Depression If you are feeling overwhelmed with sadness and are emotionally drained much of the time, you may be experiencing depression. If you struggle with feeling anxious, guilty, or worthless on a regular basis, you may want to seek counseling for this. Depression is more common than most people think. It is a serious illness with 10% of all adults in the USA reporting symptoms of diagnosable depression some time in their lives. Depression is the most common cause of disability in the United States and it can be helped. Depression is connected to unsuccessful efforts in dealing with painful emotions that can occur in the normal course of life. These painful emotions (which we try not to think about) interfere with feeling engaged positively to life and with moving toward one’s life goals. Some people experience depression after a stressful life change. Life events like a separation or divorce, the death of a loved one, losing a job, financial difficulties, relocation, or the development of a medical condition may trigger the occurrence of depression. Yet counseling therapy can help you learn to manage and reduce these painful feelings and move forward in your life positively. Depression varies from person to person. It has physical emotional and spiritual components. The symptoms of depressive illness can change as it progresses over time. Environmental and physiological factors can cause an increase in depression as well. It’s been documented that brain chemistry plays an important part in the experience of depression. Scientists know that challenging life circumstances can alter brain chemistry. A person’s inability to produce and maintain dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain can predispose him or her toward experiencing depression. These imbalances are often best addressed by a combination of medical treatment from a physician and counseling therapy from a counselor or psychotherapist. Some of the signs and symptoms of depression include: feeling hopeless or worthless crying frequently feeling overwhelmed with sadness changes in sleep patterns: excessive sleeping or inability to sleep anxiety anger difficulty finding pleasure in previously enjoyed activities physical symptoms like body ache, headaches, muscle pain problems concentrating and focusing changes in weight or eating habits thoughts of suicide If you are experiencing symptoms of depression you may have problems coping with normal daily stressors. You might feel isolated or feel helpless. Normal activities like getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed – may require extreme effort. Even reading about the symptoms of depression may set you into a negative state of mind and mood. Such difficulties can make you susceptible to excessive negative thinking, anxiety and irrational beliefs which drain and undermine your ability to function as usual. You may be struggling to maintain resilience to life’s normal circumstances and occurrences. But help is available. Depression is one of the most common reasons people seek out counseling help and it is highly treatable. Many people get relief from their depression through counseling therapy. Unfortunately, some people fear being stigmatized or experience a sense of shame or guilt around seeking help. Individuals with depression fear being judged as weak. Many people do not discuss their depression openly. This is where a therapist can be helpful. To help my clients move forward I utilize mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and psychodynamic therapies. I try to help my clients view their depressive state with curiosity without self-judging. Learning how not to engage in a pattern of self-blame, can help clients develop a deeper understanding of the sources of their depression. In itself, understanding the sources of depression can improve symptoms and provide relief. Your willingness to recognize depression symptoms and to reach out for help are the first two steps toward making a positive lasting change. If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of depression, I can help you on your road toward feeling better and regaining purpose in your life. You can reach me at 770.833.6052 or contact me through this website. We can discuss any questions you may have about your situation and my practice.