Major Depressive Disorder is one of the major reasons people come to therapy. It is safe to say that we have all had a depressive period at some point in our lives. It is part of being human. Perhaps it was a bad breakup, difficulty with pregnancy, health issues, death of someone, or difficulty transitioning into new phases of life.
The difference between a bout of depression in response to an event versus the depression that I am discussing here is that bouts generally end. The people I see tend to struggle with coming out of the depressive hole.
I often hear them explain their experiences as:
- “I feel blah"
- “I no longer enjoy the things that I used to"
- "I am angry or irritable"
- "I am arguing with loved ones"
- "I am crying more than usual"
- "I can’t get off of the couch"
- “What is wrong with me?”
- "I wish I wasn't here anymore"
This can become so intense that some people begin to think about suicide.
It isn’t always because they want to entertain such an idea, it just pops into the mind as a possible solution and it is terrifying. Some sit with it for so long that they begin to plan what they would do.
Sometimes depression, (that emptiness), is the cause, and at others it is the result of other issues -- either way, both instances are debilitating. Some other issues can be anxiety, OCD, phobias, trauma, or medical issues.
Depression can make it impossible to execute one’s life skills, complete activities, or take the steps necessary to get out of the depressive hole.
I often hear my clients putting the blame on themselves, that they are incompetent, and should be able to work through it on their own.
The truth is that depression can be so crippling that it becomes physically impossible to defeat.
I would go as far as saying that it is biologically impossible.
The void that many experience is like a blanket of darkness, leaving feelings of heaviness and immobility.
When this paralysis occurs, therapy is essential to move out of the void.
We think that because things are only in our heads that only we have control over them. But we do not.
These things navigate us unless we get on top of them and by this I mean seeking out some sort of professional help to deal with what is ailing us.
Most important is clicking with a therapist because this will be a journey. By clicking I mean feeling comfortable, trusting their competency, and liking their personality.
The road can be long and feeling connected enriches, develops, and ensures success in this process.
- If you relate to any of the symptoms I have described, I strongly urge you to contact a therapist.
- Be kind to yourself. Remember that this is biological, that there is chemical reasoning behind it.
- Address underlying biological issues that may be contributing to or causing your depression.
- Don’t stop pursuing answers until you find something that makes you feel better. There is a plethora of approaches, keep trying until you find your answer.