There are many reasons to be cheerful, grateful, and optimistic in our everyday lives, yet sometimes we find ourselves in a darker place, when our inner light doesn’t shine as bright, causing us to retire inward for a while. Although feeling a little low is a state all of us find ourselves in from time to time, long periods of profound sadness, lack of interest in enjoyable activities, inability to concentrate, insomnia or excessive sleeping, feelings of worthlessness, or even thoughts of suicide are sure signs we’re dealing with a disorder seriously affecting our quality of our life. The number of people struggling with depression is growing, however, depression can be successfully managed and resolved with appropriate treatment and, perhaps most importantly, by understanding what the underlying causes are. There are certain risk factors that can make us more vulnerable to depression. These risk factors are broad and can include biological factors such as our brain chemistry and genetics which influence how our systems operate, our personality type, and even environmental factors like continuous exposure to violence or abuse in our immediate surroundings. For many clients, the reasons for their depression comes from past social imprints carried over from childhood, which continue to influence their thinking and behaviour in negative ways. These bottled up experiences require an outlet and beg for release in different ways, depression being one of them.
Read More… Often, depression arises following a particular stressful or traumatic event, or from prolonged exposure to stressful stimuli. Depression is the physical manifestation of our cognitive response to stress and trauma. It can cause us to act in ways that we would not typically act in and may cause us to retreat inwards. Working with a therapist can help us uncover the root of where our depressive symptoms are stemming from. It is important we branch out to a therapist to heal and move past our depression, or it could continue to get worse until we find ourselves in a very dark place that is difficult to recover from. A therapist is a great support who understands how depression works and will be able to offer both sympathy, techniques, and advice for moving forwards.
What are the benefits of working with a therapist?
Finding our way out of the dark abyss of depression is no small task and working with a therapist may be very beneficial in this process. Therapists are able to assist us in uncovering the deeper meaning of our issues and offer unbiased and compassionate support on our journey towards healing. At the core of successful therapy, the goal should be to find and treat the root cause of our depressive symptoms rather than treating the symptoms themselves. An experienced therapist can guide us towards understanding the reasons for our issues and orient us towards lasting solutions. When we seek help for depression, it benefits us as well as the people we engage with on a day to day basis. When we feel more like ourselves, we are able to take a more positive outlook towards others and our situation. The painful memories we carry from childhood, societal tendencies, our own inner critic, and our fears, all play a part in shaping our thought patterns and behaviour. Many of us are taught to hide emotion and are told, that we shouldn’t show our vulnerability. Therefore, we tend to hide and suppress our emotions and use coping mechanisms to cover them with the intent to keep us safe. These protective measures have an effective purpose at first, however, eventually the repression of emotions, through the implementation of coping mechanisms, leads to a state of inner discomfort, un-ease, and tension, resulting in what we generally call depression. There’s a variety of methods commonly used for treating depression, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the most efficient. This approach helps clients recognize distorted thinking patterns and uses techniques to replace their maladaptive behaviour with healthy patterns of behaviour and thought. Depending on the severity of the issue, we might feel significant improvements after a few sessions, although some clients may require much longer therapy to tackle the problem. For more severe depression, psychotherapy is often coupled with medication for successful treatment. Our emotions need to be fully experienced and expressed, however, we often neglect to do this. This may be because we fear being judged by others or because we have been taught to view our emotions as weakness, or something we should never allow others to see. However, despite the discomfort we may feel with expressing our true emotions, emotions are valid parts of our being and need to be fully expressed in a healthy way. When we open up to others about how we are feeling, we will likely find that they have experienced something similar. Sharing our feelings with others can be very rewarding since we can connect with others on a deeply human level. Working with a therapist may bring new insights into behaviours, such as hiding our feelings, that no longer serves our personal growth. A therapist may also bring new ideas surrounding how we can express ourselves in ways that benefit ourselves, our work, and people in our life.