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. Working with a therapist can help us uncover the root of where our depressive symptoms are stemming from. It's important to seek help for 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 forward.
There are many reasons to be cheerful, grateful, and optimistic in our everyday lives, yet sometimes we find ourselves in a darker place. 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, and thoughts of self-harm or 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 with appropriate treatment and, perhaps most importantly, 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, our personality type, and even environmental factors like continuous exposure to abuse. For many clients, their depression stems from past social imprints carried over from childhood, which continue to influence their thinking and behaviour. These bottled up experiences require an outlet and beg for release in different ways, depression being one of them.
What are the benefits of working with a therapist?
Finding our way out of the dark abyss of depression is no small task; thus, working with a therapist can 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 is finding and treating the root cause of depressive symptoms rather than treating the symptoms themselves. An experienced therapist will guide us towards lasting solutions.
The painful memories we carry from childhood, societal tendencies, our own inner critic, and our fears, all play a part in shaping our thoughts and behaviours. Many of us are taught to hide our emotions and vulnerabilities. Therefore, we tend to suppress our emotions with the intent to keep us safe. These protective measures are effective at first, however, eventually the repression of emotions leads to a state of inner discomfort and tension, resulting in what we generally call depression.
There are a variety of methods commonly used for treating depression, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the most efficient. This approach helps clients recognize distorted thoughts and behaviours so they can be replaced with healthy ones instead. For severe cases of depression, psychotherapy is often coupled with medication.
At the heart of treating depression lies the understanding that our emotions need to be fully experienced and expressed. However, we often neglect to do this. This may be because we fear judgement or because we've been taught to hide our emotions. Despite the discomfort we may feel with expressing our emotions, they're valid parts of our being and need to be expressed in a healthy way. When we open up to others about how we're feeling, we'll likely find that they have experienced something similar. Sharing our feelings with others can be very rewarding since it allows us to connect with others on a deeply human level. Working with a therapist may suggest new ideas about how we can express ourselves in ways that benefit us, our work, and people in our life.