Is Depression Making Life Seem Like A Constant Struggle?
Have you lost interest in the things you used to enjoy? Are you experiencing repetitive negative thoughts and low self-esteem? If you have persistent feelings of apathy, sadness, or hopelessness, you may be suffering from depression.
The experience of depression is different for everyone, varying in severity, duration, and symptoms. In general, though, you may suffer from a number of different symptoms, ranging from lingering sadness, fatigue, and social isolation to unhealthy eating habits and sleep problems if you are depressed, which can affect every aspect of your social, physical, and professional life.
Depression can be caused by a wide variety of triggers. An ongoing source of stress, such as a troubled relationship or the demands of parenting, may be wearing you down. You may be discouraged by a recent life change like a divorce or the death of a loved one, or struggling to heal from traumatic experiences in your past.
Depression can also show up in the absence of any obvious situational stressor. You may ask yourself, “Why am I feeling so tired,” or “Why does everything feel like such an effort? Life used to feel better for me,” or “Why am I sad for no reason?” Friends and loved ones who don’t understand what you’re going through might ask the same question.
If you’re collapsing under the weight of your personal or professional obligations, you may experience frustration or even guilt for how you feel. Depression isn’t your fault, though, nor is it a permanent situation. With help, it’s possible to start moving through life with less effort and greater ease.
You Are Not Alone
You might wonder why you’re the only one experiencing depression, but depression is actually very common. The most recent study from the National Institute Of Mental Health estimates that in 2016, million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode.
As a woman, you’re nearly twice as likely to have one
Living under the yoke of expectation, normalcy, and lingering social stigma, people who struggle with depression often hide their feelings to get through the day, putting on a smile that isn’t sincere. Depression is invisible. For people dealing with depression, anxiety, or trauma, there are no special amenities to help make life easier to navigate.
While individuals who have physical limitations have access ramps, special drinking fountains, automatic doors, etc. to help accommodate the challenges they face, these accommodations don’t exist for people struggling with invisible, psychological issues.
You may think that you are somehow responsible for your depression. That, if you could only accomplish certain life goals (lose five pounds, get that work promotion, etc.), you wouldn’t be so unhappy. And if you fail to accomplish such a goal (or when achieving it fails to make you happy), you may feel utterly frustrated or even ashamed.
Such feelings are common, but depression is neither your fault nor anyone else’s. Nor is it indicative of any inherent character flaw. Considering the political, cultural, interpersonal, parental, professional, and hormonal stressors so prevalent in our society, it’s no wonder so many people experience feelings of depression.
No matter the source of your sadness, seeking therapy for depression can help you process and overcome it.
How Effective Is Therapy For Depression?
It is 100 percent possible to feel better, but you may be unable to heal on your own. Friends and family members may not understand what you’re going through, or worse yet, they could be embarrassed by your mental health issue. While loved ones certainly have a vested interest in your recovery and can help to motivate you, most will be totally unequipped to render practical help—they are too close to you and can’t be objective in helping you. That’s why working with a professional therapist for depression is so important.
In our sessions, I’ll use Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS), an effective therapy for depression. During a process called psychoeducation, I’ll encourage you to get curious about the relationship between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. As we explore your habitual thought patterns, we may discover new opportunities you previously overlooked to improve your attitude or situation.
In addition to helping you to make sense of the steady thoughts and internal chatter that get in the way of your happiness, I will teach you practical techniques for overcoming your depression. I’ll instruct you in mindfulness practices to help you focus on the present moment and take the momentum out of repetitive thoughts such as “I’m not good enough” or “I can do better” or “I have nothing to feel bad about—just snap out of it.” I’ll also teach you breathing exercises and other grounding techniques to help you stay calm in stressful situations.
As your treatments progress, many of the psychological barriers that used to hold you back will become more manageable or disappear altogether. When you regain interest in social activities, set new goals for yourself, and build your confidence, you may also see improvement in your relationships, domestic life, and professional endeavors.
Therapy will likely benefit your physical health, too. You are not just a mind or just a body; every part of who you are is interconnected. As such, when you begin to feel better psychologically, you will notice your sleep and dietary habits improving and you will discover greater vitality.
As you consider therapy for depression, you may think. . .
I don’t really need therapy for depression—I can do this by myself. Plus, other people have it worse than I do—I should just get over it and forget about it.
It is most often the case that you can’t do this work on your own effectively. Everyone experiences life’s challenges differently and we all have unique triggers. To get to the heart of your depression, it is important that you work with a qualified professional who can help you to work through the thoughts, feelings, and real-life situations that contribute to your depression. Remember: it’s not weird or your fault if you’re having a tougher time than others around you. There is no need to dismiss your feelings and thoughts. Your reactions to triggers are normal. You just need help in realizing and ameliorating those reactions.
What will my partner or friends think if I start therapy for depression?
It’s impossible to replicate the feeling of depression for someone who has never experienced it. If loved ones don’t understand what you’re going through, they may not understand your desire to seek professional help for depression. If they aren’t familiar with how therapy works, they may even feel threatened by it, fearful of the effect it may have on your relationship. But good therapists never tell their clients what to do or pass judgments. They help each client decide on their own what it is they need and want in their lives and encourage them to make the decisions that are right for them.
Therapy is expensive. Is it really worth the investment?
It may be hard for you to see right now, but your life is full of opportunity and it is possible for you to be happy. Therapy will help you feel better, increasing your chances of success in every area of your life. You are worth the time and effort it takes to begin to live your life with happiness and calm.
Get The Help You Need
If you’re ready to start living life with less effort and greater ease, call 860-385-1574 to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation. I look forward to connecting with you and discussing your needs!