Does life feel like a meaningless exercise in despair?
Is there anything positive going on… joy, happiness, hope, excitement… anything?
Or is this needless pain and deep suffering sucking the life out of you?
I bet you hardly have the energy to get out of bed in the morning. Plus, sleeping is an easy way of forgetting how much life sucks.
Do you even care to see family and friends anymore? Do you worry that you’ll bring them down… or do you just not feel like it?
Are you so tortured that happiness feels like nothing more than a naïve idea?
Momentum builds in the wrong direction. Being pessimistic leaves little energy for exercise and healthy diets, despite knowing health is important to positive moods.
Weakening ties with friends and family cause deterioration – “Who cares anymore.”
The little efforts made to get better fall flat on their face…
“I tried applying for a new job. They didn’t hire me… Why was I wasting my time? I’m useless.” Gaining weight – “I feel disgusting. Who cares? Food makes me happy.”
Eventually, “Life is meaningless. I wish I didn’t wake up.”
Depression is highly treatable with therapy.
Medications can help, too, but they’re usually not enough.
In therapy, we’ll focus on re-establishing meaning in your life. Never mind happiness… it’s overrated. Meaning is where it’s at. I can’t promise you happiness, but I can confidently say that we can find enough meaning in life to make it worth living.
Without it, humans are creatures of meaning – depression sets in, a taste of death that drains the spirit – reducing the human to an irrelevant and arbitrary creature that breathes without purpose. Family, the accomplishment of goals, careers, social circles, hobbies, talents, skills, and goal-oriented activities are the life-blood of existence.
Those who ignore this basic human need and seek to silence it are the most prone to suffering, such as extreme wealth and indulgence in material goods without any other structures that bring meaning. The result in those situations tends to be depression and suicidal ideation.
Why? Because the individual confused spiritual hunger to accomplish goals with a desire for pleasure. Similar to feeling hungry and eating nothing but candy. Without realizing it, a person can be spiritually starving to death. Think of the things that bring joy to life – those are the things that need attention the most. The mood tends to follow!
“We don’t think ourselves into a new way of thinking. We act ourselves into a new way of living.” – Richard Rohr
The spiritual axiom that we love what we invest in also suggests that we invest in what we love. Depression makes it hard to invest in self – yet that’s exactly what needs to happen to reverse depression’s downward momentum. And, best to do so as soon as possible. It gets harder over time.
The process can feel more like reversing a large ship than making a simple U-turn. This is due to the many parts of life that contribute to depression – all things that make life meaningful. If you’re unsure of what those might be for you, consider a thought experiment – what would you regret or feel gratitude for on your deathbed? This question encapsulates the best evidence of the true meaning and purpose of life – and the key to making it worth living.
Human beings are fascinating creatures.
Within us, there exists a natural pharmacy that rewards certain actions with euphoria-producing chemicals – for example, dating and the feeling of lust and falling in love floods the brain with some pretty desirable chemistry as reproduction and happy relationships are intensely meaningful propositions.
Not to mention the instinct to busy ourselves with the survival of the species. Conversely, the brain’s pharmacist doles out those pesky dysphoric stress hormones when in danger.
In staying consistent with the last example, consider breakups. These situations can symbolize the dissolution of a deeply meaningful part of life, thus vastly reducing desirable brain chemistry.
Recovery from depression means making some changes.
But don’t worry: We can do that together. Here are some of the things we’ll work in…
Looking at how problems get solved can make a big difference – being effective produces a sense of accomplishment.
An important skill in maintaining a positive core belief of oneself is the ability to manage issues. When problems overwhelm, exponential regressions begin. For example, stress at work leaves little tolerance for parenting. Your mood becomes irritable, and emotional hangovers make problems much more likely. The energy to think on your feet and remain uninhibited by negativity produces countless opportunities for continued suffering.
Therapy can assist with reversing trajectory. We will break down the steps and plan to manage situations more effectively.
Taking on too much can be exhausting.
The desire to be a hero and do it all for everyone can smack you right in the face. Since distress tolerance is limited – granted can grow with practice – it’s important to remember to stay humble and remember the wise words of the flight attendant, “Put your own oxygen mask on before helping your neighbor.” This is because it’s impossible to help anyone after being rendered unconscious.
Setting boundaries and holding others accountable is crucial. Helping others is useful and meaningful, yet other priorities need attention, too; i.e., self-care, work, commitments, the pursuit of other goals, family, etc. Needless to say, when those elements are neglected, there are usually adverse consequences to mood.
In therapy, we can practice the fine art of balancing skills/juggling, teaching you how to delegate responsibility so that you’re not carrying so much on your own. Self-respect is a prerequisite to a fulfilling life.
Remember, it’s impossible to love another more than you love yourself… If that’s hard to understand – consider this, it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup. Thoughts, beliefs, and lifestyle choices are contagious – depressive pain is, too.
Learning to cope with stress…
When you’re depressed with tunnel vision, it’s easy to forget to eat, sleep, exercise, or participate in activities. That’s unfortunate because self-care increases your distress tolerance.
Therapy can help keep self-care at the forefront of priorities. Together, we will uncover the parts of life that are falling short. Next, we will plan to address them as aggressively as you’re comfortable with, thus, replenishing reserves of positive brain chemistry. In other words, I can help you remember not to neglect yourself.
How do you evaluate various factors when making decisions? When you’re depressed, fear and avoidance sometimes take center stage, preventing you from healthy risk-taking.
“My appetite is gone, and I have no energy… Working out makes me feel better, but I can’t get out of bed. Besides, I’ll just feel guilty about the membership when I give up after going once.”
“I was given an interview for a job I want – but look at me, I’m overweight and will screw it up anyway. What’s the point of taking a job just to get fired?”
Drunk on depressive brain chemistry, negative decision-making loops steal any hope to crawl out of the abyss. When depression influences thinking and decision-making,
Drunk on depressive brain chemistry, self-deprecating, negative thoughts are accepted as “devastating and irrefutable fact.” These “so-called facts” then morph into negative decisions, thus seizing any meaningful opportunities.
Changing the narrative…
Seeing adversity through a different lens can drastically improve your quality of life. Looking at challenges as mountains to conquer (rather than malevolent, unnecessary forces of useless suffering) can result in drastic improvements.
We are social beings. Without meaningful relationships, anyone is likely to become depressed!
Therapy improves your relationships by helping you push through the fear and anxiety of potential rejection.
Finding the light at the end of the tunnel…
Getting back in touch with your interests and dreams is incredibly important. It might mean changing careers, taking on a hobby, or repairing a damaged relationship.
An accurate picture of the situation informs the work we’ll do. Looking at all areas of life that influence mood, we will uncover and target any deficiencies and formulate a plan of action – one at a time. We will do this at whatever pace works best for you. In addition, the benefit of being heard and validated by a compassionate therapist can be healing in and of itself. I feel that it’s also important to demystify the therapeutic process. Therefore, I will work diligently with you to ensure you’re equipped with a clear understanding of the work done in therapy every step of the way.
Your recovery starts right here… right now.
Fear, doubt, and negative core beliefs can stop anyone in their tracks. If you’re lucky enough to have found the desire for something better and have even a grain of strength, make a move and reach out – recovery is the accumulation of all the times we break our nature – the results of these small efforts will astonish you!
Moments of inspiration only come once in a while. Don’t let this one pass.
Consultations are always free, and there’s no commitment. Let’s talk about your concerns: (561) 717-3227.