Coping With Depression: How Therapy Can Help You Unleash Deeper Happiness

Depression is a conniving thief. It can rob you from your happiness, your sense of purpose, and your daily routine. It can drag you into the darkest of dark places and leave you feeling stranded and hopeless. Depression doesn’t discriminate, and it can strike without mercy.

If you’ve been coping with depression, you know the challenges associated with trying to take care of yourself. You know that it can feel like you’re swimming against the current- without a life vest!

Managing depression on your own may seem admirable, but if you’re still struggling (or if your symptoms are worsening), it may be time to consider seeking professional support. Therapy can provide you with a nonjudgmental space to work through your feelings- and unleash a more profound sense of potential and fulfillment.

Why Seek Therapy For Depression?

Why seek therapy in the first place? After all, can’t you just talk about your feelings with a supportive friend? Shouldn’t you just stretch it out in a yoga class?

While these resources can undoubtedly help, depression is a mental illness affecting over 300 million people around the world. Just like you should refer to a doctor for a physical health condition, it makes sense to consult with an expert for this condition as well.

Therapy is not friendship, although your therapist may seem warm, compassionate, and safe (almost like a good friend). However, your therapist will also help you untangle your depression in many ways that may include:

  • Examining the origins of your depression (family patterns, trauma issues)
  • Assessing your current lifestyle choices
  • Exploring the thinking patterns associated with your depression
  • Reviewing healthy vs. unhealthy coping skills
  • Providing education about depression and recovery resources
  • Making referrals for other healthcare support (psychiatrists, support groups)

As you can see, the therapy process is multifaceted. On the one hand, you will receive support and unconditional positive regard from someone who understands your condition. Likewise, you will also receive viable solutions that will help you manage your symptoms in a healthier way.

When Should You Seek Therapy?

There isn’t a “perfect” time to enter therapy. That said, many people wait until they feel crippled by their symptoms before asking for help. Waiting too long often results in more suffering, which can also result in more consequences associated with your depression.

Some people worry that their symptoms aren’t “bad enough.” They may worry about wasting the therapist’s time, or they may assume that other people are “sicker.” These fallacies can also cause more suffering and deeper feelings of shame, guilt, and worthlessness.

At any given moment, you are allowed to pursue treatment. You don’t need to know if you have a specific diagnosis. You don’t need to meet any certain criteria. You only need to have the willingness to ask for help.

How Long Does Therapy Take?

The length of treatment depends on many variables including:

  • Past experiences in therapy
  • The severity of the depression
  • Presence of other medical or psychiatric issues
  • Other treatment goals

Successful therapy also requires strong rapport between you and your therapist. The process of trusting and opening up to your therapist may take time, and that is perfectly reasonable. Likewise, your therapeutic progress may not always feel linear. It’s normal to experience setbacks throughout your treatment, and it’s also standard to feel like things are getting worse before they get better.

What Are Realistic Therapy Goals for Coping with Depression?

There isn’t a cure for depression. However, there is management and recovery. With the right tools and resources, you can live a happy and fulfilling life regardless of your condition.

Your goals for treatment will vary depending on your individual needs. Some examples of realistic goals include:

  • Learning how to implement healthy self-care into daily living
  • Setting boundaries with other people who may be causing problems in your life
  • Improving work or school performance
  • Building a healthy support network
  • Learning how to cope with difficult emotions (stress, anger, shame, fear)
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Feeling more empowered in decision-making skills
  • Reducing or eliminating harmful thoughts or behavior (self-harm, suicidal ideation)

You and your therapist will collaborate on the best treatment goals for your needs. These goals may evolve, and it’s normal to revisit them as your therapy progresses.

Getting Help For Your Depression

Asking for support is the first step, but it’s one of the bravest steps you can take! Together, we can work on coping with depression and finding healthier ways to heal. Together, we can collaborate on how you can define and build your best life. Contact me today to get started!

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 988-3363

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