If you or someone you love suffers from depression, it might seem like you can never get your head above water, making even everyday tasks or conversations difficult to handle. You might feel like you are getting better for a few days, but then the wave of depression comes crashing on the shore and it seems like all hope is lost. Know that you are not alone and you can find help and hope.
Is there something wrong with me?
Until recent years, mental health was a taboo topic, even in the medical community. It was insinuated that if someone had a mental health issue, it was a direct result of something they or their parents had done or failed to do. So people with anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders hid from the world in shame while still trying to live normal lives like nothing was wrong. To a certain extent, this mindset remains, even though society has become more accepting and understanding.
While the world seems to push the “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” or “buck up and bear it” mindset, this is not realistic for anyone to live out. Everyone has their limits, whether they admit them or not, and we all need support to go through life. This is especially true if you are living with depression, and you need to know that no one is expecting you to be strong enough to “ride out” your current depression storm.
What can therapy do to help?
Studies have shown that 80% of people who seek treatment for depression find relief from their feelings and symptoms, but the first hurdle to seeking treatment is admitting that you need help. The fact that depression cannot be “cured” is a heavy thing to process, but active participation in treatment through therapy, medication, or both have proven effective time and again.
Depression stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain, which the brain is not equipped to put back into balance on its own. However, clinicians and therapists have been trained extensively to understand this imbalance and provide you with the support you need to override your brain’s automatic responses to certain situations that would normally stimulate depression for you. If you don’t find a treatment that works for you, you will likely turn to unhealthy coping techniques that could lead to addictions or other harmful behaviors and could feed your depression more than it could relieve it.
The goal of therapy is to provide you with the tools you need to manage your symptoms so you can live the life you want to, rather than the life you felt forced into by your depression. Your anxiety or depression does not have to be the first thing you think about yourself. If you go from “Alex, who has depression” to “Alex, the architect of the new city hall building” or “Alex, husband of Sarah and father of 3” or “Alex, the diehard Golden State Warriors fan” in your own mind, then you will start to see the world differently and the world will consequently start to see you differently as well. You will still have depression, but therapy can help you rearrange it so your life can be fuller and brighter.
At Novus Mindful Life Institute, we believe that everyone deserves to live a healthy and fulfilling life. We are dedicated to helping one person, one couple, one family at a time heal from the impact of addiction. We are located in Long Beach, CA, but we also have a wealth of online resources, and we host The Addicted Mind podcast with many guests that are well-known in the industry.