No one ever suspected Andrew had “bad days.” As the youngest Vice President in his organization, he always showed up to work dressed to the nines and complimented everyone, and he was outgoing, kind, and arm. On top of it, his good looks and charm made him an all-around compelling person. But, deep down, Andrew hated himself. He felt like no matter how good he looked, how nice he was, or how hard he worked, nothing was ever enough. Andrew had a hard time sleeping and would often under eat when the hopeless feelings would arise, sometimes going a full 24 hours just not feeling up to eating. While the thought of killing himself seemed ridiculous, some days he wished he could just end it all. He was tired of having to try so hard and was terrified he’d let everyone down if they knew just how dark he felt on the inside.
Lola had always wanted to be a mom. When she and her husband found out they were having a little girl she was so elated! Finally, 10 months later and immediately postpartum, she was struggling to feel as happy as she had anticipated. Instead, she found herself having crying spells and some days she even had a hard time just getting out of bed. Even nearby Torrey Pines beach didn’t help. Her husband would often have to bring the baby to her to breastfeed and interact. Even though Lola had wanted to be a mother and felt so much love for her child, her depression seemed to cloud the entire experience.
Jaqueline has had a really tough year. In addition to being laid off and going through a breakup, her money loss meant she had to temporarily move back into her parent’s house in La Jolla to save money. While Jaqueline has tried to remain optimistic about her future, she just feels depressed. She doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and sometimes sleeps a majority of the day. When she does get up all she feels like doing is eating junk food and watching television. She’s trying to get motivated to go search for a job and be helpful around the house, but can’t seem to find the “reset button.” Her parents are worried about her because she never leaves the house and isn’t taking care of herself.
Depression is one of the most commonly reported reasons people seek counseling and it is one of the most treatable mental health issues.
In short, depression is when a person feels sad, discontented, unmotivated, or hopeless. It can also lead to suicidal ideation or self harm. Depression can occur once or multiple times in a person’s lifespan. Some episodes of depression are mild and others may be more severe.
Either way, finding help and support for depression is critical for developing the skills to manage the symptoms and find a way to experience more hope and well-being.
Depression is an incredibly common mental illness and approximately 1 in 10 adults will experience depression in their lifetime. There can be both physiological reasons and life circumstances that can cause a person to experience depression.
Physiologically speaking, levels of dopamine and serotonin can affect a person’s chances of experiencing depression. That is why a doctor might prescribe a medication if you are experiencing any of the signs of depression. The medications doctors prescribe for depression will help to alleviate some of the symptoms, however, there may still be deeper work that could be done with a counselor in order to fully address what has caused the depression to arise in your life at this time.
Certain life experiences such as the loss of a loved one, trauma, a stressful life event, financial challenges, or a decline in health can all cause a person to experience depression as well. A professional counselor in San Diego who treats depression can help you find ways of managing these challenging life experiences in order to not feel so overwhelmed and sad.
Here are the signs if you think you or someone you know is struggling with depression:
- An overwhelming sense of sadness or hopelessness
- Either excessive sleep or difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- Difficulty experiencing pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable
- Either under eating or overeating
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Feelings of worthlessness
What most people don’t know about depression.
The difficult part about depression, and indeed, a great many mental health issues, is that it often points to something greater amiss in our lives. Particularly when depression feels like it is somehow “loose” or not associated with any particular recent life event, it may instead be an indicator that:
- There is something from your past you haven’t dealt with (or dealt with fully/healthily). Most of us have some sort of issues from childhood — even those of us who think our childhood was “normal” (and in fact, it may have been “normal” if by that we mean that it was relatively equal to the childhoods of most of the other people we know). But many people don’t know that “normal” typically includes things which hurt us greatly — we may look back at things we suffered in school, at home, or in religious involvement (etc.) and realize how miniscule they are from our currrent, adult perspective, but when we were children, these things meant a great deal more to us. Often, some part of us still feels that way and it can actually be all of our “adult” perspectives which interrupt healing.
- There is something in your life that is out of alignment. Most of us are still working off of scripts that we developed when we were younger. Many of us are also working off of scripts that weren’t even created by us — we may be living from the vantage point of our parents or grandparents or other early influences. For example, you may value living minimally so that you can travel and be relatively free to pick up and leave whenever you want, but your upbringing may have been focused on staying in one place, saving money, and living a relatively static life. So, if we value one thing but live from a set of principles that value something else, we naturally find that something feels off a good deal of the time, and that sensation can eventually lead to feelings of depression. NOTE: Looking at your set of values vs. some other set need not indicate that one is “bad” and the other “good” — they’re just different.
On the other hand, sometimes depression comes in other forms.
For example, you may have recently suffered a loss, made a life change, or had some other negatively impacting event. Or, you may have been feeling depressed for a long time and not be totally certain where the heck it comes from.
Whatever the case — talking with us will help you!
Until then, here are some tips to try:
- Ask for help from a friend or loved one now! It can be scary to ask for help and feel vulnerable, but your life is worth it. And, there are so many best practices for helping people manage or possibly even overcome depression all together.
- Reach out for support. Consider attending a support group for depression and related issues.
- Watch your self-talk. Depression can be exacerbated or alleviated based on how you talk to yourself. If you tell yourself that you are worthless than you will most definitely feel that way. If you tell yourself that you are doing the best that you can and things will eventually get better then you will not feel as depressed, blue, or sad.
- Remove triggers. If there is something specifically that triggers you to feel depressed it may be imperative that you do your best to remove that element. For example, if seeing an ex’s post on Facebook triggers your depression then you may need to unfollow them.
Need some guidance with all of these? We can help!
At Juxta, California counseling, we are aren’t just expert counselors – we’re people too, which means you can expect us to be genuinely interested in you, your story, and your life. We want to get to know the real you. In our work together, honesty with yourself and us comes to characterize the entire healing endeavor. Thus, our relationship itself — that is the work.
There’s nothing else you need to do to prepare. There’s no reason to wait any longer.
Looking for Depression Counseling?
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San Diego, CA