Has Every Day Become A Struggle?

Do you constantly feel sad, lonely, lethargic or irritable? Have you stopped engaging in activities that you once enjoyed because they’ve lost their meaning and/or no longer bring you joy? Maybe you’re stuck in a cycle of negative self-talk and feel ineffective, insignificant and worthless. You might be struggling to concentrate and make decisions or feel so fatigued that you can barely maintain your regular work or school schedule or responsibilities, let alone get out of bed and make it through the day. Are you struggling to connect with family members, friends and colleagues, not wanting them to see you so sad, despite feeling isolated and alone? It might be that you feel guilty, ashamed or confused about how disconnected and down you feel. While you want to break free from this dark place, do you feel increasingly helpless and hopeless to make a change? Do you wish you could experience peace of mind, feel connected to others, take control of your thoughts and feelings, and experience a sense of renewed hope and joy?

Or, maybe you’re a parent deeply concerned about your teenager and wondering if his or her sadness, withdrawal, self-isolation or irritable behavior is a symptom of depression. You might be concerned about how often your teen negatively compares himself or herself to others and worry about his or her ability to function well in an increasingly complicated world. And, while you may desperately want to help your teen, you may feel at a total loss about what to do.

For adults and teens, living with depression can be a lonely experience. Each day might feel increasingly difficult or bleak. You may have even begun to struggle to see the meaning in anything and/or the purpose of your life. You might also be stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts about yourself, focusing on perceived limitations, failures, guilt, shame and impending doom. In an attempt to feel something different—or even anything at all—you might be engaging in self-harming behavior or self-medicating with drugs, alcohol or food, but nothing you try brings any sustainable relief. Maybe you wonder if this is just the way life is and will continue to be.

You Are Not Alone

If you and/or your teenager is struggling with depression, you are not alone. Depression affects 10 percent of the population. And, while depression seems to be on the rise in women age 25-45, it can affect anyone of any age, gender or background at any time.

Some people are pre-dispositioned to depression and/or grew up with a depressed parent or sibling. Others experience depression following a loss, trauma or a life transition, especially if the transition was unexpected or unwanted, which is often the case with divorce, job loss, financial struggle or the loss of a dream. Still others develop depression when their anxiety becomes so severe that it feels overwhelming or when unresolved childhood trauma surfaces and seems to take over.

We also live in a society that is increasingly difficult to navigate. Teens are dealing with cyber-bullying, comparing themselves to others online and the other pressures to fit in, do well in school and adjust to society at large. Many young adults enter college or the workforce with no road map, yet carry the burden to perform well. Whether a nuclear family, single parent or blended family, families are increasingly busy and overwhelmed with never-ending to-do lists. It’s not surprising that so many of us feel unsupported, lost and increasingly unsure of our worth and purpose. We work hard to live up to personal and professional expectations, and it’s not uncommon to feel deflated when we fail (or think we fail) to hit our mark.

While we’re sometimes able to manage life’s inevitable curveballs on our own, there are times when seeking help for depression becomes vital to our wellbeing. A skilled, compassionate depression therapist can help you identify the root cause of your depression, address patterns of negative thinking, connect with your strengths and utilize untapped personal resources.

Depression Counseling Can Provide You With Support, Guidance And Relief

In safe, supportive and nonjudgmental depression therapy sessions, I can help you or your teen explore negative self-talk and fully understand where feelings of self-loathing, low motivation and/or isolating behaviors are coming from. As we develop a trusting relationship and you begin to deconstruct the stories you’ve been telling yourself, we can question how much of the consuming narrative is actually true. We can challenge personal beliefs, such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worth it,” and get to the heart of this negative thinking. In the safety of my office, I can help you unravel all of the pieces, identify the parts of you that are in pain, address and release unresolved trauma and discover strengths within yourself that you never realized existed.

Each person experiences depression differently, which is why I’ll create a depression treatment plan that best addresses and supports your specific needs, personality, history and therapy goals. Depending on what works for you, we’ll draw from approaches, such as EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Mindfulness, all of which have been proven highly effective in treating depression. We’ll also work collaboratively to identify and build upon the strengths within you to tackle the despair and isolation that you feel. We’ll explore your internal and external resources and identify where you do have control in your own life, equipping you to better navigate external challenges and take action to move toward hope rather than stay stuck in despair. Essentially, you can realize that depression is just one part of you, and that part can be both challenged and nurtured.

Regardless of the severity of your depression or how it has impacted your life, there is help and hope. With the guidance and support of a compassionate therapist, you can tap into your personal strength and increase resiliency. Life can be hard, but through the depression counseling process, you can build upon your strengths, connect to your wisest self and feel empowered to affect the change you want to see in your life.

You still may have questions or concerns about depression therapy…

Does a depression diagnosis mean that I’ll need to go on an antidepressant medication?

Medication in tandem with therapy can be an effective part of depression treatment, especially if your depression is severe or chronic. It can help to mitigate symptoms enough so that you’re able to engage in the therapy process and other important aspects of your life. It can also be used to help stabilize your mood as you develop the insight and skills needed to affect and sustain long-term change and relief. Essentially, the decision is up to you, and we can work together to develop a treatment plan that best addresses and supports your needs and therapy goals.

I know that I need help, but I feel too overwhelmed to even entertain the idea of traveling to sessions.

Regardless of how helpless, hopeless or overwhelmed you feel right now, change is possible. And, sometimes the relief you desire comes with addressing what is bothering you and no longer hiding from it. You just need to take the first step in seeking help. If you feel more comfortable in your own home, we can begin the therapy process through sessions via phone or Skype.

I tried depression treatment in the past, and it didn’t work. I’m losing hope that anything or anyone can help.

It is so important that you don’t give up, and I firmly believe that there is always hope for healing. Regardless of past attempts that may not have worked, I invite you to take a risk in seeking help. In initial sessions, we can discuss what has and hasn’t worked in the past so we can build upon what has helped and find other solutions to continue moving you toward feeling better. I will work with you in a compassionate and supportive environment and develop a therapy approach and plan that works specifically for you.

Tap Into A Bigger And Brighter Life

If you or your teen is struggling with depression in South LA county or North and South Orange County, I invite you to call my office line at 949-342-4585 for a complimentary 15-minute consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific experience with depression, answer any questions you have about depression counseling and my practice and decide how we could best work together to support your needs and goals.