“Depression feels forever and all-encompassing, but it’s not. Start scratching the edges of the dark, and let even the tiniest pinpricks of light guide you out.”
— Emily K. Fitton
For #depressionawarenessmonth we published an article where 100 people told us what depression feels like to them. The answers were raw, powerful, and for anyone who has ever experienced depression - affirming of what can often feel like a nameless, faceless disease. We took that list and sent it to our therapists, and asked them how they might talk about depression to a new patient. Just like every person describes and experiences their depression differently, every therapist has a different understanding and approach for navigating depression with their clients. Every single therapist wanted y’all to know that you don’t have to experience depression alone, and that you do not need to continue suffering. Therapy is one of the most effective tools for alleviating depression and creating coping options for wobbly moments. If you’re interested in starting your therapy journey, head over to our personalized questionnaire to find your perfect match! We all lose our footing sometimes, and we all deserve a hand to pull us back up.
Here’s what our therapists had to say:
It feels forever and all-encompassing, but it’s not. Start scratching the edges of the dark, and let even the tiniest pinpricks of light guide you out:
“A lot of people experiences a spectrum of depression, where it comes in different forms and shapes. It may be reflected in how they perceive themselves in relation to others, it may be observable in their behaviors that implies sadness. I validate my client’s feelings to let them know that it’s real, and it counts. I provide psychoeducation that feelings are fluid, and we can learn to attune to them to see what our emotions are telling us, but that during this process all our feelings are always valid. I explore how early childhood plays a role with their current day depression, what depression means to them, what did they learn about emotions and about self soothing. Sometimes depression comes from what we internalized about ourselves from our environment, and that includes early parental interactions. I validate that we aren’t here to blame parents, but early attachments and interpretations of the world does get internalized and we want to work to process that, to see how it is affecting us today, and together how we can make that change. If my client is able to see that I can be patience and be there with them in this process, they start with a reparative relationship in our sessions that had a ripple effect to the relationship with themselves and to others around them, allowing for stronger awareness and connections.”
Depression has multiple causes, many of which are not within your control. Depression is treatable. There are numerous effective treatments for depression. Depression can be seen as a dysregulation in one or more aspects of your life: physical, emotional, social, or spiritual. And because it’s related to all of these areas, the solution also lies in these places. For example, isolation is a common aspect of depression. Did the person become depressed because they were isolated, or did they start to isolate because they were depressed? The answer is irrelevant, but the solution – more social involvement – is part of the cure.
Form a therapeutic alliance. Finding a caring therapist who can empathize with you is the first, and most important step when seeking treatment for depression. The connection with your therapist is more important that any specific therapy technique or modality.”
It is a deep rooted fear, significant loss, embedded shame, or a persistent disappointment. Depression sometimes is protecting us from feeling something else, something more that we are not yet ready or able to feel.
It can manifest in ways that are not what people necessarily expect; anger or irritability instead of sadness for example, but what I find is always there is that on some level people blame themselves for it and this blame and the guilt and shame that follow are what propel the downward spiral. Depression is also very treatable and there are many, many treatment options out there. Working with a good therapist who can help you identify and correct negative thought patterns and guide your treatment is the first step in reconnecting to the world.”
There are light and airy Springs, where the air is just right and the sun feels good on the skin. There are brutally cold and dark winters, where you feel as if you’re suffocating underneath five feet of snow. There are scorching hot summers, where you’d hate to leave the AC for a beach day, even when it looks like everyone else is having fun. And there are crisp autumns, where the brilliant colors are so bright that you feel the hope fill your lungs. These seasons are what brings beauty to the healing of depression that isn’t always picturesque. Everyone has seasons, some are just stronger than others. You are not broken. You are a wonderfully made ecosystem that sustains life.”
We hope these responses were helpful! It is our mission to show y’all that every therapist out there is unique and different, just like you. At MyWellbeing, we humanize the process of finding a therapist by focusing on your individual needs first and logistics second. Our matchmaking process is meant to alleviate a lot of the stress of the search, because we know how overwhelming it is to get help when you feel helpless. If you’re in NYC and interested in giving therapy a try, check out our questionnaire. Big thanks to our contributing therapists for their thoughtful words of wisdom and helpful ideas, and if one of the therapist’s referenced above really spoke to you, go head and tap their name to check out their MyWellbeing profile!
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Haley Jakobson is a writer of plays, poetry, and creative non-fiction. In her writing Haley explores mental health and wellness, sex and trauma, queerness, and bodies. When she isn’t scribbling on the subway, she is hanging out with the MWB team as their Digital Content Manager, and acting as the Artistic Director and co-founder of Brunch Theatre Company, an inclusive platform for emerging theatre artists to join the conversation. A poet in the millennial era, Haley reaches an audience of 11k+ readers on her instagram page. Haley lives in Brooklyn and is a gemini.