The depression isn’t getting any better. You’re still struggling. Maybe you’ve read the self-help books. Perhaps you’ve changed your diet, and you’re trying to exercise more. But the darkness persists. You feel scared, alone, and frustrated. You’re sick of feeling sick.
Depression can be conniving at its best and debilitating at its worst. Your world feels flat and dull and you can't muster the energy to do the things that will probably help you feel better. You realize you probably need to talk to a therapist - but really at this point, will it even help?
Therapy is actually very good at treating depression. It teaches you how to change your thinking. It helps you feel more confident and empowered with your decisions. It promotes a sense of gratitude and self-compassion. Let’s explore other ways therapy can help you.
Therapy Helps You Feel Supported
Many people struggling with depression feel alone with their feelings. Often, they worry about burdening others, and they don’t want to seem like a “downer.”
Additionally, sometimes people do express themselves to loved ones - only to feel invalidated or rejected. While people may have good intentions, it can feel frustrating to receive cliched advice or generic platitudes about just thinking happy thoughts!
Therapy can help you feel supported, understood, and respected. Therapy provides a nonjudgmental and compassionate space for self-exploration. You don’t have to worry about being someone you’re not. You don’t have to pretend to be happy.
Therapy Helps You Understand Your Depression Better
Therapy can provide you with useful information about the many symptoms of depression and it may be affecting you. Additionally, you and your therapist will discuss the nuances of your depression - when did it start, how long does it last, what will help? After all, no two cases of depression look alike.
Where some people may indeed feel “sad all the time,” others might experience more rage and irritability. Where some people lose their appetite completely, others struggle with overeating or binge eating. Furthemore, depending on personal circumstances, even your symptoms can fluctuate and evolve.
Likewise, therapy helps you learn more about your triggers. What people, places, or things trigger a depressed mood? How can you break some of those patterns or associations?
Therapy Teaches You New Ways Of Thinking
Depression often emerges from a rigid set of negative thoughts. I’m not good enough. Nobody likes me. I’m bad at my job. My family is awful. I hate how I look. Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? Most of the time, they’re so automatic that we don’t even realize we carry them around with us.
Therapy doesn’t teach you how to just “feel better.” It can, however, introduce you to new methods for challenging and reframing your automatic assumptions. Therapy helps you explore how this narrative started and how to shift it to something more encouraging. Changing these assumptions can naturally change how you feel and act - which can positively impact your depression.
Therapy Provides You With Proactive Coping Skills
Many people struggling with depression struggle to take care of themselves both emotionally and physically. On bad days, even getting out of bed and taking a shower may feel like an impossible struggle. And even on good days, gathering the energy to spend time with friends or engage in a beloved hobby often seems futile.
Therapy offers you with action-based coping skills to manage your uncomfortable emotions. You will learn healthier ways to deal with adverse symptoms when they arise.
Coping skills aren’t a one-size-fits-all remedy. Each person benefits from different techniques and interventions. You may need to try a variety of coping skills to find the ones that work best for you.
Therapy Supports You During Crisis Moments
Depression can undoubtedly trigger some concerning thoughts and behavior. From suicidal ideation to impulsive decision-making, crises can escalate difficult feelings into irreversible damage.
You don’t need to struggle in these crisis moments alone. Therapy allows you a safe place to process, explore, and unwind these experiences. Your therapist’s job - above anything else - is to help keep you safe.
Fortunately, crisis moments can and do pass. That’s because difficult emotions pass. You can learn how to cope with them with more ease. In doing so, you will build more resilience, which can help you manage future obstacles.
How Does Therapy Treat Depression: Final Thoughts
While there isn’t a cure for depression, you can learn to manage and improve your symptoms. Your condition doesn’t have to define you or your happiness!
How does therapy treat depression? By examining its origin, current functioning in your life, and its triggers. Together, we can help you feel better about yourself and the world around you. While we all face hardship in this life, you don’t need to suffer silently.