What exactly is depression?
Depression is so difficult, it's hard to describe fully. One of my clients said it was like having lead in his veins, he felt so heavy and slow. I thought that was a great description. It's beyond sadness, it often is extremely emotionally painful, sometimes numbing. There are a lot of variations, we are all unique individuals. The commonalities include - very down moods, sleeping too much or not enough, low appetite or poor food choices, forgetting or putting off many basics (like getting your gas tank filled or going food shopping). Everything that used to be routine feels like it's just too much. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are often part of depression. It can come on slowly, even over years, or feel more sudden - especially after a loss or shocking situation. I actually experienced a pretty serious depression myself, so I know how it really feels. Even though it was a long time ago, there are certain things we don’t forget.
How do people manage with depression?
Many people who have depression wait until a season or two pass, hoping that "maybe I'll feel better in the spring" or summer, or fall. You may have waited until after an event, a wedding, a graduation, the birth of a child - just wanting to get through until that event came about. Well, that event happened, you got through it, maybe enjoyed it some, but here you are, still feeling awful.
How do I explain it to my family, my friends?
You may have spoken to friends or family, or you may have kept it all to yourself. Friends and family will try to be helpful, but they often just don't know what to say, and are worried for you. They try to say positive things, hoping that will cheer you up. They try to be encouraging, but that feels like they just don't get it. They may judge you and tell you to "just pull yourself up by your bootstraps", or " just get over it" - it's not unusual for people to say things like that. They have no idea what it's really like. If they were depressed themselves at some point in their lives, they have really suppressed the memory of what it's like, they don't want to be reminded - they may be short with you about it. They can try to mean well, but it sure doesn't feel that way.
I know it's hard to reach out to someone you don't even know. I can help you, though. It can't hurt to call me - I will call you back and I will talk it over with you, hopefully I'm the right person for YOU. If you want to see if I'm the right therapist for you, call me ~ 609 841 9159 ~ call if you are in Gallup, NM or elsewhere, distance is not a problem!