Has Depression Left You Feeling Stuck?
- Do you find you’re quick-tempered and irritable at work or home?
- Are the things you used to find pleasurable no longer bringing you joy?
- Is there a voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough?
- What if you could release yourself from the negative thoughts and feelings that are holding you back?
When you’re dealing with depression, it can seem like you’re living a double life. You might be high-functioning at work and able to distract yourself throughout the day, but once you’re alone, your symptoms of depression come flooding back. Distraction, though, is an action, not a feeling—it’s just a way of coping with your depression in the short term rather than seeking a longer-term solution.
Depression is also often accompanied by many physical symptoms. It may cause you to sleep more than usual, or you might be unable to fall (or stay) asleep. Or it could be affecting your appetite—either not wanting to eat or using food as a coping mechanism—which only further contributes to the problem. These behaviors may leave you feeling lethargic, unfocused, and feeling hopeless.
Perhaps you’ve noticed you no longer feel like hanging out with friends and would rather be alone, but being by yourself makes you feel even worse—leaving you stuck in a vicious cycle. And if you have a great partner—perhaps even kids—you may feel guilty for having “no excuse” for being depressed.
Maybe your negative thoughts keep you feeling paralyzed. You might be telling yourself things like, “I’ll never be a good parent,” or, “I’m not good at my job,” or, “I’ll always be alone because I’m not lovable.” And because this voice in your head focuses on the negative, you’re constantly feeling drained and lack the motivation to take part in the activities you once enjoyed.
The good news is, depression treatment can help silence this negative voice so you can once again find vitality and contentment in your life.
We All Experience Depression In Our Lives At One Time Or Another
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.”¹
When we feel like we don’t have control over certain aspects of our lives, it can cause high levels of stress. But it’s the pressure we impose on ourselves that can be the most stressful of all. Many of us are goal-driven, convincing ourselves that once we get that promotion or find the perfect mate, then we’ll feel worthy—but nothing is ever good enough. This, in turn, fuels our symptoms of depression by generating negative self-talk.
Oftentimes, when we try to talk to friends or family about our depression, we’re met with responses like, “But you have so much going for you. What could you possibly be depressed about?” And comments that marginalize our feelings can leave us feeling further isolated.
As humans, we’re natural problem solvers—when a problem in life arises, we’ve grown accustomed to solving it by ourselves. That’s why we often feel shame or embarrassment when we’re depressed but don’t know how to handle it on our own. Or it could be that our shame about depression stems from the stigma within our society that surrounds mental health, especially in certain cultures.
Imagine what it would feel like to turn off the negative thoughts in your head. If you could find ways to address the underlying feelings that erode confidence and motivation, you would have a better outlook about yourself and your life.
Seeking Treatment for Depression Can Restore Your Connection To What You Love
When it comes to treating depression, our philosophy is solutions-oriented. The therapists at The Davis Group focus more on what the problem is—and what can be done about it—versus focusing on why a problem exists. In our experience, even if we know why someone is depressed, it doesn’t always change the problem itself.
Therapy for depression gives you a neutral space where you can feel heard. The systemic treatment model we use views you as an innately strong and creative person who is capable of growth. As therapists, our job is never to tell you what to do—rather, we’re here to ask astute questions that help you reflect on your situation and make your own decisions.
At our first session together, your therapist will often start with the question, “What happened recently that motivated you to seek therapy?” More often than not, something happened that prompted you to seek therapy now, so we start in the present and go from there. If the past is a problem, it will manifest in the present, and we will address this eventually. While your past experiences can’t be changed, the thoughts you have about them and how you choose to remember them can be changed.
What makes therapy for depression effective is that you’ll have someone asking you questions you would never normally ask yourself. Answering these questions helps you think differently, which, in turn, makes you feel differently. The aim of this approach is to guide you in processing the core issues causing your depression, and the tools we’ll supply can help you manage the symptoms.
Destigmatizing depression can be a big step in overcoming it. For that reason, we will also provide you with psychoeducation to better understand depression and the behaviors that are associated with it. Having this knowledge will help you explain depression to your family and friends so they can understand that you’re not trying to play the victim or have others pity you.
The modalities we use to treat depression are Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT). With CBT, we identify your negative cognitive patterns and help you change them, which will lead to changes in your mood and behavior. Depression tends to create tunnel vision, obscuring the positive aspects of your life that aren’t reinforced by your negative self-talk. By utilizing SFT, we will focus on shifting your mindset—highlighting what’s going right in your life, as well as finding productive solutions for what’s going wrong.
Throughout our sessions, you’ll get the opportunity to visualize and articulate what life will look like when you’re no longer depressed. We’ll also dissect the negative thoughts you’re having and ask what evidence you have to support that thought. Because evidence can’t be denied, in this way we can begin to dismantle the misconceptions you have about yourself that have been clouding your perspective.
The difference you’ll feel once that negative voice is no longer following you around can be profound. You’ll have more confidence in yourself, your relationships will be more fulfilling, and your feelings of frustration and anger will be replaced with contentment and calm.
But you may still be wondering whether depression treatment is right for you……
I’m not sure I have the time—how many sessions does it normally take?
In our experience, clients begin to see changes rather quickly—often within the first session. What may take longer to attain, however, is a complete solution. A long-term solution requires making lots of changes to your thought patterns. Many choose to end therapy once they feel they’ve gained the tools they can implement consistently outside of sessions. Overall, the understanding you will gain in therapy over time provides a permanent resolution to depression.
Do I have to feel sad all the time to be suffering from depression?
Not necessarily. While sadness is the emotion most commonly associated with depression, it’s only one of its many symptoms. Depression can also take the form of self-isolation, not enjoying activities you once enjoyed, fatigue, lack of motivation and concentration, insomnia or hypersomnia, and, in its most severe form, thoughts about death or dying.
I’ve tried therapy before and it didn’t work.
We’re all unique, so it’s impossible to find a one-size-fits-all therapist for the treatment of depression. This also means that you won’t connect with every therapist you meet. But for therapy to be successful, you need to feel comfortable and build connection and trust with your therapist. That’s why we offer a free, 15-minute consultation to see if we’re a good fit for each other.