Depression is widely discussed, but not widely understood and the symptoms of depression often aren’t what we assume they are. We tend to think of sadness and while sad mood may be a part of depression it can also be part of normal grief or life stress. Whether or not you’re feeling sad, signs of depression can also include a sense of emptiness, feeling easily overwhelmed by simple tasks, feeling hopeless or helpless, feelings of guilt, losing pleasure in life, changes in sleep or eating, or feelings of hating oneself. If you’re experiencing these, they’re serious warning signs that something is not right and that you should reach out.
The causes of depression are also not widely understood, but we do know that chemistry alone does not explain it all. Much of it can be tied to circumstances in our life, whether they were formative experiences that happened in the past or current circumstances that feel overwhelming. Either way, talk therapy can help you find reasons for and relief from your feelings. Good psychotherapy will help you address the self-blame that hounds you while helping you find a way out of the patterns you’re in. We’ll hold your hand when you need it, and we’ll challenge you when that’s the right thing to do, too. In addition to talking productively about your problems, we’ll often engage in behavioral strategies that are crucial to getting you un-stuck.