“The happiness of this life depends less on what befalls you than the way in which you take it.” Elbert Hubbard
Depression Therapy For Adults, Teens and children
Depression affects millions of children, teens and adults each year. It is extraordinarily common, yet you may not be aware of just how frequently it strikes the lives of people you know. That is because most people are good at hiding their depression from everyone but their closest friends and family. What this means, however, is that when someone becomes seriously depressed, he or she is likely to feel painfully alone. At other times, even one’s family and closest friends do not realize that the person they love is depressed. Instead, they think the changes in mood and behavior are simply a result of being cranky or unsocial, perhaps at times thinking the depressed person is just “going through a phase.”
Fortunately, there are very effective ways to help someone who struggles with depression: ways that are based on years of research and experience and proven to be effective with most people. Depression is not a life sentence. It is, however, an opponent that stands in the way of living life fully. With that in mind, it pays to be well equipped to win the battle against this adversary. That is what Invictus Psychological Services is here to help you do.
Do You Feel Like Depression Is Holding You Back?
Are you having trouble finding a sense of joy and purpose in life? Perhaps you’re searching for meaning, but you’re stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and sadness that keeps you from discovering what you truly want and how to move forward? Perhaps these feelings were brought on by a recent event, such as a frightening diagnosis, an accident, termination from your job or the loss of a loved one. Or you might be thinking to yourself: these feelings have been around for as long as I can remember; they are just part of who I am.
In either case, there is hope. Life can get better, and you can be happier. Whatever the past may be, it does not need to take the future prisoner. You can break free and start a new course. One that is filled with more confidence, a deeper connection to others, and a renewed sense of purpose.
How Most People Experience Depression Symptoms
Symptoms of depression present themselves in many ways. For example, you may experience physical changes such as extreme fatigue, disturbed sleep, loss of libido, gastrointestinal distress, headaches and extremes in appetite.
Emotional symptoms, however, are often more prominent. These commonly include struggling with feelings of hopelessness that limit your ability to think positively about the future, a sense of diminished self-worth and profound and sometimes constant sadness and lack of interest things that used to give you pleasure. Lastly, there are changes related to one’s thinking that include, diminished concentration, memory loss and increased times when one feels overwhelmed in keeping up with the details of life.
Not all people who are depressed experience all of these symptoms (in fact, most experience only some of these symptoms). Nevertheless, whatever specific symptoms you may have, depression is likely to make you less engaged in your relationships, less effective at work or school and rob you of the joy in life that would otherwise be present. In combination, these experiences become extremely oppressive. Many of the people I’ve worked describe depression as being stuck at the bottom of a deep hole. This metaphor captures the often times isolating and confusing experience of depression.
You Are Not Alone
If you’re struggling with depression, you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, affecting nearly three million teens each year (almost 13 percent of the adolescent population). Similarly, nearly 16 million adults have major depression each year (7% of the population).
Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, including a genetic predisposition, early unhealthy relationship patterns, or by distressing circumstances. If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, such as an accident, abuse, assault, a breakup, termination from your job or the loss of a loved one, it’s not uncommon to experience feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
We also live in a society in which it is commonplace to “do it all” and then withhold how we really feel. Many Americans strive for a version of “success” that is defined by money and other unhealthy standards.
The truth is that no one has everything, and sustaining healthy relationships and a positive outlook requires effort. It’s normal to feel different and misunderstood, but feeling alone or ill equipped to navigate these trials can fuel negative thoughts that keep you from moving forward. There is good news, however, and that is with the help and support of a trained counselor you can overcome the troubling thoughts, feelings and behaviors that maintain depression.
Depression Therapy Can Help You Enjoy Life More Fully
Talk therapy is one of the most effective methods available for overcoming depression. Years of research and studies support this conclusion. It’s no surprise then that most people find working with a counselor to be a remarkably healing experience. Just as is the case with other major undertakings in life, it helps to have a coach, tutor or guide. Most musicians, for example, have had a music teacher who provided insightful guidance and encouragement. The same is true of athletes who look to a coach for the same. The list of examples could go on, but the main point is that when you are struggling with depression, it can be a game changer to have someone in your corner who provides expert guidance, pushes you to take chances and supports you over the rough spots.
The first step in therapy is to identify your goals. Just as a trans-pacific sailboat crossing is unlikely to be successful unless it begins with a clear destination (goal), so too is therapy. That is why we start by setting our sights on a clear destination – your goals.
Once we form a clear understanding of what you want (and need), then we can develop a game plan for how to reach that goal. Throughout this process, you will come to understand how past and current relationships, expectations, coping strategies and other dynamics may be holding you back. Using these insights, we then develop strategies for clearing a new path, one that enriches relationships, enhances confidence, deepens a sense of purpose and equips you to live a happier life.
Does this mean that you will no longer experience heartaches or setbacks in life? Of course not! None of us can avoid entering, from time to time, those difficult chapters that occur in everyone’s life. But with the skills and insights learned through counseling, you will be better equipped to deal with those struggles when they do come your way. Moreover, when therapy is successful, life’s obstacles will come much less frequently, leaving so much more of life to be enjoyed and lived deeply.
On a final note, if your young child, or teen is suffering with depression it is especially important to find an effective solution. Depression can rob a youngster of important experiences (e.g., making friends, participating in school activities) that build the foundation for successfully launching into adulthood later on in their development. Having worked within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, Davis, for over twenty years I have seen first hand the remarkable difference effective therapy can make in a youngster's life.
You may still have questions or concerns about depression treatment…
Shouldn’t I be able to handle this on my own?
If you never learned effective ways to cope with depression, it’s no wonder you feel depleted. No one is immune to pain. We all live in a world that presents us with challenges we cannot control.
If you don’t know why you feel down and defeated, you may have a chemical imbalance or predisposition to depression that keeps you stuck a negative cycle. Or, you might be going through a tough time and need additional support. Regardless, there’s no shame in seeking out help for something that is taking a toll.
Just like learning any new skill, learning to overcome depression takes time, patience and perseverance. But it is not a process that normally goes on for years and years. My goal is that you will feel better as soon as possible. I want to provide you with the confidence to say: therapy has been great, but I’m ready to move on.
I’m a private person and don’t feel comfortable talking to a stranger.
I don’t blame you, and I won’t pressure you to talk about anything you prefer to keep to yourself. Counseling for depression is entirely focused on your goals, wants and needs, moving at a pace that feels comfortable for you. With that being said, my experience is that most people quickly find that opening up is easier than they had thought.
I’m worried about the cost.
Although there is a cost involved in this work, I invite you to consider the cost of living with depression—all the lost time and opportunities. With the right help and guidance, it’s possible to change the quality of your life, and in turn, the lives of those with whom you care about the most. When you are unencumbered by depression, you have a better chance of enriching the lives of your family and friends.
If you’re curious, here is the breakdown of the cost of counseling:
15-minute phone consultation: free
First session: $75.00 (45-50 minute meeting with any of our therapists)
Forrest Talley, Ph.D. $150 (45-50 minute meeting)
Joanna Chung, MSW, ASW $100 (45-50 minute meeting)
Barbara Wilson, Psy.D. Post Doctoral Fellow $100 (45-50 minute meeting)
Ready to Feel Better?
If you have additional questions about depression therapy, I invite you to call me at (916) 790-5138 or contact me to set up a free15-minute consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and answer any questions related to counseling or my practice in Folsom, CA.