Do You Struggle With Constant Self-Criticism or Self-Loathing?
Are you going through the motions of life, feeling stuck or helpless and no longer caring about the things you used to care about? Does overwhelming sadness come out of nowhere, lurking in the background despite success in your career or personal life? Perhaps you find it difficult to like yourself, and maybe underlying self-loathing makes it impossible to connect with others and take proper care of yourself. Do you wish you could learn to recognize your self-worth, reconnect with loved ones, and experience true joy once again?
Struggling with depression can be a tiring, lonely experience. You might wake up feeling exhausted and demoralized, or you might have trouble sleeping at all. The constant barrage of the inner critic may leave shame or guilt, and you might frequently blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault. Maybe you try to escape the signs of depression with screen time and lose yourself in social media. However, this escape might lead to further dejection, as constantly comparing yourself to others on Facebook or Instagram might cause you to feel as if you haven’t gotten far enough in life or that you should feel happier. Overall, you might simply wish you could believe that you’re a worthy person and start feeling joy and fulfillment once again.
Depression is Increasingly Common In Our Culture
If you’re struggling with depression, you are not alone. Although depression symptoms often include feelings of isolation, it’s actually one of the most common mental health issues in the world. According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people across the globe suffer from some kind of depression. No matter how alone you feel, depression is extremely common and having depression does not make you an outsider or a failure.
Depression has many causes, varying levels of severity and can be caused by many biological and environmental factors. Loss—such as the loss of a loved one, a significant other or even a job—can trigger feelings of chronic dejection and sadness. The grief process following losses like these often leads to feelings of isolation, unworthiness or even guilt and shame. Conversely, lifestyle imbalances, such as a lack of exercise, improper nutrition or an especially taxing work schedule, can also lead to depression in the long-term.
While dealing with depression can be a debilitating experience, the good news is that trying to manage depression on your own does not need to be your daily norm. You don’t need to go through the experience alone. An experienced depression therapist can help you weather the storms of daily life, restore a healthy balance to your daily routine and rediscover joy and self-love.
Holistic Depression Therapy Helps You Practice Self-Compassion And Find Relief
Depression treatment provides support, validation and human connection, which all help to counteract the isolating feelings of depression. In depression counseling sessions, I’ll help you identify triggers contributing to chronic sadness and find renewed confidence in your personal value as an individual.
In depression therapy sessions, I’ll avoid labeling you as “depressed,” even if you’re experiencing major depression. This tactic is not an attempt to ignore or discredit your very real struggles. Rather, it’s an effort to avoid boxing you into a limiting definition of yourself. Focusing solely on your symptoms can result in a downward spiral in which depression defines everything in your life. However, chronic, debilitating sadness is usually a sign that something needs to change. Together, we’ll work toward identifying what needs to change and define manageable, realistic steps you can take to move toward your goals.
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With an approach grounded in integrative therapy, we’ll explore both surface level depression symptoms and the root causes of your depression. For example, we might create a vision board to identify important goals, both personal and professional, to overcome a lack of motivation or feelings of worthlessness. We can also establish self-care techniques and work on validating your sense of worth. Throughout the depression counseling process, we’ll use techniques, such as mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises, to strengthen your mind-body connection, exercise self-compassion and replace negative thought patterns with positive affirmations. In this empathetic environment, we’ll recognize the difficulties you’ve been through, confront the sources of your melancholy and help you find relief in the present moment.
It can be difficult to imagine overcoming major depression, especially if you’ve been struggling with it for a long time. However, after 15 years of experience treating depression, I know that finding relief, reaching new goals and cultivating self-care and kindness is possible.
You still might have questions or concerns about depression therapy…
Am I going to be forced to take medication?
One of the most common worries about starting therapy is that your therapist will force you to take medication. This concern is completely valid, as taking medication can be expensive and result in unwanted side-effects. However, therapy for depression can be highly effective without the use of any medication. While I might eventually suggest medication for a client, that will never be my first solution, and I will always try to treat an issue with holistic medicine first. I’ll try referring you to a naturopath or a functional MD before resorting to medication. There can be physical causes to depression such as inflammation, thyroid dysfunction, adrenals imbalanced, vitamin or mineral deficiency, microbiome disruption, toxins/metals present and blood sugar regulation problems. These physical challenges should be ruled out before going on a medication to treat the symptoms.
I’ve been depressed for so long, why should I feel hopeful now?
Depression can feel like a never-ending cycle and a bottomless pit of quicksand with no hope of relief. Although this feeling is completely understandable, and although depression has no quick fixes, relief is possible with regular therapy. If you’ve tried depression treatment before without success, know that different therapists can provide different results. I’m always willing to tailor my approach to fit your unique experience, goals and needs.
Will I be in therapy forever?
If you’re anxious that you’ll be in therapy forever, you’re not alone. This concern is especially acute for clients who worry about the extra cost of therapy, which is one reason that I don’t force anyone to attend therapy any longer than they want to. Whether you come to me for a few months, a year or more, my sessions are always focused on your needs and your personal timeline. The goal is never for you to become dependent on me; instead, I want to empower you to find healing in your own time and on your own terms.
Are you ready to replace self-loathing with self-affirmation? Contact me today for a free phone consultation by completing my online form or calling me at 860-920-7070. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about my depression treatment practice in Simsbury, CT.
Suzi Sena, EdS, LPC provides individual, couple, and career counseling to clients of Connecticut Integrative Counseling, LLC.