Alleviating Symptoms of Depression in West Hartford, CT
Depression affects nearly 7% of the U.S. population, but many people don’t seek treatment for this condition. If you’re struggling with depressed mood, you should know that you’re not alone, and you don’t have to navigate this challenging condition on your own. The Harmony Center for Change team wants you to know we can help. On this page, you’ll learn more about depression, and you can always reach out to us if you want to learn more about how therapy can alleviate the symptoms of depression and help you reclaim a greater sense of joy and peace every day.
What is Depression?
Depression, like anxiety, anger, and other “negative” emotions, is actually a natural emotional response for individuals who are experiencing a variety of distressing events. This emotion helps our mind and body heal after a loss, trauma, or other difficult situation. Unfortunately, some individuals find themselves “stuck” in a depressed mood. Even though there’s no real reason for their depression or the reason isn’t commensurate with the response, they feel trapped in a state of depressed mood and unable to find a sense of joy and fulfillment again. When this happens, therapy can help you develop the skills to break free from the feeling of depression and start to experience a range of emotions.
What are the Warning Signs of Depression?
Depression makes it difficult for individuals to even get out of bed, leaving them struggling to be productive at work, maintain healthy relationships, or enjoy their favorite pass times. Each person’s experience with depression will differ, but some common signs of depression include:
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, or unable to change your current situation
- No longer finding joy or interest in daily activities you once loved
- Changes in diet – eating too much or too little
- Changes in sleep – sleeping too much or too little
- Mood changes or mood swings
- Increased anger or irritability
- No motivation or energy to complete daily tasks
- Compounding feelings of worthlessness, shame, and guilt
- Struggling to concentrate or retain complex details
- Body aches and pains
- Physical exhaustion or fatigue
- Engaging in reckless or promiscuous behaviors
Why am I Depressed?
Depression can begin from an unknown cause. Some researchers believe there are people who are genetically more likely to experience depression. In other cases, processing a loss triggers depression. This can be the death of a loved one, end of a relationship, being fired or laid off at work, or other big loss or life change. Depression can also be a side effect as the body processes traumatic experiences, including complex childhood trauma. For some, finding the source of depression, understanding it, and healing is beneficial. For others, it makes more sense to simply increase resilience and develop skills to address the impact of depressed mood.
How Does therapy help with Depression?
Therapy helps individuals who are struggling with depression in myriad ways. One of the first and most important goals of therapy for depression is simple – start feeling better. Not every emotion is going to be comfortable or joyful, but depression has the ability to strip all of the other emotions out of our experiences. The way depression washes out other emotions leaves people feeling increasingly depressed without any sense of relief. Therapy strives to help you develop skills to cope with depressed mood and remain open to the full range of emotions that bring variety and joy to your days. While we work with individuals to achieve their therapy goals through a personalized plan that includes a range of techniques, we often rely on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to help individuals who are struggling with depression.
Using MBCT, your therapist can help you recognize current emotions and experiences outside of your depression, keeping you focused on the sensations of the present moment. The DBT therapy technique incorporates mindfulness as well as helping individuals to develop skills to increase distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Using DBT and MBCT, we help individuals to address their current depressed mood, develop skills to diminish the effects of depression in the future, and maintain their relationships and support systems through any ups and downs.
What do I do Next?
One of the biggest negative effects of depression is difficulty finding hope or motivation. If you’ve made it this far, we know you’re struggling, but you’re halfway to making the positive, lasting change you need to thrive. At the Harmony Center for Change, our mission statement is simple: “Embrace beginnings for they are rich in hope and possibilities.” We know depression makes it hard to see the hope and possibility to come, but we can help! We make getting started with therapy easy. You can call us now, send an email, or just fill out our inquiry form on the contact page. However you feel comfortable getting in touch, we’ll be here when you reach out.