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Therapy for Depression

Depression brings a heaviness and darkness that never seems to lift. Therapy can help restore vitality, energy, and hope.

 

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Photo by Loren Gu on Unsplash

 

The Invisible Stormcloud

When you're suffering from depression, it's like an invisible stormcloud is always brewing overhead. You experience its horrible effects but other people sometimes can't seem to see what you see. You may find it difficult to experience life with hope, energy, vitality, and joy. You may wonder how you got here but can't seem to retrace your steps or otherwise find your way back. You may even end up blaming yourself for being in this dark place.

 

The Roots and The Fruits

There are a few different types of depressive mental health disorders, but they have some commonalities that cut across them. At their core, they involve some tell-tale symptoms in our thinking, emotions, behavior, and body. You may find yourself thinking in ways that are more devoid of hope or optimism and instead see the glass as "half-full." This may even seem more realistic to you than any other alternative. You may feel depressed emotionally, maybe even experiencing all of life as cast in hues of gray rather than full color. It may be difficult to take effective action toward tasks or goals or even care about them in the first place. Motivation can be very hard to come by. Your body may feel heavy or have aches and pains, as though depression is a heaviness garment that you can't seem to shake.

 

How Can Therapy Help?

Therapy can help by providing a safe and confidential space for you to share, be cared about, and rediscover hope. Once someone feels comfortable in therapy with me, I gently walk them through the process unearthing what seems buried beneath depression. I tend to use cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is the approach that current research suggests can be most helpful. Here are some steps involved:

  •  Psychoeducation: learning about what depression is and how it affects people
  •  Emotion vocabulary: learning to identify and express your various emotions beneath the depression
  •  Coping skills: learning to make choices to self-regulate your emotions once you become aware of them
  •  CBT triangle: understanding your own patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior
  •  Cognitive restructuring: recognizing distorted thought patterns and modifying them to so that thoughts are more helpful and accurate
  •  Behavioral activation: getting your body moving, maybe through some do-able exercise or planning activities you enjoy

These steps all need to occur in a therapeutic process with someone you can trust. It's not an overnight cure, and the process takes time, but it's totally worth it to reach that light at the end of the tunnel! Imagine being able to experience life with more hope, joy, vitality, and energy. Imagine the stormclouds clearing and the sunshine breaking through again.

 

Some Next Steps

  • Check out my blog to learn more about depression and its treatment
  • Contact me to inquire about therapy for depression
  • Check out these clinical practice guidelines for depression from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America so you know what to look for when searching for depression treatment

 

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