Perhaps you have struggled with depression your whole life and are realizing you need to get back into therapy to help you manage the symptoms or maybe you are just recently coming to accept that you are not "just having a bad month/season/year" but that you are actually clinically depressed.
Depression is a loaded word. How many people who legitimately suffer from depression have been told "just focus on the positive, you have so much to be grateful for" or "take a vacation" or shamed "just snap out of it". None of these things are helpful and some can be downright hurtful to someone that is depressed. There is still a widely held belief that depression is over exaggerated, not a real illness, not something that higher income or higher functioning persons can have, etc. This stigmatization leads to even less people getting the treatment that would help and that they need!
This mood disorder can be tricky to identify in oneself (or loved ones) because it doesn't look the same for everyone with the illness. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're lying in bed all day, or that you cry all the time. In fact, some people that are depressed feel very flat, with almost no emotional range. Others do feel very distressed and it may show in sadness or anger. Constant irritability is a sign of depression though we may often write it off as being too stressed by life (which can be a possibility-hence the confusion). Some people have aches and pains all over their body. Others have gastrointestinal symptoms as a result. Some suffer from insomnia while others can sleep all day. The list goes on.
Most importantly, what I want you to know is that depression looks like anyone. People from all walks of life, ages, life situations, etc. can all experience depression. You are not alone!
In my clinical experience, my clients that have had the most success treating their depression and alleviating symptoms take prescribed antidepressants (eg. Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Prozac) as well as attend regular therapy appointments. I recommend clients find a psychiatrist (MD) that truly understands the nuances and different types of depression but I will say many family doctors/general practitioners are very familiar and comfortable prescribing as well. This is sometimes much easier to do as getting into see a psychiatrist can often take months due to high demand (see! Your'e not alone!)
We will work together to identify thought patterns that are depressive in nature and learn ways to manage those thoughts and how to think more adaptive thoughts. We will also work to identify behaviors that may be contributing to your depression and how to find the energy and willpower to try something new. I will walk beside you every step of the way through failures and successes. I am not here to judge you, only to support you and guide you.
Sometimes depression is linked to past traumas. It is extremely common for survivors of childhood traumas such as: physical abuse, emotional/psychological/verbal abuse, narcissistic parenting or other dysfunctional family dynamics such as an alcoholic/addict parent, sexual abuse, etc. to have chronic depression. You might also have PTSD if this is the case. No matter, I am extremely experienced in identifying and treating trauma. EMDR is often a great treatment for these issues. By alleviating the trauma, it is not uncommon for the depression to lift as well.
Sometimes depression is linked to situational experiences such as in the post partum period, or following a major loss of a loved one, while struggling with infertility, being unemployed/job loss, following cancer treatment, divorce, retirement/empty nest phase of life. If that is the case, I will help you with coping strategies, cognitive therapy, possibly EMDR, mindfulness, and other interventions.
And last but certainly not least, sometimes depression is just depression and not linked to anything and just IS. You do not have to have a "valid" reason to suffer from this debilitating disease. You may have been born this way. Maybe it runs in your family. You probably already take an SSRI and need a therapist to help keep you on the straight and narrow and offer tools as well as support for how to live with this illness.
You are not alone. I can help. Call today for a free consult 904.599.8320