Do you feel hopeless, helpless, or isolated?
Are you tired and overwhelmed?
Have you lost interest in the things you used to enjoy?
Are you having difficulty sleeping, eating, or feeling well?
If you answered “yes” to any of these things, you may be struggling with symptoms of depression – and you are not alone.
In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 10 people in the U.S. have been found to struggle with symptoms of depression. Too many of us choose to struggle, hoping to get better on our own only to feel like our own worst failure. But, what does it actually mean to “have depression”? How can one get better, overcome their symptoms, and find healing?
Where can people turn to find the help they need?
Read on to find out.
What is Depression?
Depression is a complex illness that affects people physically, mentally, and socially:
Physically - depression can look like a loss of energy, significant (and often unintentional) changes in bodyweight, aches or pains, loss of pleasure, changes in sleep patterns (sleeping less or sleeping more often), and sluggishness or lethargy. The physical symptoms of depression tend to be confused with other medical issues or illness, and so many people feel the urge to go to their primary care doctor before seeking support through counseling.
Mentally - depression can include thoughts of death or ending one’s life, hopelessness or helplessness, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, having low self-worth or value, feeling sad or tearful (sometimes for no apparent reason), and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. The mental aspects of depression can be just as debilitating as the physical ones, as many people experience a loss in motivation or meaning when they have depression.
Socially - the symptoms of depression tend to make us withdraw from others, act more “short fused” or irritable, and experience isolation and loneliness. Many people with depression express feeling disconnected and unheard by others, which can certainly make the mental and physical symptoms feel worse.
Together, the physical, mental, and social symptoms of depression create a downward spiral. As people feel less energetic and have less pleasure, they might also become less hopeful and less socially connected. As people lose connection with others and isolate, they may also begin to believe that no one cares about them. Left unaddressed, the downward spiral of depression can severely impair one’s ability to be in relationship, function at work or school, and feel happy and healthy.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, there is hope.
Often, people with depression lack the support and necessary coping skills to get out of the downward spiral. To learn more about how to cope with depressive symptoms, read on!
How can I cope with Depression?
Many symptoms of depression can be addressed outside the therapy office. I recommend coping and self-care activities for my clients based on their specific needs and personality, but there are a few things that can help most people. Here are a few examples:
Get your heartrate up for at least >15 minutes per day. Walking, biking, swimming, you name it – regular engagement in low-moderate intensity exercise can make a significant impact on symptoms of depression. This can be a challenge for many depressed people, as the loss of energy and motivation may keep them from being active. Start small and find ways to add activity into your day, and your energy reserve will continue to build.
Do the things you used to enjoy. Many people experience depression when they stop doing the things they love. Your body misses the stimulation and pleasure that came from those activities. Be creative and find ways to build in time for your hobbies and old obsessions.
Reconnect with someone. Try reaching out to family members, friends, and even coworkers. Depression can make us feel isolated, unseen, and lonely. By reaching out to others, you can begin to feel connected again. Sometimes we lose touch with people we care about, which can often contribute to our feelings of sadness and disconnection.
Change your routine. Sometimes our daily behaviors put us in a depressive rut. We wake up, go to school/work, have our meals, go to bed, and repeat the cycle. Sometimes it can help to experiment with a few small changes in your daily routine, just to shake things up. For example, you might try listening to a different kind of music or podcast on your daily commute. Or, you might pack a new type of food to enjoy during your lunch break. Even these small changes can help you feel more empowered and in control of your life.
Find a good counselor. Counselors are professionally trained to help people overcome symptoms of depression. Although some people can discover how to cope on their own, it always helps to call in an expert.
Where can I get help?
You do not have to do this alone. As a counselor who has helped many, many people with depression, I am confident that we can make your life better. I also know how difficult it can be to reach out for help, which is why I offer free phone consultations to ease that process.
Counseling for depression is specifically designed to help people feel better, become more connected, and find solutions that last. As you engage in psychotherapy for depression, you will learn how to:
Be curious and self-reflective
Escape the downward spiral of depression
Think and feel differently about life stressors
Feel hopeful and motivated for the future
Develop feelings of wellbeing and control
Discover effective ways of coping
Be vulnerable and authentic in relationships
Please do not continue to suffer and struggle in silence. Counseling for depression is the first line of treatment for symptom alleviation and long-lasting change. Take the first step and contact a counselor today. If you live in the Westport, Connecticut area, I would love to connect with you and learn more about your story.
To learn more about me, click on About in the menu options above. You can also learn about the other services that I offer by clicking on Services. Or, to get in contact with me and sign up for your first appointment, click on Contact.
About Inger Sjogren, LPC, NCC
My name is Inger, and I am here for you.
I am a licensed professional counselor and psychotherapist practicing in Fairfield County, Connecticut. My treatment draws from multiple modalities, such as Person-Centered, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Restructuring and Behavioral approaches to help maximize your progress. I focus on helping you feel heard, supported, and understood in pursuit of your goals. Your stories, needs, darkest hours and brightest moments take center stage when you are in my office.
My areas of specialty include:
Divorce and separation
Parenting skills and teamwork in marriage
Co-Parenting skills for divorced parents
And much more!
I strongly believe that, with the right support, you can have the life that feels healthy, meaningful, and whole. Bring me onto your team, and let’s work on your struggles together.
Interested? Let’s work together!
I highly value the fit between counselor and client, and so I offer a phone consultation to help you and I get an initial sense for our capacity to work as a team. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation, or use the Contact tab above to sign up for your first appointment. I would love to hear your story and join you in your journey towards a better life.