Depression has a subtle way of infiltrating your life, settling into the contours of your existence in a way that makes it difficult to separate yourself from the depression or imagine life could be any other way. Often showing up as absence and loss, it's the "nothing" in "nothing is wrong."
Depression is characterized by low motivation, lack of interest or pleasure in daily activities, poor self esteem, pervasive hopelessness and feelings of loss and grief. Sometimes it can feel difficult to get out of bed. You may find yourself overeating or unable to eat much at all. Like changes to your diet, you may experience changes in the way you sleep. You may find yourself sleeping all the time, regularly waking from nightmares or struggling to fall asleep even when you are otherwise exhausted. Trouble eating and sleeping exacerbate mood swings, creating heightened emotional reactivity that strains relationships and makes everyday encounters with the world unpredictable. You may feel low for no apparent reason. Life may feel like a series of futile struggles that make it tempting to want to give up and challenging to do the things that you know might help. Reaching out to friends or colleagues may be difficult. Perhaps you don’t want to be seen this way or you feel you don't have anything to offer, or are convinced that you are broken beyond repair. Unfortunately, these thought processes only intensify the isolation and loneliness. Anxiety often arises in response to depression, becoming a vicious cycle of paralysis. You might blame yourself for not being “normal.” All of these symptoms are incredibly common for people living with depression to varying degrees. When all your usual strategies are no longer working, it's time to reach out for help.
In individuals with cyclical mood disorders such as bipolar or cyclothymia, a depressive episode may last for several weeks and then, almost out of nowhere, emerges a feeling of uncontainable, manic energy that builds until it urgently needs to be released, creating racing thoughts, pressured or rapid speech, exaggerated perceptions of self, impulsive decisions, risk taking and grandiosity.
I will help you understand where your depression originates, find patterns in your cycle so you can begin to anticipate times where you need more support, process repressed or latent emotions, create coping skills, rebuild your sense of self, and learn where to make change in order to restore balance to your life. Slowly, in the context of a supportive therapeutic relationship, you will begin to see yourself differently and, after some time, may begin to notice that you are different - the haze has lifted, you are finding ease in the things that once felt so hard, taking enjoyment in the little things in life, re-connecting with others - even flourishing. I am here to help you see that all of this is possible. You don’t have to suffer endlessly and you don’t have to find your way through the dark alone.
Often what creates change in psychotherapy is a loving, supportive relationship where you can feel safe to explore those areas that you have repressed for fear of being judged or misunderstood. Allow me to hold your suffering with compassion and help you heal from your pain.
Fill out the form below to schedule a call or text me at 415-857-5560 to set up a time to meet. I see clients for therapy in person at my office in Tiburon and online anywhere in California.
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