A woman sits alone in her apartment with a glass of wine, curled up on the couch after what felt like an impossibly draining day at work. The glow of the TV reflects off of the tears streaming down her face. Tears of exhaustion. Tears of frustration. Tears of hopelessness.
She knows that she would probably feel a little bit better if she got up and took a walk outside, but her whole body feels dreadfully heavy, like she's wearing one of those lead X-ray blankets. And the hole, that black hole in her chest that feels like a vortex of emptiness, is swirling and spinning and sucking her last remaining shred of hope away.
And she wonders out loud to the darkness of the living room, "Will I ever stop feeling like this?" "Will I ever get out of this cycle of depression and live a 'normal' life again?"
There, I said it. No sugar-coating the truth. It sucks on so many levels that I can't even list them all here. But if you are going through a dark patch right now, then you'll know what I mean. The lead X-ray blanket feeling, the black hole vortex, the involuntary crying at inopportune moments, the bone-tired exhaustion, the feeling of emptiness, and on and on and on. I know.
And I know what it is like to lose hope. To wonder if the viscous cycle will ever end. To know that you don't want to keep feeling like this anymore, but to not have enough energy to change things.
"Sometimes when you're in a dark place you think you've been buried, but actually you've been planted." ~Christine Caine
It Gets Better
If you are in a dark place right now, I know it will be hard to fathom how things could possibly get better. But I swear to you, I've seen it happen time and time again. I have seen my clients recover from depression, grow in ways that they never thought possible, and get back to living happier and healthier lives again.
I know the thought of doing anything about it probably feels like it would take a Herculean amount of effort right now, and you just can't spare any energy. I get it. But change doesn't require us to start with a big leap. It can be, and usually is, the smallest of baby steps that gets the ball of change rolling. Something as small as going to sit outside for a few minutes, rather than plopping down in front of the TV or pulling the covers over your head (however tempting it may be!).
I have seen the effect of small, steady changes on healing from depression, and I assure you, they do work.
You Don't Have To Do It Alone
Oftentimes, people struggling with depression will withdraw from those who could support them. It might be that you feel like a burden on others, it might be that you are tired of putting on a "brave face", it might be the fear that others will not understand your pain. All of these are completely natural things to feel. And, they also get in the way of healing.
Because of the stigma around seeking treatment, nearly 40% of people suffering from depression don't receive the treatment they need (National Institute of Mental Health). If this is you, I invite you to ask yourself whether you would be willing to risk stepping outside your comfort zone if it meant you might feel better?
Depression Treatment Can Help
I have seen and experienced the value of depression treatment first hand. I have helped clients crawl out of the hole of depression to live fuller lives than they could possibly have imagined. Sometimes depression can be like the grain of sand in an oyster that irritates and causes us pain until we take action and surround it with love and kindness...thus creating a beautiful pearl that would not have otherwise existed. But you don't have to take my word for it...
According to the National Institute of Health, up to 80% of people who seek treatment for their depression show improvement in their symptoms within four to six weeks. Treatment could include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Multiple studies have shown that Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are as effective as antidepressant medication for people suffering from depression.
For an added boost in treatment effectiveness, incorporating nature-based therapies into depression treatment can help reduce stress hormones and boost mood over and above the results measured in office settings (Selhub & Logan, Your Brain on Nature).
Is It Time For a Change?
If the examples above resonate with you or if you think you might be suffering from depression, then fill out the form below to set up a free consult. I would be happy to talk with you about your situation and discuss treatment options that could help. I offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and nature-based therapies for depression.
If you would like to learn more about what depression treatment looks like, check out the Depression Treatment page.