Feeling numbed out to the world
Irritability or anger
Sadness, hopelessness, or despair
No desire to do things that once were enjoyable
Lack of self-care, like bathing or wearing clean clothes
Self-harm, or thoughts of suicide
Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
Are you experiencing feelings of sadness that do not seem to go away? Do you feel numbed out to the world around you, like you're walking in a constant haze, separated from the rest of the world? Have you lost interest in doing the things that used to bring you pleasure and joy?
Are these feelings making it difficult to go on with life as usual, like cleaning your living space, completing assignments, or making it in to work? If so, you may be experiencing depression and counseling might be a solution for you.
Depression is born as a way to cope with life circumstances that are too painful to endure. In this way, depression is protective: stay isolated and numb so you don't get hurt. But all too often, when those difficult and painful experiences end, our bodies and minds continue to respond to the world in this protective way so we end up feeling completely disjointed from what is going on around us.
Mindfulness-based counseling may be a part of your solution.
How Mindfulness-Based Therapy Can Help
Mindfulness is a present state-of-awareness where you see what is actually going on, free from judgment about how things are or how we would rather have them be. With depression, our minds often get stuck in remembering the wrongs that have happened to us, the ways we wish things would've, could've, should've been, so much so that we lose a connection with how things actually are.
Mindfulness practices, such as yoga, meditation, and purposeful mindful conversations that will happen in our therapy can help you notice the ways your thoughts and emotions are shaping your reality so you can live in the here and now, not the there and then.
Together, we can learn how your past experiences of being hurt have become the way you see yourself and continue your painful experience of life today. As I mentioned above, depression is a coping strategy, a way of dealing with life's pains and struggles. By learning how to use your mental and bodily energy to bring in a different experience of life in the present moment with a supportive guide by your side, you are replacing old coping strategies with new ones that are more aligned with your values, dreams, and life goals.
I've felt this way for a long time, how can counseling help me?
A general symptom of depression is feeling hopeless, that things could never change. Trying to find treatment for your depression by landing on this website is a major first step towards feeling better; how do you feel knowing that you're looking into getting help? Even the tiniest improvement in your attitude towards depression is a start on a new path towards wellness and wholeness.
I'm guessing that you landed here because you have realized that this sadness and apathy has gone on long enough and that maybe you need some professional help, much like the millions of people who have received treatment for their depression and found relief and a renewed energy for life. Counseling is a way to bridge painful experiences from the past with your current experience of life.
By connecting with a mental health professional, you will learn new ways of coping based on your personal history and hopes for the future. Counseling provides you with a safe place for you to be you, something that is not quite so easily available in the world-at-large. Counseling also provides you with education around mental health and when it comes to making life changes, knowledge truly is power.
How is therapy any different than talking to my friends or family?
If you have friends or family that can truly be with your deep experience of depression, can listen intently, fully focused on you, and give you better insight into your experience along with tools and skills to enhance your experience of life, by all means, tap that resource!
However, many times the people closest to us, no matter how much they care about us, can find it very difficult to be there for you in the way you need most in order to heal from depression, simply because they are not trained to do so and may not be used to hearing painful stories.
By working with a counselor, you are giving yourself the gift of a relationship that provides you with a direct, specialized source of support, care, and education about your mind and body.
Counseling allows you the space and time you need to process these deep feelings of sadness or numbness in a non-judgmental, warm, professional setting with someone who cares about your well-being and wants you to succeed. I will provide you with the tools, skills, and support you need to cope in a different way with life's many demands and struggles.
I feel so alone, no one understands me. How will you be any different?
Depression tends to leave us feeling isolated and alone; maybe your feelings weren't acknowledged by your caregivers as a child, or your well-meaning friends have told you that things really aren't that bad for you and you have a lot to be grateful for. As much as they love us, these actions hurt and can send us further into isolation.
Know that you are not alone. I personally have experienced depression and know how lonely and hopeless it can feel; I also know that therapy has been a saving grace in my life which is why I want to give this gift back to young adults going through similar pain.
I offer free 30-minute consultations on the phone or in person at my North Boulder office to better help you decide if Illumination Counseling is the right solution for you. Get in touch today at (720) 432-0224.