Might You Be Depressed – Does Each Day Feel Gray and Dim?
- Do you find that you have lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy?
- Are you avoiding friends or having trouble interacting with colleagues?
- Are you tossing and turning at night or waking up at four A.M., unable to get back to sleep? Or, are you sleeping too much and struggling to get out of bed?
- Have you gained or lost weight without intending to?
- Are you experiencing a variety of aches and pains that might include headaches, cramps or digestive problems?
- Do you wish you could find pleasure in your family; enjoy an evening with friends or a walk with your dog; laugh at a funny movie; look forward to a promotion at work or feel engaged with anything in your life?
Maybe you are feeling helpless and hopeless, but don’t know why. You may be finding it difficult to get up and be involved in anything, including basic self-care, from brushing your teeth to going to the grocery store. These ordinary activities might feel impossible. Perhaps you feel worthless, purposeless and alone, especially when friends and family members seem unable to comprehend how you are behaving and what you are going through. You may feel defeated, exhausted and unsure how to shake off this gloom.
Many People Struggle With Depression
Symptoms of depression can be physical, emotional and social. Depression is poorly understood, and some believe it is little more than being sad. Perhaps someone has said to you, “If you pull yourself together, you’ll snap out of it.” But that is not true. Brain scans show depression-related changes in the brain that you cannot will away.
Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness. You are not broken or flawed if you are struggling. And, you are not alone. About 10 percent of the population is dealing with depression at any given time and as many as 25 percent of people are thought to experience depression in their lifetimes.
Depression is diagnosed twice as often in women as in men. However, men often exhibit different symptoms of depression, such as irritability,anger and substance use (drinking, drugs, gambling, internet porn, for example). For this reason, it is thought that men are often underdiagnosed.
Depression is also often underdiagnosed in the elderly when low mood or lack of interest are considered to be part of normal aging or the onset of dementia. People with a family history of depression have a slightly elevated risk of developing depression as well.
However, there is hope. With the help of a skilled, compassionate and accepting depression therapist, you can develop the tools you need to engage in life and discover lasting relief.
Depression Therapy Can Help You Clear Away the Gray
As a counselor, I am here to help you know that your feelings are valid and that your pain and numbness can gradually fade away, allowing a new zest for life to take their place. Depression counseling often consists of medication and talk therapy. For some people, this combination works best. For others with milder depression, individualized treatment can alleviate symptoms and offer a clear route to new enjoyment and success in life.
My approach is tailored to each individual. In sessions, I offer support and guidance as you work on dismantling limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns that can keep depressing thoughts in place. Together, we will identify healthy behaviors related to nutrition, exercise, and activities for enjoyment so that you can nurture yourself as a complete person—mind, body and emotions.
During the depression therapy journey, I also encourage positive activities outside of our sessions. Keeping a journal of not only feelings but also any behaviors or activities that were undertaken and perhaps enjoyed, can help you to track your progress with healthier habits and give you optimism that, albeit perhaps slowly, progress is being made. You will learn what is helpful to you and also learn what might trigger depressed thoughts and feelings. A journal can help you practice changing negative thoughts to more realistic positive ones.
The light in what can—at times—seem like the endless darkness of depression, is that people do recover, find medications that work and rebuild their lives. I know that it is possible to engage in a full, satisfying life.
You may believe that depression counseling can help you live with greater ease, but still, have questions or concerns…
Does the treatment for depression work?
In the vast majority of cases, yes. Using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and other techniques, we will together identify some negative and limiting beliefs you hold about yourself and the world and replace them with healthy, positive ones. We will look for issues and situations that contribute to your depression so that you can develop greater resiliency and confidence in your ability to navigate life’s ups and downs. In time, all areas of your life, including your career and relationships, can show significant positive change.
Will my depression return?
In some cases, yes. However, after seeking help for depression, you will have the skills to improve your mood more quickly. You can learn to identify and shift negative thoughts before they become overwhelming. And, you can adopt good, healthy practices, including attention to fitness and nutrition, developing relationships with positive people and practicing self-compassion.
I am concerned about the cost of counseling.
I understand financial concerns and the need to make choices within one’s budget. However, a well-trained and empathetic counselor to help you overcome your depression. Left untreated, your depression symptoms will continue to have a very negative effect on your enjoyment of life and your ability to live up to your true potential. Depression therapy is an investment in your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
I have experienced depression myself and know that the hopelessness and despair feel as if they will never go away. Speaking from my own experience I can assure you that the negative, critical thoughts that you are not good enough are part of the illness and are not representative of your healthy self. You are worth it, and therapy can help you see that you do matter, just as you are.
With Help, You Can Find Color in Life
If you feel that you have suffered long enough and want to take pleasure in a beautiful sunset, a day at the beach or an evening with friends, do call my office at (941) 306 1235 to set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation or appointment.
You can also email me if you have further questions.