Depression

Losing oneself in depression, and therefore experiencing all its unfortunate repercussions, is oftentimes a misunderstood journey. It’s nearly impossible to explain, even for the individual experiencing it. Below is some helpful information to guide you through your first steps away from depression.

  • Shanti: inner peace

  • Bhāvanā: mental insight

  • Karuṇā: guided healing

What Is Depression?

Depression is a complex mental health issue that can affect all aspects of an individual’s mental and physical wellbeing. It exists as a chemical, cognitive, physical, and spiritual interaction, manifesting itself in overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, disinterest, fear, and even suicidal ideations. As with all mental health struggles, depression is a multi-faceted amalgamation of symptoms, with each individual having varied experiences and reactions. It becomes difficult to gauge normal, healthy reactions to life, such as grief, sadness, loneliness, and so on, and separate them from disproportionate depressive symptoms. The feeling of drowning in one’s own life exists at its foundation, making even small steps towards recovery seem impossible. Everyday tasks, such as hygiene, social interactions, work, even household chores, become immense obstacles and you need to know that this progression towards accepting this ‘new norm’ is reversible. Recognizing the signs of depression progression is the first step, followed by learning to cope and become a healthier you.

It becomes vital to establish the distinction between the depressive symptoms and the individual, who you are. Depression’s all-encompassing nature makes it feel as though there is no answer, no way out, and certainly no options for easing and coping with your pain. In addressing this through an integrative, body-mind therapeutic approach, your depression can be tackled from all angles, providing you with a chance to recover and find yourself again. Depression, like most mental health issues, has a source, a reason, or a combination of reasons for its existence. It’s a slow progression into a depressive episode that requires many social, cognitive, and physical factors to unfortunately align. Depression is messy, and our therapists know this and will always address your concerns, whatever they may be, with empathy and unconditional acceptance. We want to break your negative feedback loop and shine a light on what your life could be again.

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“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now” (Buddha)

Depression and Covid-19

Recent research completed during the COVID-19 quarantine found that 24% of individuals asked were experiencing some form of depressive symptoms. The financial, social, physical, and employment situation many people are in right now is less than ideal, creating a stressful context from which to cope and maintain well-being. A similar study found that 61.5% of people asked felt lonely and not socially supported, which is a major contributing factor in the progression of depression. It’s also important to mention that this quarantine is an unprecedented experience for everyone. There is no guidebook on how to handle any of these stressors, and the constant worry regarding the health and safety of those we love puts our own well-being to the side slightly. You can see how easily depressive symptoms could sneak in under these circumstances.

Remember, these are mere possibilities and can be interconnected or not involved at all.

  • Contextual/situational circumstances (COVID-19)
  • Physical imbalances/lifestyle choices
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Post-Partum (see other service page)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Clinical Depression

This list is not the end all be all and depression can take many forms.

Cognitive symptoms: hopelessness, anxiety, lack of interest in previously enjoyable things, apathy, sadness, lack of self-esteem, extended grief, low mood
Physical symptoms: weight loss or gain, fatigue, trouble sleeping (insomnia)
Behavioral symptoms: difficulty concentrating, agitation, general indifference, social distancing

Healing is a complicated journey, not an impossible one. Opening your heart and mind to your own well-being will enlighten your path and reveal your destination.
Depression can very easily become an all-consuming perspective on life. It’s more than just feeling low or sad, and starts to affect every single thing you do, or don’t do for that matter. We understand the complexity in understanding what’s happening, never mind actually seeking out counseling help. Our counseling clinic addresses depressive symptoms as separate from the whole being that you are. Utilizing an integrative approach between traditional and eastern philosophies allows us to apply whichever treatment options align with you, your life, and the source of your depressive symptoms. We emphasize the interconnectedness of the mind and body, especially within depression pathology and treatment. We believe in the power of antidepressant medication, but not as the only solution for everyone. Some of our guiding therapeutic principles can be found below, demonstrating our integration of western psychology and eastern, naturopathic methods. The following are some, but not all, of the therapeutic methods we use to lead you forward.

