Life is always a challenge for most of us, most emotions are painful, both physically and psychologically. From time to time we all feel sad, anxious, helpless, irritable, lack motivation and have low self-esteem. When these experiences persist for weeks and months it is a good indication that we are depressed. Without help, our mood can worsen, life becomes joyless, we can lose hope, withdraw from people and even become suicidal.
If you recognize the above description as a state you are currently experiencing, then you may need the help of a therapist. I work with both the symptoms and the underlying causes. Sometimes depression can be the result of a specific event such as the end of a relationship or the loss of a job but more often depression is the eventual outcome of a general suppression of one’s emotional self and predominantly it is sadness/grief and anger which are the emotions most avoided or suppressed.
Like with all my work, I adapt my style to suit your personality and use an integrative approach. Initially you may need help just to relieve some of your current symptoms and this could involve practical changes you need to make in the here and now of your everyday life. In the longer term we will explore either what specific event may have contributed to your depression or whether your depression has links to an avoidance of panful emotions such as grief and anger.
If you have been depressed for a long time, you may need a longer time in therapy as you learn to slowly allow yourself to experience some of the painful emotions you have been avoiding for years. You cannot just rely on the therapy to achieve this or to cure your depression in a general sense. I will encourage you to develop your social life, to be honest with your friends and those closest to you about how you feel, to learn to live with your vulnerability out in the open rather then hidden away.
It is important that you find a way to bring some joy back into your life and I encourage all my clients to find/develop a creative output as I see this as being as essential part of recovery and a protection against depression. This will depend on your personality and could be dancing, painting, sport, writing and many other creative processes.