Therapy for Depression
Depression doesn't necessarily mean you can't get out of bed or are actively suicidal. Sometimes depression manifests in less obvious ways. Some people who are depressed experience irritability, sleep disturbance, unintentional weight change, or low energy but would not necessarily recognize that they are depressed. Others may experience some of the symptoms which are more typically associated with depression--feeling sad, worthless, empty, or hopeless, decreased pleasure in things which used to be enjoyable, or thoughts of suicide or death. Whatever your experience, it can be helpful to recognize some other common symptoms of depression. They include:
quick to tear up
feeling sluggish or restless
low self-esteem, feeling worthless, or excessive guilt or shame
difficulty concentrating or making decisions
loss of meaning
If you're depressed, you may feel stuck, lacking in motivation, hopeless, or alone. Many of the people we work with in our practice here in Edmonds experience some level of depression, and whether you have just been feeling a little down or are highly depressed, there is hope, and we can help.
Treatment for Depression
The good news is that depression responds well to treatment and is one of the most common issues that we see. We believe that the most effective treatment is a holistic one. Consequently, we take an integrative approach to treating depression, incorporating elements of psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
By integrating these approaches, we offer holistic treatment designed to address your depression in four key domains:
Body: reduce your depression by caring for and activating your body
Behavior: reduce your depression by reducing unhealthy coping and fostering more healthy means of coping
Thoughts: reduce your depression by challenging problematic thinking
Feelings: reduce you depression by processing significant experiences which relate to your depressed mood (either recent or from childhood)
Reduce Depression by Caring for Your Body
Our emotional experiences are whole-body experiences. Meeting your body's basic needs can go a long way to improving your mood. General self-care is important here. So, in addition to working on mindfulness, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques (all of which we will walk you through), it can also be extremely helpful to rest, reduce stress, limit screen time, get enough sleep, eat well, seek social support, limit your caffeine and sugar intake, avoid drinking too much alcohol, and get regular exercise.
Challenging Thoughts which Promote Depression
One helpful thing for coping with depression is to challenge any thoughts and beliefs which contribute to your depressed mood or negative view of yourself. You might be skeptical, thinking that it isn't as simple as "thinking happy thoughts," but that is not what we are saying. Our experiences shape the ways in which we see ourselves, others, and the world around us, and we all experience various ways in which our thoughts and beliefs are distorted as a result. A common example that you may experience is black-and-white thinking. You may find it difficult to hold on to the positive in the face of the negative. For instance, you may be painfully aware of your shortcomings but struggle to list your positive characteristics. While it may seem simple, learning to identify and challenge this sort of problematic thinking can be an important step in addressing your depression.
Address the Emotional Roots of Your Depression
All of these approaches can be extremely helpful in coping with depression and often provide a sense of empowerment and control over what you feel. It can also be important to explore what might be some of the reasons for your depression in order to deal with the root of the problem. Two people may share all of the same symptoms but be experiencing them for different reasons. Each of us is unique; we all have different life experiences and a unique story. Exploring and working through your history and significant emotional experiences can lead to deep and lasting change, free from depression.
If you would like some help with your depression or would like more information, please contact us.