Overcoming Depression: Going Beyond Feeling Better
Feeling better is not the only factor to be considered in terms of a successful treatment outcome for depression. While some of the changes in our lives can be quite dramatic when we feel better, in terms of overcoming depression, it’s important to identify residual patterns of thinking and behaving. It’s these little roots that can spring into full blown depression further down the road.
Behaviors and Thinking That Fuel Depression
Treating symptoms is only part of what we want to achieve in therapy. To overcome depression, we still want to know:
- How we got to our debilitating state;
- How we managed to overcome our symptoms; and
- How to develop ongoing self-trust to navigate known and unexpected challenges to prevent our spiraling in the future.
Dig Deeper: Underlying Core Issues
Some of the core underlying issues that can fuel depression that are well worth exploration to address depression fully are:
- Your measure of self-esteem determined by how people react to you and what they might think about you. How do you react when confronted by criticism or disapproval?
- How much is your self-worth affected by whether or not you are loved? Are you “love addicted?” Are you very reactive to fear of abandonment or rejection and does it alter your behavior?
- Are you a workaholic who derives a sense of well-being from your accomplishments or productivity?
- Are you plagued by “should” and driven to achieving the impossible with unrealistic standards?
- Do you expect your wants and needs to be satisfied by others and are you strongly reactive when this does not happen?
- Do you tend to see yourself as the center of the universe in terms of holding yourself responsible for everything negative that seems to happen in your life? Can you distinguish between power and influence?
- Are you trapped into feeling that your joy in life must come from external forces?
How Do You Know If You Are Tackling Depression?
As with other disorders, you should be the first to know if you are doing better. Do you feel more connected? Do you have more energy? Most importantly, are you more active? The responsibility of therapy is on the client. It is about doing, doing, doing.
While identifying and analyzing can be helpful to some degree, the point of therapy is to facilitate personal change. Changing debilitating life behaviors or moods cannot occur without implementing some new habits. These changes can certainly be very small at first. Nevertheless, something new has to happen in your life outside of the session. Part of overcoming depression is to leave a session with a new “go to” before your next appointment.
If you have never been treated for depression, or if you have some understanding of your symptoms, but have never progressed to the point of tackling the underlying core issues that fuel your depression, please connect for further assessment to determine an appropriate treatment plan to treat your depression.
An experienced mental health practitioner can provide specific screening for depression and tailored treatment to help reintroduce joy, motivation and hope you your life on a sustained basis. “Drilling down” to get to root causes is one of the hallmarks of solid therapy and a way to determine if you are getting what you need out of therapy. Keep up with our online journal and look out for our upcoming post on “Challenging Distorted Thinking” if you would like to learn more about “drilling down” to challenge distorted thinking.
Below are some links to information to help you understand therapy and the impact of depression on a deeper level:
You can find other soundbites related to well-being, self-compassion and healing here . Stay in tune with issues related to your well-being and mental health right here in the Urim Recovery Journal updated 2x a week.