can learn that you are not your past, but you do respond to it. Depression counseling can help you take what you need from the past to grow and then move forward, rather than continuing to suffer. In our sessions, you can also begin to understand that just as your past doesn’t define you, neither does your depression. Depressed doesn’t describe your overall character, however, it is a part of you. But, there are many other parts of you, too. Therapy helps you remember all those other parts. While it’s important to acknowledge and care for the depressed part, you can bring forth all the other, wonderful parts of you and feel more full and alive. In time, a healthy integration of past and present can occur, and a new perspective toward yourself, your relationships and your life can emerge.
It is possible to learn how to manage your depression and live a fuller and more joyful life. With help, you can find a way forward, experience more in life and create a different, happier way to be in the world.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
I’m afraid that if I start therapy, I’ll be told that I need to be on medication.
There are a number of approaches and strategies we can try that do not involve medication. First, oftentimes being in relationship with someone who understands the experience of depression and can validate your symptoms and feelings can relieve some of the depressive weight you’ve been carrying. Therapy can also help you develop a better awareness about your depression, help you release personal judgments and remove a lot of fear, which can create a space for healing. We can also discuss physical activity and bodywork – such as exercise, yoga and alternative methods – which can help mitigate depression symptoms.
For some people, however, medication can be helpful. It can take the edge off and relieve some symptoms. If other approaches are not working, medication may help you better manage your depression, which can allow you to engage more actively in our sessions and in your life. Medication can be used to help you feel good enough to sustain the therapeutic relationship, which can bring about positive change.
If medication becomes an option, we will discuss it openly and thoughtfully. I can also be in contact with the psychiatrist who prescribes your medication so we can monitor your medication and you can have a team working with you.
I think that I need therapy to help figure out a way to manage my depression, but I’m not sure that I can afford it.
Therapy is an investment. You are investing in yourself and your happiness. Take a moment and ask yourself how you want to be in the world and how you want your relationship with yourself and others to be. How much is your depression holding you back and causing you to suffer? Do you want to move through life with less heaviness and self-doubt and, rather, with more energy, happiness and ease? If so, it is very possible to learn how to manage depression and live a fuller and more joyous life. But, getting there requires an investment of money, along with time, energy and exploratory work.
I encourage you to take inventory of your monthly income and expenses. There may be simple budget shifts that you can make to cover therapy costs.
Also, I do not work with a contract. You can take sessions one at a time. It’s part of my practice to regularly check-in with you about how you feel about the progress of the work we’re doing together. If at anytime you decide that you are not deriving benefit from therapy, you are under no obligation – financial or otherwise – to continue.
Nothing helps. I don’t think that anything – even therapy – can help me feel better.
The hopelessness you’re feeling right now is a big part of the depression experience. But, it is possible for you to shift out of that hopeless place. There are many different ways to be in and experience the world. And, with the right therapist and approach, the hopelessness lens that you’re seeing the world through now can change. Hope has color and with help, more shades of color can emerge. And, just that you’re reading this is an indication that you have a desire to feel better, live a happier life and that hope resides within you. While you may be doubtful toward or fearful of therapy, most people who talk with me – someone who really understands what they’re going through – experience immediate comfort and relief. In therapy, you and I can create a trusted, respectful and comfortable relationship. I will listen, validate and guide you in safe and non-judgmental partnership. Once this trusted relationship is created, we can break through the isolation that feeds your depression, and healing truly can begin.
I invite you to contact me and schedule a free, initial session. It’s imperative that you find the appropriate therapist to work with as you embark upon this healing self-exploration. Meeting will help both of us to determine if our personalities and styles work well together.
I also encourage you to download my free report, Are You Happy With Your Happiness Quotient? It can be found on the top right of this page.