Our Therapeutic Approaches

Holistic & Transpersonal

Your sense of self is an interaction between your mind, body, and spirit, and so is your depressive experience. The integrative nature of the source and symptoms of your depression requires holistic and complete treatment options.

Depression manifests itself in varying physical ways, aside from the cognitive generalizations of sadness, lowness, and lack of enthusiasm. The natural interconnectedness of your whole existence warrants an approach that addresses the deep, rooted causes of your depression as there, but not as who you are.

‘You’-centric & Relational

All depressive symptoms and experiences are proportional to your life, your stressors, and your experiences. Maintaining a relational approach allows our therapists to match you with an adaptable path towards recovery. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one aspect of this approach, recognizing unhealthy patterns of thoughts and behaviors and making steps towards changing them.

Mindfulness

Keeping a present-minded approach to the treatment of your depression reinforces both the holistic and relational aspects of your treatment. It’s so easy to become lost within these overwhelming symptoms, that utilizing a guided, meditative, and connected Gestalt therapeutic approach lets you separate yourself from the depression.

Remaining mindful addresses both your mind and bodily experiences and your reactions to these symptoms. Some examples of mindful therapy include meditation, guided visualization, breathing-work, reiki, and lifestyle modifications.

Your Counseling Experience

Each therapeutic experience is different, and each session can unlock helpful and new paths to explore in the healing process. The below are just to give you a general idea, hopefully instilling a bit of confidence and easing of any worry associated with seeking treatment.

  • 45-minute sessions generally, once a week
  • Short-term work can last between 3-6 months or whenever you feel you’ve reached the version of yourself you were seeking
  • Long-term work also lasts as long as you need

How We Choose Your Therapist

  • What you need to reach mental well-being
  • Your personality and energy
  • Your communication style
  • Our therapist’s specialties, training, interests, and own lived experiences
  • Our therapist’s approach and communication style

In the Meantime

Extensive research has found that these simplistic and mindful lifestyle changes have a drastic effect on daily life. Give them a shot if you need some immediate peace.

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Reiki
  • Experiencing nature
  • Conscious, deep breathing
  • Maintain an active lifestyle
  • Healthy diet

FAQs About Despression

There are several manifestations of depression, and lack of enthusiasm or joy is a major one. Over time, these hobbies and social interactions that used to make your life enjoyable become seemingly pointless and tedious. Just remember that these negative consequences of depression are treatable and the things that once brought you joy, can again.
Depression and healthy reactions to negative events in life do tread a fine line. There has been much debate within the psychological community as to when a period of grief/sadness becomes a depressive episode. It all boils down to your personal experience, history, and the extent of the effect these negative emotions are having on your life.
Depression takes many forms and can be classified within and exist amongst several mental health issues, such as postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, and so on. Depression can be a symptom of another issue, exist as the main struggle, and even come periodically throughout different stages of life. It’s best to speak to a certified therapist to determine where your depressive mood lies within this spectrum and myriad of possibilities.
There are absolutely natural and holistic methods of treatment. Our practice specializes in integrative therapy, in which western and eastern psychological philosophies come together in the most effective way for you. Some examples include lifestyle changes, meditation, reiki, yoga, guided visualization, CBT, talk therapy, breathing techniques, and many more.
This is a tough question to answer without having spoken with you, but it’s important to note that the why shouldn’t be the main reason for seeking treatment. The why will help us address the present symptoms, but the mood and emotional fluctuations you’re having are what should drive you to seek help. All else will be found along the way.
We are beings that exist one with nature, and our bodies react as such. Your circadian rhythms, which are your internal fluctuations of waking and rising and other autonomic responses, are based on the sun’s cycles. Light from the sun also provides you with Vitamin D, which is linked with mood stabilization. It makes sense then that Seasonal Affective Disorder not only exists but remains prevalent throughout society.