Treatment & Counseling Services for Depression
When you are going through tough times it makes sense to feel down for a while. It is normal for people to feel sadness and grief, but if you are feeling miserable more days than not you may be experiencing depression.
Symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe and often include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
- Changes in appetite – weight gain or loss
- Problems sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy and increased fatigue
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Problems thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
The first step in treating depression is accepting that you are facing a real physical condition in your brain and body. Harshly judging yourself as weak or lazy only exacerbates depression and won’t lay the foundation for progress, in fact, it just makes things worse. The first thing we need to do is get a clear assessment of where you are, where you want to go and what we need to do to get there. We will conduct a thorough assessment, determine what you’ve already done to address the depression, what has worked and what hasn’t and then build a plan to help you move out of depression.
Nowadays, most people who’ve been experiencing depression for a while have tried medication. Medication can often be helpful, but it seems to take quite a while to find the ‘right’ medicine and many people experience bothersome side effects. If you want to try medication, I will work with you and your physician or help you find a specialist to ensure you get the best medical care possible. We also want to ensure that there is not another physical condition underlying your symptoms.
Struggling with depression is like trying to climb a very steep mountainside – you get so tired you just want to lay down and hope you don’t roll down to the bottom of the valley. If things are really rough, you sometimes wish you would just go to sleep and not wake up. Medication can cause the mountainside to be less steep, but you still need to do the climbing. Depression is one of the most treatable mental health disorders with 80-90% of people eventually responding well to treatment. Almost all suffers gain some relief of symptoms from treatment.
I view my role as a Sherpa. I have a lot of experience helping people climb – setting safety ropes, teaching you techniques to improve your footholds, guiding you to paths that others have found most successful, helping you to be patient, persistent and resilient in the face of a condition that isn’t your fault, but can be better navigated through altering your strategies.
I help people with depression:
- Clarify what is important to them – what they want to live for besides just not "feeling bad".
- Help people replace the negative things they say about themselves with more accepting and realistic self-talk.
- Work through unresolved grief, trauma, hurt and feelings of failure.
- Figure out how to engage with your loved ones in more meaningful and supportive ways as well as how to get the emotional and social support you need.
- Gently and non-judgmentally support people while they find ways to increase their activity level.
If you are depressed, you may have read that list with a growing sense of defeat or even anger. You may be thinking, “if it was that easy, I’d already be better”. Maybe you just feel like you don’t have the energy or emotional reserves to do all of that. One of the worst things about being depressed is the well-meaning, but superficial advice given by others. I’ve been told by depressed people that they are going to slap the next person that suggests they “try” yoga or mindfulness or going for walk or starting a gratitude journal or – well, you get the idea. The fact is that these tools can be helpful with depression, but standing on their own, without a supportive guide they are insufficient and lead to frustration and feelings of defeat.
So, if you are feeling depressed and a bit lost, I would like to discuss being your Sherpa and charting a course for the journey ahead.
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