Do You Ever Feel Like Everything In Life Is Meaningless?
Are you dealing with a lack of energy and motivation? Do you feel like you’re just sleepwalking through life without any sense of purpose? Maybe just getting out of bed in the morning takes a monumental effort. Perhaps you procrastinate on important tasks, such as finding a job or getting work done, because you’re constantly asking yourself: Why bother? What’s the point?
Coping with depression often feels exactly like that—as if nothing is worth it in life. You may find yourself withdrawing from friends or turning down dates. Even when you push yourself to socialize, you still feel lost in your own head—withdrawn, out of the moment, and indifferent to everything around you. When people try to help you, you may feel angry, irritable, and easily annoyed. It’s as if you have a short fuse with everyone and no patience for the slightest mistakes.
When you’ve dealt with depression for a long time, it can start to feel like part of who you are. Over time, you may have become attached to depression, since feeling hopeless prevented you from getting disappointed by life. As a therapist, I want to show you that there are other ways to live besides letting fear and doubt control you. My goal is to lift the veil of depression from your life and help you get to the true essence of who you are without depression.
Culture And Gender Norms Influence How Many People Experience Depression
Depression is not a personal flaw. It is not a weakness and it is not your fault. Being sad and having mood fluctuations from time to time are normal parts of life. However, when feeling low becomes persistent and inhibits your ability to manage day-to-day life, that’s a sign that you should probably seek help.
Unfortunately, knowing when to seek help isn’t always easy. Most people don’t know the signs and symptoms to watch out for or realize that clinical depression is influenced by cultural and gender norms. In a patriarchal, hyper-masculine society like our own, men and women often experience depression differently. Since gender norms dictate that men neither cry nor feel sad, depression in men often manifests as anger or other externalizing behaviors, such as outward blaming. At its core, anger is a defense against sadness, helping to mobilize and cover up the depression that many men struggle with. On the other hand, the same patriarchal culture that conditions men to be toxically self-reliant and externalize emotions also teaches women to be submissive and internalize emotions, such as inward-blaming. As a result, the symptoms of depression often appear to be more sedating in women than in men.
Although it may seem otherwise, depression is a normal, appropriate reaction to unresolved challenges in life, such as trauma, medical issues, or situational stressors. On your own, however, it’s difficult to know where the source of your depression really lies. Working with me, you can learn more about what your depression is trying to protect you from and unlock new potential for healing and growth.
Depression Treatment Can Help You Unlock The Real You That Is Separate From Depression
Depression can make you feel resistant to change. Thinking of yourself as a failure or believing that nothing good will ever happen can become so ingrained and familiar that it’s comfortable—you find yourself not wanting to think differently. Counseling is a chance to step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s an opportunity to identify the circumstances that led to your depression, understand what function depression was trying to serve, and realize that this way of life does not have to be forever.
In sessions together, you and I will explore the roots of your depression so that we can get a clearer understanding of where you are today. We will look at whether your depression is situational, genetic, or the result of unresolved trauma. Oftentimes, where there is depression, trauma isn’t far behind. Because trauma is so painful and overwhelming, the body and mind often react by trying to “shut down” all feelings and emotions, even the positive ones. While shutting down may serve a protective function against traumatic stress, it can also cause depression, making you feel numb, indifferent, and withdrawn.
Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization (EMDR) therapy: In order to help you process and resolve trauma-related depression, I often use EMDR therapy. EMDR treatment focuses on the memories and negative beliefs about yourself that are connected to depression. The goal is to help you process the earliest times you recall feeling depressed and desensitize the painful emotions and sensations you associate with such memories. This approach can increase your internal resilience, give you new perspective on your life experiences, and improve your self-esteem.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) for Depression: While EMDR therapy brings healing to the mind, I also want to alleviate the depression that manifests in your body. SP is a somatic approac h,which is rooted in the idea that the body tells the story of your life experiences. For instance, if depression manifests in a slumped posture, heaviness in your chest, or downcast eyes, we may arrive at early memories in which your family reinforced the belief that you were unworthy of being seen. Experimenting with different postures, movements, and breathing patterns can give you a potentially new experience of your depression and take the emotional impact out of it.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) for Depression. At its core, IFS makes the distinction between the part of yourself that holds depression (“Depressed Part”) from your whole, holistic, Higher Self. Using IFS, I will inquire into what early life experiences the Depressed Part remembers and what burdens it’s been carrying.
For instance, perhaps your Depressed Part seeks to make you feel hopeless because it’s afraid that feeling hopeful will make you disappointed when things don’t work out. By focusing on the purpose your depression was trying to serve, you can gain greater compassion for yourself and a better understanding of how depression works. The goal is to help you step back and realize that depression, however it arose, is but a small part of who you are.
By working together, I believe that we can unlock the real you that is separate from depression. My goal is to help you use the knowledge and wisdom you gain here to transcend feelings of hopelessness so you can access your Higher Self and live the life you were meant to.
You may have some concerns about depression treatment…
Why do I feel depressed?
Depression is a state of physical hypoarousal and emotional shut-down that comes in response to feeling overwhelmed (for instance, you may find yourself sleeping more when you have stressful tasks to do). It serves a protective function against prolonged hyperarousal (e.g., anxiety, anger, or impulsivity) and helps you balance a dysregulated nervous system. So regardless of what caused the initial disturbance in your nervous system, it’s important to know that your depression is trying to help you by balancing your nervous system and preventing you from getting stressed. When this protective measure spirals out of control, however, it’s a sign that depression itself needs to be regulated.
How long does depression last?
There is no hard-and-fast rule for how long depression lasts. Current stressors, history of trauma, genetics, and even level of social support can all affect the length of time you deal with a depressive disorder. Regardless of how long you’ve been in pain, it is possible to peel back the layers of depression and reconnect with your Higher Self—the part of you that depression has hidden.
Do I need medication?
Oftentimes, counseling combined with an effective self-care routine is powerful enough to minimize the effects of depression. However, if you suffer from severe depressive episodes or your depression is persistent, you may benefit from psychotherapy plus the use of medication. Medication often takes the emotional edge off of depression, allowing you to practice self-care more easily. While I don’t prescribe medication, I can help you connect with a psychiatrist or physician who does.
Let Me Help You Lift The Veil Of Depression From Your Life
No matter how hopeless you feel, I am confident that I can help you learn how to deal with depression effectively, tap into new internal resources, and unlock your Higher Self. To get started, you can email me to schedule a free, 20-minute video consultation.