Is Underlying Depression Sucking The Joy Out Of What Used To Make You Happy?
Are you finding it difficult to derive enjoyment from the activities you once loved? Even though you’re able to function, is there an underlying sense of hopelessness you cannot shake? Do you worry you will never feel better?
Although you’re able to get up each morning and tackle the demands of daily life, it might seem like there’s a black cloud following you. When you feel blue, it can suck the joy out of everything, leaving you feeling exhausted, listless, and unsatisfied.
There may be days when you wonder what’s the meaning of it all and have to resist the urge to stay in bed. As you struggle to find a sense of purpose, you might feel despondent or become easily irritated or short-tempered.
Perhaps You’re Confused Or Guilty About How You Feel
It might be hard for you to understand what is contributing to your low mood. After all, from an outsider’s perspective, you seemingly have it all—there is no “valid” reason to be depressed. You may even feel guilty and confused that nothing seems to make you happy anymore. Maybe you try to conceal how you’re feeling from others, believing your depression is unwarranted.
Perhaps you feel out of step with your partner because they’re taking your behavior personally, assuming they must have done something wrong to upset you. They may think that if only they were a better partner, they would know how to make you feel better. This dynamic may cause a rift between you, leading you to feel ashamed and helpless about your depressed state.
Fortunately, overcoming depression is possible—with treatment, you can better understand what the signs are and gain more control of the thoughts and feelings that underlie your mood.
We Believe We Should Be Able To Manage Our Depression Alone
Most people have experienced depression at some point in their lives. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability in the US among people ages 15 through 44. There is no set reason why we suffer from depression—its causes can range from biology, life circumstances, learned behavior, or some combination of these factors.
The Uncertainty Caused By Covid-19 Has Exacerbated Depression
Unfortunately, the pandemic has contributed to many more of us experiencing depression. Because we no longer have the same amount of control over our lives as we once did, it can leave us with a sense of helplessness. Feeling as though there is no end in sight, we become hopeless and may begin to exhibit the symptoms of depression.
What’s more, the stigma that lingers that we should keep our chins up and resolve to be happy no matter how we feel can keep us stuck in depression. When our low mood isn’t attributable to life circumstances, we may think that we should be able to get over depression on our own rather than seek help.
We may wonder why we can’t simply “snap out of it,” berating ourselves for feeling depressed. However, trying to tough it out alone can lead us into a downward spiral that, unfortunately, serves only to worsen our depression.
When your signs of depression are more subtle and not clinical in nature, you may not realize they’re treatable or know how to deal with them appropriately. Depression treatment can be the answer you’re looking for to feel better. With help, you can work through depression and have a better outlook on life.
Treatment Can Help You Understand The Root Causes of Depression So You Can Move Beyond It
You may think that being depressed means you literally can no longer get out of bed. However, if you’re functional in other areas of life but often feel exhausted, irritated, or that nothing in life is enjoyable, then you may be downplaying some common symptoms of depression.
Therapy gives you a safe space to talk honestly about your depression without the fear that you have no reason for feeling this way. Instead, you will be welcomed into a nonjudgmental environment where you can explore the issues that underlie your experience and outlook. By better understanding their causes and learning helpful tools for dealing with depression, you can find relief for the symptoms that are keeping you stuck.
What To Expect In Sessions
At our first session, we will focus on what your symptoms are, how depression currently affects your life, and establish goals for therapy. Most importantly, we will provide you with hope—now that you’ve made this first important step, you have begun a journey toward healing.
In ongoing sessions, we will examine the root causes of your depression, determining how long you’ve felt this way, and whether others in your family may also show signs of it. When there is seemingly no reason for your depression, it may indicate your low mood is related to brain chemistry. In these instances, research has shown that utilizing medication and therapy in tandem is the best way of treating depression.
If your depression appears to be a combination of biological and external factors, understanding its root causes will allow you to debunk the notion that you are a bad person because you feel this way. And once we gain insight into your depression, we can offer you appropriate strategies for managing and coping with symptoms.
We often utilize a solution-focused approach for treating depression, encouraging you to be an active participant throughout treatment to identify solutions that will work best for you. For example, we might ask you to come up with a “gratitude” list, or a list of enjoyable activities you have previously identified that tend to elevate your mood.
Utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
When you slow down and notice your inner dialogue, it can be dismaying to realize how critically you talk to yourself. CBT will help you transform critical thoughts by first paying attention to them. By noticing, interrupting, and neutralizing negative self-talk before it takes hold and causes emotional distress, you will gradually take control of your “monkey mind”.
Once you recognize the negative inner chatter and arrest it before it begins, your self-talk will become more positive over time, helping you gain agency over how you feel about yourself. Moreover, CBT is transformative because it opens the door to do the deeper work of finding the root cause of depression, allowing it to become less of a factor in your life.
As we work to get to the bottom of the issues that underlie how you’re feeling, you will increasingly feel more in control. With the help and support depression treatment provides, you can rediscover hope, enjoyment, and feel like your life has meaning again.
But You May Wonder Whether Depression Treatment Is Right For You…
I shouldn’t need therapy for depression.
If you’ve always been an independent person and a problem-solver, you may think that you should be able to figure out depression on your own. But it’s okay to admit that you can’t solve every problem by yourself. After all, everyone needs a little help sometimes. If you had a physical illness, you would go to the doctor—why then should depression be treated differently? The therapists at Inner Compass Counseling are here to help you find beneficial ways for dealing with depression. Even if you feel defeated by how you feel, there is hope!
I would rather take medication for depression than seek treatment.
We are fortunate that after years of research, we know a lot more about depression than we did in previous decades. The latest data shows that the best treatment for depression is a combination of therapy and medication. While medication can be helpful in addressing the physiological symptoms of depression, therapy will help you identify the environmental and behavioral issues that can negatively impact your mood. Combining treatments can be an effective way of coping with depression in the long term.
What will people think of me if they find out I’m in counseling for dealing with my depression?
In recent years, more and more people have become vocal about their struggles with depression and have been willing to share how they were able to overcome it. As the stigma of mental health continues to erode, it has become evident that many of us struggle with depression and there is no shame in it. It can be very inspiring for others to witness your journey of depression and healing—if you can do it, so can they.
The Dark Cloud Of Depression Can Be Lifted
Summoning the hope that you can think and feel differently is the first step on the journey to wellness. For more information about depression treatment, please contact us. Inner Compass Counseling serves residents of Westminster and Parker, Colorado.
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