Is it normal to feel depressed?
The short answer is “YES”. People go through depression for many different reasons.
In the counseling world we use a term, when appropriate, called situational depression. Situational depression is a short-term form of depression that typically happens after a traumatic or life-changing event that affects your everyday living. It could be a marriage ending, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or an unexpected illness. These are all common times when sadness happens… and this is normal.
But this doesn’t mean that you have to live with it.
Do you have a hard time feeling “happy”? Most of us do from time to time. You’ve felt this way for a while… but there is plenty of happiness left.
You might be depressed. The good news is… it’s not uncommon.
Let’s be real, depression affects over 16 million people in the US each year. But who likes to feel like this? No one!
Before you head off to the drug store to pick up depression medications… I highly recommend giving counseling a try.
Depression is a complex illness, that affects multiple systems in your body and as counselors we understand what you are going through.
When depression goes untreated it starts affecting multiple areas of your life. Depression can manifest itself in many different ways. Do you ever experience any of these?
- Trouble concentrating
- Feelings of guilt
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
An approach to working with depression
Most people who struggle with depression think that they have nothing to look forward to in life.
But somewhere deep down they know that really isn’t true.
That’s where a counselor or therapist comes in. We help show people the light at the end of the tunnel. As a counselor, I challenge depression utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT has the highest success rate as an evidence-based model used to treat depression. It is also considered a brief therapy option. In very simple terms, CBT should be effective in a short amount of time.
The interventions in CBT help you find hope again by reframing destructive thoughts. Those thoughts will be replaced with statements that are real and true. Your negative thoughts are not the only areas targeted however. In CBT there is a component where you work to get your behaviors back on track too. Remember all those things you used to enjoy doing? Those things that made you smile?
If you are struggling with thoughts about wanting to harm yourself or someone else, please call 911 or visit your local emergency room.
Finding a counselor in your area is easier than you may think. I highly recommend visiting Psychology Today to find a counselor who specializes in depression in your area. You can also specify if you would prefer a counselor who utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to filter your matches.