Should I seek help?
Reaching out for help with depression is a wise decision. You may have been to the doctor recently because you are feeling a lack of energy and more aches and pains than normal. You may have been surprised when the doctor has no medical explanation for your symptoms and suggests seeking therapy. There are actually many symptoms of a Major Depressive Disorder and they can appear in a variety of ways. If you suspect that you are feeling depressed don’t hesitate to seek help. While depression is a very common disorder, left untreated, the effects can be devastating. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms for more than a couple of weeks reach out and make an appointment.
- Inconsistent sleep patterns (too much or too little)
- Debilitating fatigue
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Unexplained body aches and pains
- Change in appetite
- Excessive irritability and frustration
- Disinterested in preferred activities or interests
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Inability to manage anger
- Easily tearful
- Negative outlook
- Loss of hope
- Withdrawn and isolated
- Excessive worry
- Peers notice you are not yourself
- You barely make it through the day to fulfill responsibilities
- Less concerned about your appearance
- Decreased libido
- Self-injuring behaviors
- Substance or alcohol abuse
The World Health Organization has identified depression as the leading cause of disability, by identifying over 300 million people with the disorder. The United States is the third leading country in the world to suffer with the mental illness. If you or someone you know is showing signs or suffering with depression encourage them to get help. Depression is treatable.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
if you are having suicidal thoughts
Choosing a Therapist
One of the most difficult things I hear people say is:
“I tried seeing a therapist once and we spent the first 20 minutes of my session talking about my shoes.” “I’ll never go back to see a therapist, it was the biggest waste of my time. The therapist nodded his/her head and said ‘hmm, aha and how does that make you feel’?”
The therapeutic relationship is a personal relationship for you and choosing a good fit is going to be incredibly important. Different people prefer different characteristics in a therapist and different therapists have a wide variety of styles and approaches to their work. I encourage everyone to not give up on therapy based on a bad experience. There are good therapists and bad therapists out there just like doctors, attorneys, or police officers. Look around, conduct interviews, and trust your gut feelings when you choose someone. Never worry about hurting the therapist’s feelings by choosing someone else. This is your time to do the work you need to do and a good therapist will encourage you get the support that is right for you.
What to Expect
When you first start therapy with me, your initial session will consist of establishing a relationship, gathering information about you and your current situation, and considering goals for your therapy. For some, starting therapy can feel a little awkward especially if you have never been to a therapist before. This is a normal reaction to starting services. In establishing a therapeutic relationship, my goal is for you to feel safe and comfortable with me so that you can openly discuss the topics that brought you to me. I am happy to answer questions you may have and start wherever you want to begin.
Experiencing depression is painful in a number of ways and getting relief can never happen soon enough. Having realistic expectations for relief will be an important component to your treatment. Everyone has their own unique process and response to therapy. Treating depression will require some degree of change in behavior patterns, thought patterns, and coping patterns. Change is a process that requires us to step out of our comfort zone, take risks, and be committed. Therefore there are likely times that your symptoms seem worse as you implement changes that are foreign and even awkward. This experience does not mean that therapy isn’t working. Always discuss your discomforts and challenges with your therapist to ensure your treatment is progressing appropriately.
Managing depression can look different for everyone. Having an actual diagnosis of a Major Depressive Disorder requires a combination of symptoms to take place over a minimum period of time. Some Depressive Disorders are defined as a single episode while others can be recurrent episodes. Depending on how you are experiencing depression will likely impact the approach your therapist may take with you. In some cases medication and therapy is needed for treatment, while in other cases therapy is enough. Medication is not the only form of treatment.
My Philosophy and Therapeutic Style
I love the work that I do. That being said, I feel deeply honored to be a part of people’s journeys during a time of their life that is highly vulnerable and challenging. I connect with my clients through empathy, compassion, and acceptance. I use my training and clinical experiences by pairing it with my intuition and wisdom to create a therapeutic environment that is safe, absent of judgement, engaging, challenging, and fulfilling. My perspective is not about what is right or wrong but rather what works and doesn’t work for you.