How long has it been since you woke up feeling optimistic about your day?
You’re functioning, managing to get through your day. But it’s an effort and you don’t feel much satisfaction in it. In fact, you may be struggling to feel enthusiastic about most things in your life. You find you don’t care as much about the things that used to matter to you. And you wonder if you're experiencing depression.
You may also notice a growing ambivalence and apathy. Although you might find a kind of comfort in the apathy, at the end of the day you feel like you missed out on something. You feel isolated and alone, removed from the stream of life. Maybe you’re also ashamed that you haven’t yet figured out how to deal with this.
Even though you may feel alone right now, depression is one of the most common reasons women seek counseling and therapy.
You have a lot of company, and you’re not expected to get through this by yourself. In fact, whatever you’re feeling—sad, depressed, down, low, unhappy, blue—it’s not a sign that you’re weak or broken.
I believe depression is often a normal response to the challenges, stressors and transitions of life. I’ve been to the dark corners of this myself, and while it was difficult, I can also look back and see that it taught me a lot about who I am. For sure, it's nothing to feel ashamed about.
Beyond the symptoms of depression: You’re more than just a list.
These days it’s easy to go online and quickly find a list of depression symptoms. You’ve probably seen them: depressed mood, irritability, sadness, decreased pleasure, weight/appetite changes, sleep changes, activity changes, fatigue/loss of energy, feeling guilty/worthless, difficulty concentrating, suicidal thoughts.
Without a doubt, depression can be serious and scary. But the thing is, you’re more than just a list of symptoms. You’re unique, and depending on your personal history, depression may show up differently for you, particularly as a woman.
Did you know that women are twice as likely to experience depression as men?
It’s not because you’re weaker, more vulnerable, or less capable than men. It’s because you’re more likely to be juggling multiple life roles and face a unique set of stressors. That means that your experience of depression may be more complex. It might look like...
- Feeling stuck in repeating patterns and challenging relationships
- Dwelling on past experiences, hurts, wounds and suffering
- Crying a lot but not always knowing why (and feeling embarrassed)
- Believing you’ve disappointed people and let them down
- Blaming yourself for not knowing how to deal with depression
- Experiencing emptiness and depletion, like your inner spark is missing
- Being ashamed of yourself and feeling unworthy
- Wavering and feeling tentative about the future
- Struggling to live in the present
There’s also a direct link between relationship difficulties and depression in women.
Studies have shown that rates of depression are highest among unhappily married women. If you’re living with conflict, lack of intimacy or distress in your relationship, it's really important to get help.
While couples counseling can be a good option, many women need 1:1 counseling, and a safe place just for them.
No matter what's causing your depression or low moods, I'll be there for you and stand by you.
Depression Therapy FAQ
I was at a crossroads when I first worked with you, and you helped me find the balance I needed. You have a seemingly endless trove of exercises and ideas to lift clients out of their ruts and help them see daylight again.
-Unsolicited email from a client, used with permission
It is possible to regain your optimism, your enjoyment of life and your belief in yourself.
I offer a free consultation so you can explore whether working together would be a good fit for you right now. You can meet with me by telephone or at my Santa Rosa therapy office.
PLEASE NOTE: I'm currently booked through the summer, and will start taking new clients in September.
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You’ll also get a free guided meditation: Coming Home to Your Deepest Wisdom.