Depression

Growing_past_depressionIf you are suffering with depression I am glad you have found your way to this page with information, tools you can use now and how to schedule a meeting  with me.  I promise you, depression will not hang around forever and depression can take over our mind, body, work and relationships.  Trying to get unstuck from depression often requires a safe, compassionate and skilled therapeutic relationship.

Depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control, affects 10% of the US Population at any given time.  Sure, any of us can have a bad day or even a bad week but unlike a bad day or week, depression impacts our ability to function in our social, professional and personal lives.

What are the signs that I might be depressed?

  • Feeling sad, anxious or bored with little ability to shift out of that space
  • Low energy, feeling tired or fatigued or alternately feeling irritable and even very angry
  • Under-sleeping or over-sleeping,waking frequently during the night
  • Poor concentration, thinking slowed down
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, family or social life
  • Low self-esteem and feelings of guilt
  • Aches and pains with no physical basis, e.g. chest, head or tummy pain  associated with anxiety or stress
  • Loss of interest in living, thinking about death, suicidal thoughts
  • Sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Thinking that it will always be this way

What causes depression?
Depression has a number of possible causes. For some people, it happens because of a traumatic life event such as death of a loved one, relationship breakdown, financial stress, change of life stress like parenthood, moves, health problems or from a build up of small stressors over time that take its toll on the mind and body and impact the brain’s functioning.

What should I do if I think I am depressed?
1.   If you or your loved ones are worried you might harm yourself  the most important thing you should do first is be around people and not be left alone and should either go to the nearest emergency room or call the Suicide Prevention Line @ 415.781.0500.

2. If you are not in danger of harming yourself, you should speak to a doctor or mental health professional in order to get a correct diagnosis and treatment.  I would be a professional that could give you a diagnosis and treatment for your depression. You can access my schedule and openings here.

Are there some immediate things I can do right now?

  • Move your body: exercise has a big impact on our psyche and when we are depressed everything has been slowed down.  It will be hard to do but if you can do it, go for it.  Try just leaning your back against the wall right now and slide down until your legs are in a 90 degree angle and hold that for as long as you can.  Go outside in sunshine and walking briskly has been shown to impact mood and it is free.
  • Mindfulness: getting unhooked from the thinking that tells you you suck, the future sucks and relationships suck.  All of that is a story the mind is tricking you with.   Mindfulness can be done in any number of ways.  Try laying on the floor, flat on your back, and starting from your feet, working up to your head, concentrate on one body part at a time and relax it completely.  If your mind wanders, just say out loud, thinking, and come back to that body part.
  • Be Social: I know I know, hard to do when you are depressed, but it will lift have an impact on your mood.  We need another person’s brain waves to help us adjust ours.
  • Thinking Workout: You can also begin challenging your thoughts using the best of cognitive behavior therapy.  Here are a few workouts to get your started;

Unhelpful Thinking Styles Tip Sheet
Automatic Thought Record Worksheet