Crystal Spiegel, LCSW 303 5th Avenue, NY 646-846-2947
Maybe you feel like a shell of your old self, as if you have nothing to offer in life. As a result, perhaps you find yourself isolating and saying no to outings with friends and family. No matter where you go or what you do, it’s as if you’re living in a fog—numb, heavy, and disconnected from the world around you. You may even feel disconnected from yourself, like you’re watching everything unfold from the sidelines of your own life. Perhaps you ask yourself: Do I have depression?
The People In Your Life May Not Understand What It’s Like To Be Depressed
Dealing with depression is so much more than just feeling sad or gloomy. It’s a deeply, achingly lonely experience. Other people probably don’t understand what you’re going through—they may think you’re just being lazy, reclusive, or overly emotional. Even those who try to support you may do more harm than good, telling you that you just need to get out more or focus on other things. In the end, their responses probably make you feel even more alone. If you wish you had someone to talk to who understood what you’re going through, I would be honored to be that person. With my help, I believe you can learn how to treat your depression symptoms and live with more clarity, lightness, and peace of mind.
Depression Is The Natural Result Of A Lonely And Disconnected World
It’s no secret that depression is on the rise. In a world ravaged by a public health crisis, climate change, and numerous forms of injustice, many people feel trapped and helpless to change their situation. And in the wake of COVID-19, when many people have been forced to isolate and support systems have been put on hold, people are lonelier and more disconnected than ever before. As important as it is to seek help for depression, doing so isn’t as easy as it sounds. After all, depression can be so heavy and disheartening that it feels pointless to reach out. The condition has a way of convincing you that nothing in this world could ever alleviate your sorrow, so why bother seeking help? In spite of what your depression tells you, there is always hope. It’s hard to see outside of your own perspective and recognize that there is another way to live, but that’s the beauty of therapy. With my help and support, I am confident that you can overcome feelings of heaviness and disconnection and embrace a brighter, more hopeful future.
Depression can be chemical, genetic, or serve as a protective function. It can develop to protect vulnerable parts of you from fear and disappointment. After all, if you feel hopeless about the future, there is less chance that you will be upset when things go wrong.
The question is: what is depression protecting you from? Maybe there is past trauma that made you feel unsafe in your own skin. Perhaps toxic relationships led to feelings of low self-worth.
Therapy can help you uncover the root cause of your depression and understand why it arose. That said, sometimes depression is just depression—there doesn’t have to be a logical explanation for why you feel down. In that case, you and I can focus more on practical solutions for managing your symptoms. You may benefit from meditation, breathing exercises, or more artistically-minded coping skills. It’s all about what works best for yo
One of the main approaches I use in treating depression is called Internal Family Systems (IFS). The goal of IFS is to help you form a relationship with the parts of yourself that contribute to depression and negotiate with them to reduce inner conflict. One part of you may be harshly self-critical; another part may be overly self-reliant and dismiss seeking help.
IFS can help you befriend these different parts and balance them so that they don’t take over your life. I also do a lot of body-oriented work. Depression has a way of making you disconnect from your body—I want you to reconnect with it. Expanding your bodily awareness can help you become more attuned to your needs and desires. It can also help you reconnect with your inner child—the part of you that feels unseen, ignored, or misunderstood in your adult life.
In the end, doing so can help you form a better relationship with yourself and with others. No matter how hopeless you feel today, it is possible to make changes at any stage of life. By connecting with neglected parts of yourself and developing new coping skills, I am confident that you can improve your mood and feel more like yourself again.
Copyright © 2023 Crystal Spiegel, LCSW-EMDR and IFS Therapy - All Rights Reserved.