If you have come to Support for Depression it is likely you are looking for information and help for yourself or someone that you care about. Coming to this site may be opening a new door, entertaining the question, “Could I be depressed?” It might be encouraging or it might be a bit frightening. It may be a search for better understanding or indicate a readiness to try something different.
Whatever brings you here, my deepest hope is that you find something that furthers you on your journey of healing.
One of the painful aspects of depression is that you feel isolated and alone, afraid and ashamed. When you look at the list of symptoms below, you can imagine how hard it is for a person who is feeling physically tired and overwhelmed, and emotionally worthless, to seek help- and perhaps feel like they deserve it.
Bipolar disorders are not a personal weakness or a personal failure. It is not your personality or your identity. It is an illness that pervades how you feel emotionally, how you behave and your sense of physical well being.
There is something to be said for experience. It takes time to learn how to work with others and it requires ongoing effort to stay fresh. Offering counseling to others is a never ending path of learning. Many professional friends, colleagues and supervisors have helped me on my path. I find it an honor to offer that support to others through supervision and consultation.
Setting the Stage for Recovery
Fresh look: For most of the folks who come to see me, I am not their first attempt at feeling better. Many have consulted physicians, complementary practitioners, friends and family. The questions that spur people to come in are often, “What is wrong with me?” and “What am I missing?” I find these to be incredibly intelligent questions that push people to find the right help. Our job, in working together, is to explore these questions in a supportive environment.
Proper evaluation can be an important part of the work. I partner with psychiatrists, primary care docs and other practitioners. A good psychiatrist in particular, has the capacity to begin to put the puzzle pieces together and make a clear diagnosis, if indeed one is in order. Family physicians prescribe a lot of the medications for depression. Unfortunately, they are limited to short visits with a broad scope. They often do not have adequate time to delve fully into history or to follow up consistently if medication is prescribed. That said, some patients respond well, quickly and this is enough. For others a more accurate diagnostic evaluation and treatment plan are needed.
Whatever pathway unfolds, medication or no medication, diagnosis or no diagnosis, the emphasis is this: creating a wholesome life, cultivating self care, contact and meaning.
Bottom line: Each person’s life is different. The focus is on investigating what you are experiencing, exploring what might be going on, and looking at the available options. We create a therapeutic home base from which to follow the path of recovery.
Walking the Path of Recovery
The path of recovery is what we work on together. Lifestyle. Gentleness. Relationships. Community and meaning. The principles of healing and recovery from depression are the principles that apply to human experience: a rhythmic and meaningful schedule, good sleep, good food, good exercise, good relationships.
What’s different is that the frequency, intensity and duration of depressive symptoms can make it very difficult to put these principles into practice. Depression recovery requires gentleness. From that point of view, the label of depression is not as important as the understanding it fosters and the path it opens.
Welcome. May your journey be a healing journey.