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Posted 7/1/2016

Depression Screening and Counseling 

 You’ve likely seen the commercials and maybe experienced it yourself. Depression hurts you, affects your relationships, your job performance, and your ability to be available emotionally and physically to those you love and care about. You may have felt the symptoms off and on or they may be a constant unwanted every day experience. You may have felt the sting of judgment from friends and family who are struggling to understand what is happening for you and just want you to somehow get over it and feel better.

You may in fact have tried to just get over it. You put on the mask, told yourself there is nothing to feel down about, and went through the motions of doing what needed to be done only to end up feeling worse or feeling that at any moment, you are going to fall apart and never actually feel some relief from the constant heaviness that wears you down and steals your energy, happiness, motivation, and joy. You may even have forgotten what happiness feels like or have insulated yourself so much from feeling anything that you just feel numb.

Depression can also make it hard for you to concentrate, focus, and get things done. Some people say it feels like their brain is covered in a fog and they sometimes feel like they are walking through wet cement or are wrapped in a wet heavy blanket that makes it hard to move or get anything done.  

You may have given up. You may worry that you will never feel better, or you may have lost all hope that things can change. There is help! Counseling can help you to make sense of things and create a pathway out of the darkness and despair of depression and the effect that it has had on your life and relationships.

There are some very practical things you can do to help reduce your symptoms. Eat enough healthy food every day to fuel your body. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Get physical! Even a short 30 minute walk every day will help. Do something you love that feeds your soul and nurtures you: read, take a hike, create something, draw, play a game, spend time with animals, paint, cook, play music, listen to music, journal. I could go on and on, but you taking the time to figure out what you like and then doing it is the important thing. 

Depending how long you have had symptoms and how serious they are, you may need medication to help. You may not need to take medication for a long time. Sometimes our bodies just need a little help making the right neurochemicals and keeping them available in our brain for long enough to help us feel better. During the assessment with a counselor or therapist, if you are not on medication, they may encourage you to contact your doctor to get an evaluation. They will talk with you about the reasons they are recommending this. 

There is a Depression Screening tool on my forms page (http://www.lifeworkspc.com/forms/). Go there. Take it. Reach out for the help you need and deserve.