Everyone feels sadness from time to time. However, when your sadness grows into a painful state of hopelessness, emptiness, and lack of motivation that feels like a prison from which you cannot escape, you may be experiencing depression. Depression makes it difficult to get out of bed and enjoy life like you once did, and just getting through the day can feel overwhelming. 

Depression can vary from mild to severe.  When depression is mild, you may find yourself brooding, focused on perceived failures of yourself or others.  You may feel low, irritable and easily frustrated.  People suffering from depression may be tearful, crying frequently, or quick to bursts of anger.  When depression worsens, people suffer from disturbed sleep (either sleeping too much or too little), appetite changes (perhaps eating more or consuming less), unexplained aches and pains, poor concentration and a general lack of energy.  When at it’s worst, people may feel so clouded in darkness and alone that thoughts of suicide emerge, not because they wish for death, but because they cannot see another way out of the pain from depression.  

 

 

Depression is a serious health issue that approximately 20 percent of the population may experience at least once in their lifetime. Forms of depression may derive from a biological predisposition, conflicted relationship patterns, or significant life transitions. Your relationships and work life may be strained by depression decreasing your performance or capacity to connect with others. 

 

Depression, even the most severe cases, typically responds very well to treatment. The specific treatment approach used will depend on the type of depression, its severity, and personal goals. In general, most depressive disorders are treated with psychotherapy, medication, or some combination of the two.  Research indicates the most successful treatments include psychotherapy.  No matter how hopeless you feel, things can get better. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment of depression is the first step in overcoming depression.

When people feel depressed they tend to view the world through a lens that narrows their view, everything appears dark and bleak.  A thought loop develops, noticing only failure or disappointments, and people get caught in a belief of “all bad”.  This can put a barrier between yourself and the small things in life that give you pleasure and feeling connected to life. 

 

A combined therapeutic approach for depression is powerful.  I will teach you mindfulness techniques that help you see through a broader lens, noticing experiences beyond this stuck belief to help get you back in touch with the experience of being more fully alive and engaged in the world

You will learn mindfulness practices that interrupt the cycle of negative thoughts and train focus to experience the present.  Using CBT you will begin to challenge negative thoughts and develop skills for restructuring self-defeating thought patterns.  You will develop understanding of behavioral habits that contribute to a depressed state and build new resources and activities that inspire a sense of wellness.  By integrating mindfulness with these restructuring practices, you will be able to uncouple a depressed mood earlier and be able to experience a healthy expression of sadness instead of identifying yourself as depressed.  (ie:  I feel depressed.  Let me help myself with that feeling.  Instead of, I’m a depressed person).  

 

Psychodynamic therapy moves beyond relief from the symptoms of depression to understanding the root of depression.  You will gain a deeper insight and self-awareness that will allow more freedom of choice for the future, rather than habitually falling into old behavior patterns that keep you stuck in the past.  The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with old memory networks that color your mood while learning to relate to them differently.  In psychodynamic work, we examine anxiety and defenses as they arise in session in real time. The therapeutic relationship becomes a vehicle for change as past patterns are explored through the lens of the present moment.  As you deepen your self-awareness with empathy and curiosity, you will feel less controlled by the forces of the past and discover new ways to experience interpersonal relationships.  The power of this process is that it creates new experiences to emerge and become integrated as internal resources that strengthen us.  Psychodynamic work helps us explore a fuller range of our emotions and promotes a sense of greater awareness, personal integrity and choice.    

Depression

Children also experience depression. 

Depression can make children feel worthless, rejected, and unlovable.  Children might not appear sad, but look as though they “have an attitude” often irritable or displaying oppositional behavior.  Their schoolwork often suffers, and they may become something of a “loner”. When depression becomes more severe, children may make statements or think about hurting themselves. 

How I can help with depression