Depression is a painful illness; however, it is not incurable. Medication can help, exercise can help, faith can help; but ultimately it is only you who can conquer your depression.
If you are depressed—feel sad and discouraged, have low energy, lost your optimism, can’t sleep or eat properly—then overcoming depression is your most important job right now. Optimism must win out over pessimism. Overcoming depression is gradual process that takes dedication and perseverance. To win this battle, you need an experienced guide, and this is where psychotherapy comes in. A fully trained and experienced psychologist is your ally. He or she has helped many others like you beat this illness.
Depression is actually an adaptive mechanism. Evolution has given us a means of partially “shutting down” to protect ourselves, either physically or emotionally, to help us achieve a cure. For example, using our body’s feedback mechanisms, physiological depression prevents our heart, blood chemistry and other functions from racing to dangerous levels. Likewise emotional depression can give us relief from painful conflicts. All our negative thoughts during depression may actually help shield us from even more painful feelings. However, this mechanism can go awry. Depression can be difficult to shut off. Our unconscious emotions overcompensate. As a result, memories are driven even deeper into the unconscious, and we end up stuck.
One goal in therapy is to help uncover some of these hidden memories and feelings. Brought to light, we can see these memories are not as potent as we had feared. We can put the memories behind us; we can forgive; so the past no longer rules us. Uncovering is part of what we hope to achieve in therapy. This takes time. It is a gradual process and requires the help of an expert guide.
Being active is also an important part of the cure. Being proactive is the best anti-depressive medication. Getting out of the house, participating in activities, trying a new approach, seeking love and companionship—these all help re-activate the sluggish, sleeping emotional systems. However, re-invigorating yourself is also a gradual process. Again, it takes the help of an expert guide.
While you are in your depression you may find it difficult to make important decisions. It is best not to try to force these decisions upon yourself at this time. Working out your depression needs to come first. Once you have gotten your depression under better control, your decisions will become much clearer.
What we are trying to say is that with professional help, along with perseverance and effort, you are capable of conquering your depression. Right now, this is “Job One.” Call us and let’s get started.
(Note: Not every depression is treatable with psychotherapy alone. If necessary, we will refer you to a psychiatrist or other type of medical doctor, or if required for your safety, to a hospital. If you believe you might act on suicidal thoughts, you should immediately call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.)