Have you been feeling down, and sad? Do you wish you had more motivation, energy or enthusiasm to enjoy your life? Do you feel empty, lonely or overwhelmed? Have you been losing your confidence or self-esteem? You may be suffering from depression.
Everyone feels sad at times, but it passes with time and a little effort. Depression is a more serious issue that can interfere with your ability to enjoy your life and achieve your goals. It can also cause problems with your relationships and ability to feel connected to people, including family and loved ones. Depression can remove the pleasure from your life.
You are not alone
If you are experiencing depression, please be aware that it’s not just you! In 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults in the U.S. — about 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults — had at least one major depressive episode, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
What it’s like
When you are depressed it might be hard to get out of bed in the morning or hard to fall asleep at night. The loss of energy and motivation depression can cause can sometimes make you want to stay in bed all day. Depression can also cause you to change the way you eat, either by killing your appetite or by making you want to eat all the time. Some people lose interest in fun activities and can even find it hard to get pleasure from things they normally enjoy, including sex. You may suffer from feelings of guilt or worthlessness, it can be difficult to concentrate, and you may be restless, angry or irritable.
Even if you realize that you need emotional support, depression can cause you to withdraw from the people in your life and maybe spend too much time in isolation. Spending time alone, however, can lead to ruminating and thinking negative thoughts over and over, further sapping your energy.
Sometimes people hide their painful feelings from themselves by “medicating” their mood with drugs, alcohol, or other escapes. Do you ever feel like you are just trying to get through the day till you can go to sleep and avoid your life? Depression can lead to feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, and in sever cases, even thoughts of death or suicide. Struggling with these feelings can be frightening.
Even though your depression might be only an episode, it sometimes can be so intense that it seems like you’ve always been depressed and will be forever. It can feel like nothing will bring you relief no matter how hard you try. That feeling of hopelessness rests at the heart of depression. It is a feeling I understand well because many of my clients were there when they came to me for help.
Depression Treatment Can Help!
The good news is there is hope; depression is treatable. Depression treatment can substantially reduce the amount of time you feel badand provide lasting relief.
By working with a warm, compassionate and highly-skilled therapist, you can actually learn to feel better. I will listen in an empathic and non-judgmental way that makes you feel comfortable, and with time you will feel safe talking about painful and personal topics that you might feel embarrassed or ashamed of, including things you may not have even realized yourself.
I will teach you new coping methods and skills to use to manage your feelings and help you develop new ways of feeling, thinking and acting. You will learn to accept and build yourself up with comfort and support rather than criticizing and punishing yourself. I will help you become more aware of what things in your life trigger your emotional reactions, so you can feel more in control and less overwhelmed. You will develop ways to seek and express your needs more clearly and effectively and to feel more support and connection from the people in your life. You will begin to feel confident in your abilities to live up to your potential.
Though depression may make you feel alone, you won’t be alone in therapy. I will be right there with you all through the process of depression treatment. Depression treatment can provide recovery from all of the symptoms of your depression. Even after treatment has ended, the strategies and skills you develop can have a long-lasting effect and protect you from symptoms returning in the future.
Depression is not the same for everyone
When people struggle with depression, they often judge themselves for their feelings. You might compare yourself to others who are less fortunate and ask yourself, “What do I have to be depressed about?” Rather than dismissing your emotions as silly or blaming yourself for the challenges you face, depression treatment will help you take the time to understand why you feel the way you do.
There are different kinds and different levels of depression, and sometimes it can be confusing. It can be chronic, like a constant, lethargic heaviness. It can come unexpectedly as post-partum depression (PPD) or suddenly, as a wave of self-loathing, hopelessness or despair.
A painful situation or a loss that causes normal feelings of sadness and frustration can sometimes be hard to get past. You may have gone through a divorce or a break-up, the death of someone you loved, infertility or a miscarriage, a major illness, or the loss of a job, career or finances. Your loss may cause you to feel so overwhelmed that you are finding it hard to move on in your life.
Sometimes adjusting to a new stage in life can feel like a loss. Getting older and not having found someone to love or not having children or not being satisfied with their level of success can lead to feelings of failure, self-doubt and loss of hope. New challenges in life, like marriage or parenting, may come with feelings of a loss of freedom. Later in life, retirement or the youngest child moving out can bring feelings of emptiness or lack of purpose.
Another type of depression has more of a history, and often has been there in one form or another since teenage or young adult years. This kind of depression often has a genetic or physiological source that can run in families. Depression can sometimes begin without any obvious life event or cause, and it can involve unresolved past hurts or traumas that are being triggered in your present life.
In depression treatment, I will help you learn to understand the source of your personal depression and what factors are causing your symptoms. Once we get an understanding together of your experience, I will be able to give you a sense of how we can approach depression treatment in our weekly sessions together.
But, you may still have questions or concerns about depression treatment…
What if I’m just going through a rough patch? Won’t I get better on my own?
People sometimes say they are feeling depressed, but what they often mean is that they feel down or sad. But clinical depression is something more. It is a mood disorder that makes you unable to function like you normally would. It lasts more than a few days. It interferes with the activities of daily life and can even cause physical pain. If often requires treatment to feel better, and without help, there is a danger of it getting worse.
What about medicine? Will I be required to take medication?
Not everyone who is treated for depression needs medication. Anti-depressants are often helpful and many people suffering from depression do choose to try them. Therapy does help many people recover from depression even without medication. Furthermore, studies show that people who do need medication do better with a combination of medication and talk therapy than with just medication.
Together we can decide what makes the most sense for you. If I believe medication can help you, I will discuss it with you, but the decision will ultimately be yours. If you decide to add medication to the talk therapy, I’ll refer you to a trusted psychiatrist or nurse practitioner who will prescribe the appropriate medication and monitor the medical part, and I’ll continue the talk therapy part with you.
I’m not sure I can afford depression treatment.
I certainly understand your concern—high quality depression treatment can be costly. But not getting help can cost you more in the long run.
I encourage you to think about therapy as an investment in your success in life. How much time is wasted when you are depressed because you are less productive, and you are performing below your potential. Ask yourself what it would be worth to feel happier and more confident about yourself in your work and your relationships? Feeling helpless, stuck, trapped and unhappy with your life is a terrible way to live. Emotional health is truly priceless.
When you are depressed, you may feel that you are not worth the money or the effort it takes to get depression treatment, but that is only your depression talking. In fact, you do deserve the opportunity to help yourself become emotionally healthy, and to experience the joy, love, and fulfillment life has to offer and the freedom to pursue your goals and dreams.
Although I am presently only on one insurance panel (Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield), I am happy to work with your insurance company to help you verify if you have out-of-network benefits, and I will submit your insurance claims for you.
I’m worried about what people will think or say if they find out I’m in therapy for depression.
You may feel like you should be able to handle your challenges on your own. It might seem that by asking for help, you are admitting that you are weak or broken. Depression isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s not something you can just “snap out of.” It’s a condition that can require treatment. The ability to ask for help is actually a sign of strength and courage. It takes strength to do something about your unhappiness, even if it is difficult, rather than living in an ongoing state of unhappiness and suffering.
You Can Feel Happy Again
Recognizing your need for professional help and reaching out is the first step toward feeling better. Depression treatment can be the difference between a life of suffering, and a happy and fulfilling one. If you still have questions about depression treatment, I provide a complimentary 15-minute telephone consultation to discuss your situation.
If you are ready to move out of the painful cycle of negative thoughts and emotions and become free to enjoy life again, contact me now.