Depression is one of the biggest issues dealt with in therapy. Clients who come to therapy seeking help with this condition, often have a hard time even getting out of bed to attend the session. If you are suffering from depression, you should know that you can overcome it. Between taking prescribed medications and going to sessions to explore the issues that are causing the depressive symptoms, you can learn strategies to bring yourself out of the depressive state of mind. It is challenging to think yourself into a new way of acting - especially when your mind is telling you it isn't worth it, or shows you all the reasons it will fail. This will only fuel the feelings and emotions that are keeping you at bay from making changes. So rather than listen to those thoughts running in your head that are often dictated by negative feelings, why not try to act your way into a new way of thinking? Rather than feeling indecisive in figuring out if you want to go for a walk (for example), why not simply put one foot in front of the other and begin moving forward? If you can only walk along your neighborhood street, then that's great! If you can try to go farther, then gently and lovingly push yourself to try a little more. A walking exercise routine can be a great way to clear your mind and help center you as you focus on what needs to be done next.
Depression often comes from feelings of being overwhelmed, or at a loss of knowing what action to take about some concern we hold, or simply not feeling that we have worth. All of these are valid emotions, but they do not have to remain our reality. You and I can choose what we embrace into our minds and hearts. Those beliefs about ourselves and how we see where we are in this life can have a major impact on where we go and what we do. We have choices, to stay where we are and focus on those things that we do not have, or to create movement for achieving better. This too will have an impact in taking down some of the bricks around our feelings that depression creates, allowing us to feel like we can breathe and begin to enjoy a full life again.
Counselors are typically well trained to deal with issues of clients suffering from depression. They recognize that it can be a dangerous condition that can lead to extreme negative actions, like drug use and suicide. If you suffer from depression, counseling can be a supportive place where your thoughts and feelings can be examined in a safe environment. As a counselor who has worked with many clients suffering from depression, the key element in making progress with a prospective client like yourself is the honesty and openness you bring to the sessions about what you are feeling. Don't be afraid to say, "I feel like harming myself", if that is how you feel, or "I have no motivation to do the things I use to do" if that is a present feeling. Often times acknowledging that we have these feelings can be a key factor in taking away some of its power from your life that prevent you from living it fully. Consider how counseling might benefit you with an opportunity to explore the effects of depression you might be dealing with now - however mild or severe. Be willing to say "Yes" to the opportunity of having more energy in your life.
Shawn Thomas Berthel M.S., is the owner of Life Path Counseling PLLC, and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He lives in University Place, Washington.