Does Life Seem Empty and Dull?
Are you struggling under the weight of a sadness that only seems to grow heavier and heavier, no matter what you do? Do you feel as though you are letting others down or living a life void of meaning? Perhaps you know what brought on this wave of sadness, but you don’t know how to process the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, a recent medical diagnosis, or another sorrow that has altered your sense of self. Or, maybe you have been feeling low for a long time, without knowing why. Does it sometimes seem as though ongoing life challenges are proof that you deserve to be in misery, or that this is just the way life is? Do you wish to find freedom from the dark fog of depression, feel more alive in all aspects of your life, and move forward into a fulfilling, connected future?
The symptoms of depression can make life seem colorless and heavy. Perhaps you feel like you’re just going through the motions, without really connecting to anyone or anything, even people, activities, and events you once enjoyed. No matter how much sleep you get, you may struggle to get out of bed in the morning and feel tired throughout your day. It may be difficult to focus and get things done, which leads you to harshly criticize yourself and question your worth. You might spend time ruminating over the past, wishing you had done or said something differently. Maybe you promise yourself that you’ll make changes, but feel like you’re walking through quicksand and every step you take just sucks you in deeper. Or perhaps you’ve given up on trying to succeed at work, go out with friends, or take care of yourself because it’s all just so exhausting.
You Are Not Alone
Living with depression can be an isolating and lonely experience. However, more than 15 million American adults struggle with depression symptoms, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. It’s very common to experience deep sadness after an unexpected or unwanted change in your life, from the death of a loved one to a medical crisis to a fissure in a relationship. It’s also common to feel down and defeated after a period of stagnation, especially if you feel stuck, purposeless, or directionless in your current situation. And, while depression can occur at different times in life, some people experience ongoing depression symptoms throughout their lives, often in conjunction with the worries that come with anxiety.
We live in a culture that values hard work and individualism. From early childhood on, we learn to swallow our emotions and “deal with it” or “toughen up” on our own. Or, when we do express sadness, those around us might rush to help us feel better. Although this reaction is well intended, it can sometimes solidify the belief that sadness and other difficult emotions are flaws that need to be fixed rather than normal reactions to upsetting events in our lives. As a result, many people believe that if they feel sad, they are flawed or weak in some way, and their experience could have been prevented if only they were stronger or better. In addition, in an attempt to avoid unpleasant emotions, many of us focus on staying busy and going through the motions, which can eventually lead to a general sense of disconnection and malaise.
In reality, there is nothing wrong with you if you feel down sometimes. However, if you are feeling hopeless and overwhelmed with self-doubt and self-criticism, or if you find it difficult to imagine that life could be any better, there is hope and help. With the support of a therapist who specializes in depression counseling, you can interrupt cycles of self-blame, bring new awareness to your emotions, and begin to live with purpose and joy.
With Depression Therapy, Immediate Relief and Lasting Change Are Possible
Depression counseling sessions are a safe, supportive place for you to express your emotions and feel truly heard, understood, and accepted. Your feelings are valid, and I will offer you the tools you need to approach difficult thoughts and emotions with greater patience and self-compassion. No matter what you’re going through today, with empathetic guidance and support, healing from depression is possible.
In collaborative and compassionate therapy sessions, I can help you develop and practice mindfulness skills that will help you interrupt the cycle of depressive thoughts keeping you stuck. By cultivating a deeper sense of connection to yourself, and by learning how to bring a sense of empathy and understanding to your own emotions, you can create a radical shift in your relationship to suffering. As you bring your awareness to the present moment, you can notice and slow the rush of negative thoughts. You can allow yourself to recognize and draw from your innate resources and strengths and stop sadness from spiraling downward. You can also feel more flexible, resilient, and equipped to simply feel sadness without judging it or rushing to numb or fix it.
At first, it can be uncomfortable to really feel the difficult emotions that have been hovering in the background or building beneath the surface, but I like to think of pain this way: If your hand is numb, you may not realize you’ve placed it on a hot stove. Your numb hand doesn’t feel the pain, but your hand is still burning. If your hand isn’t numb, and you do realize you’ve placed it on a burning stove, you’ll feel pain and know to move your hand away from the pain’s source. Similarly, if you identify a difficult emotion and become aware of it, you’re more likely to take appropriate action. Depression therapy, insomuch, can help you identify the source of your pain and make positive choices that lead to lasting healing.
For nearly 30 years, I have helped people cultivate relief, release, and newfound possibilities. From both personal and professional experience, I know how difficult it can be to navigate loss, grief, rejection, and hopelessness, and I also know the transformative power of effective therapy. Although it may feel as though your emotions are a burden, the most sensitive, compassionate people often experience the heaviest sadness. While challenging, what you’re feeling today is a sign that you feel deeply, and that you have the profound potential to experience a rich and vibrant life. With help, you can turn that sensitivity into a sense of tenderness to yourself and others. You can feel lighter and more open to the world, find enjoyment in the small things, and begin to live a more meaningful and connected life.
You may have questions or concerns about therapy for depression…
Part of me feels like therapy just won’t work.
One of the main symptoms of depression is a sense of hopelessness. And, although one part of you has doubts, another part is longing for something different. That part longs to be connected with people and feel alive in this world. Although things may feel heavy and daunting and impossible, an inherent human part of you knows that something could be different. Like a plant bending to the sun to survive, that part of you wants to reach out for warmth, energy, and life. I am here to help you get in touch with your inner resources, nurture your inner resiliency, and begin to truly live.
I’ve tried depression treatment before, and it didn’t work.
Although depression counseling is highly effective, it is true that depression does tend to reappear, especially when life becomes especially stressful or unstable. Our bodies, minds, and emotions are deeply interconnected, and when one part of that network is triggered, all the other parts can respond by falling into old habits. We can find ourselves returning to negative patterns and engaged in that all too familiar self-criticism by blaming ourselves for struggling again. But, you are not broken or doomed to a life of sadness. If you find yourself in the same old patterns you worked hard to break, therapy for depression can help you interrupt the network of triggers and restore calm to your body, mind, and emotions. Or, if therapy never worked for you, perhaps working with someone new will make all the difference.
How can I attend depression therapy when it’s difficult to do anything?
If everything feels daunting right now, I encourage you to recognize the significant step you’ve already taken in finding and reading this page. Even sending one email or making one phone call can be a huge step toward feeling better. It’s normal that this feels hard. But, I believe that real change is possible for you.
You Don’t Have to Suffer Alone
If you are ready to find relief, or if you still have questions about depression therapy in Seattle, WA, I invite you to email CatherineFollett@msn.com or call (206) 715-0831 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.