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Depression and Mood Disorders

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Depression affects over 22 million Americans but realistically this number is much higher as many people are undiagnosed. The word Depression can often feel like a heavy weight pressing down on you, aptly reflected in the term itself, where "depress" means "to press down." This of course is not a conscious decision, it is instead something our mind does on our behalf. This pressing down isn't just a metaphor for the overwhelming burden it can impose on one’s life, but also mirrors the way depression often involves the suppression or unconscious pushing down of emotions. Instead of experiencing a healthy flow of emotions, individuals with depression might find themselves stifling their feelings, leading to a state where emotional movement feels almost nonexistent. This suppression can manifest as a persistent sadness, a lack of energy, or a withdrawal from life, making even simple tasks and decisions seem insurmountable. The only “feeling” that remains, typically, is more sensation than emotion, a thrumming, indistinct pain that threatens to consume everything, and sometimes does.


While sadness is a normal human emotion that usually has a clear cause and is relatively temporary, depression is more pervasive and persistent. It affects a person's mood, thoughts, physical health, and daily activities over a longer period.


Here's how depression might manifest:


Somatic Symptoms: Individuals might experience chronic fatigue, changes in sleep patterns, weight changes, or unexplained aches and pains.


Thought Patterns: Depression often involves persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. There might be frequent thoughts of worthlessness or excessive guilt.


Impact on Relationships and Work:

  • Intimate Relationships: Depression can lead to withdrawal from a partner, decreased interest in sexual activity, and less emotional availability.

  • Friendships: Social withdrawal is common; individuals might isolate themselves and neglect social interactions.

  • Workplace: Decreased productivity, difficulty concentrating, and absenteeism are typical signs of how depression affects one’s professional life.

Gender Differences:

  • Men often exhibit irritability, sudden anger, increased risk-taking, and substance abuse as symptoms of depression. They are less likely to acknowledge feelings of sadness or hopelessness and more likely to try to mask their feelings.

  • Women are more likely to experience pronounced feelings of guilt, sleep excessively, overeat, and gain weight. They are also more likely to openly express their sadness or feelings of worthlessness.

A normal coping mechanism or an answer to something that is no longer working for youLearn to tolerate emotions and build a window of tolerance for all.


During therapy rather than seeing depression as an intruder from the outside, we will consider that it might be an expression or an inner communication. In exploring and feeling through this we can consider what life might just arise from depression. There are several methods that we may use to begin this process including attachment therapy, EMDR, Compassionate Inquiry and mindfulness based techniques.

Are you ready to take a step towards recovery?

If so, we offer a free 15 minute consultation to see if we're the right fit for you!!

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