Over time we experience moments of happiness and sadness, joy and grief, and many feelings in between. Emotions can shift for many reasons, whether it is due to day-to-day stress or major changes in our lives. Throughout these highs and lows, there may be times where we feel stuck in a low point, feeling like there isn’t a way out. If you find yourself feeling sad often and you are having trouble finding happiness in things that used to bring you joy, you may be experiencing a period of depression. Depression can arise following a specific challenge or circumstance in your life, or it may come on unexpectedly.
Signs of Depression
Depression not only affects your mood. In times of depression you may also experience some of the following:
- Sleeping too much or having difficulty sleeping
- Feeling tired often
- A lack of appetite or overeating
- Feeling lonely and isolated from others
- Frequent negative thoughts
- Suicidal thoughts and/or thoughts related to death
- Homicidal thoughts
Coping with Depression
A period of depression affects many aspects of life, including employment, education, parenting, and relationships. You may find yourself having less contact with others, having trouble focusing, or becoming more overwhelmed and/or angry throughout the day. The use of coping skills can improve our mood, lifestyle, and relationships with others. Identifying strategies for coping can reduce the negative effect that depression has on our emotional wellbeing and daily living. It is important to find the coping skills that work best for you. Effective coping skills can vary based on your interests, lifestyle, and ways in which you experience depression. There are many tools that can be helpful in coping with depression.
Some of these tools include:
● Exploring and shifting negative thoughts
● Spending time/having contact with friends, family, and loved ones
● Physical Exercise
The Benefits of Working with a Professional
Engaging in therapy with a mental health professional can assist you in identifying the coping skills that work best for you. Therapy has been shown to be effective in treating depression through multiple treatment models, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behavioral Activation, and Mindfulness. These treatment options can help you gain a new perspective on negative thoughts, improve relaxation, and increase motivation to participate in activities and engage in action towards your goals.
We understand the difficulty in reaching out for help; we are here to assist you during this time. Without professional support, depression can feel lonely,
overwhelming, and unmanageable. You may have found yourself trying to cope with depression in ways that have been unhealthy, or even harmful. Therapy is a safe place to talk about what you are experiencing and receive tools and techniques to best help you cope with depression.
If you, or a loved one, feel you are experiencing signs of depression, call Hope Avenue Counseling and schedule your free 15 minute phone consultation. We will discuss treatment options to best meet your needs and support you on your path towards healing.