Therapy for Depression
How would your life be different if depression wasn’t in charge?
What would you be doing differently if you were fully engaged in your life?
What would you do with your life if you weren’t struggling with depression?
Depression is more than just feeling sad. Depression is actually a very complex set of experiences that can have a profound impact on your life. When people struggle with depression they usually experience a combination of the following symptoms: low mood, irritability, loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, trouble with sleep, fatigue, changes in appetite, loss of interest in sex, difficulty concentrating, guilt/worthlessness, low motivation, feelings of heaviness in the body, or thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can impact not only how we feel, but also what we think and do. You may find that your mind is often getting pulled into thinking about the past, ruminating on mistakes or losses. You might notice harsh criticisms of yourself. People who experience depression also tend to make negative predictions about the future. For example, “It doesn’t matter what I do, things will never change.” Finally, when we feel depressed we often have the urge to socially isolate ourselves, stop doing activities we once enjoyed, and sometimes stay on the couch or in bed for long periods of time.
All of these thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and urges can make it extremely difficult to move through the daily tasks of work and relationships. So, if sounds familiar to you, how do you know if depression is a problem in your life?
Is depression a problem for me?
Sadness, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Sadness is an emotion that shows up when we experience setbacks or important losses in life. It tells us that we should take some time to step back and reflect on what happened so we can learn and move forward. Depression becomes a problem when it starts to change how you act or becomes too intense to tolerate. For example, maybe you stop keeping up with important people in your life or doing things you like. Maybe you start sleeping later and later in the mornings and are frequently late for work. Maybe you notice that you start to have thoughts of suicide and consider acting on them. These are just a few examples and there are many more. If this sounds familiar to you, you may be experiencing depression. Fortunately, psychotherapy (talk therapy) is very effective for treating mild to moderate depression. People with severe depression usually benefit most from a combination of psychotherapy and psychiatric medication.
How does therapy help with depression?
I believe in doing the type of therapy that has the best science backing it. I want to help you meet your goals and get back to living a full and meaningful life. In my work helping people struggling with depression, I primarily use an approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT (said as one word). The foundation of this approach is to help you better understand the various parts of your emotions and how you have gotten stuck in patterns of depression and avoidance that aren’t working. From there I help you learn how to step back and look at your thoughts and feelings in a more objective and accepting way. I help my clients reconnect with their values and learn the skills to get unstuck from difficult thoughts and feelings so they can live more full and vital lives. Ready to get started? Head on over to my contact page to send me a quick message to take the next step!