Does Your Brain Ever Feel Like A Prison?

Do you ever feel like you’re in the middle of an emotional flu? Maybe you feel impatient and irritable, like every little thing gets under your skin. Or perhaps you find yourself trapped in a never-ending haze of sadness and ennui, a kind of emotional paralysis where nothing gets under your skin. Maybe you’ve lost interest in your hobbies, your passions, and life in general. At times, your brain may even start to feel like a prison.

When you’re living with depression, every day can seem like an uphill climb. It may be a struggle just to get out of bed, go to work, feed the kids, or take the dog out. You probably feel like you’re trudging through life in slow-motion, dragging yourself reluctantly from one obligation to the next. Over time, you may find your physical health deteriorating, as even low-grade depression can lead to self-neglect, eating disorders, and bodily aches and pains.

In the midst of your struggles, you may ask: Why do I have depression? Why can’t I just be happy? Unfortunately, like all good things, happiness can be fleeting. The average emotion only lasts about two minutes. Happiness is just part of the peaks and valleys of life. To truly break out of a depressive cycle, you have to get to a place of contentment—and contentment goes deeper than happiness. If you want to know how to get to such a place, we at Monarch Family Counseling would love to get you started.


No One Is Immune To The Blues

Let’s be honest: we’ve all been there. Virtually everyone has experienced depression in their lives, if only a depressive episode or two. No one is immune. As much as we like to tell ourselves everything is fine and dandy, many of us feel a profound emptiness in examining our lives. We often think: Other people have it worse than me, so why I should I feel sad? We like to play the Pain Olympics, to tell ourselves we shouldn’t feel depressed because “someone else has it worse than us.”

The truth is none of us can just magically “choose” our feelings, though. Despite what all those motivational posters tell you, happiness is not always a choice. The reasons for depression are often deep-rooted and defy easy answers. There may be unaddressed trauma, chronic pain, or even genetic factors involved.

If you want to know how depression is affecting you and what practical steps you can take to overcome it, Monarch Family Counseling is here to help.


Depression Treatment Can Help You Find Peace Amidst The Peaks And Valleys Of Life

Depression manifests itself differently in each person, and every form of depression is valid. We encourage you not to be too hard on yourself; this isn’t the Pain Olympics. Through sessions with us, you will learn to identify negative thoughts and find a safe place to experience emotional catharsis.

In depression therapy, we will legitimize your feelings by helping you understand the root causes behind them. Together, we’ll look at what these root causes might be—unaddressed trauma, negative beliefs, postpartum depression, phase-of-life transitions, or even grief and loss. The only way to heal from depression, after all, is to address the source—not just slap a band-aid on it.

That said, we’re not just going to sit around and “talk about your feelings.” We offer real-life solutions to real-life issues, and want you to learn practical skills for coping with and overcoming depression. To do so, we pull from a number of different approaches. We use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to identify patterns of distorted thinking, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to teach you coping strategies, and Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy to help you heal from traumatic stress. Additionally, we may even bring in expressive arts like art therapy and sand tray therapy to open up new doors for creativity and catharsis.

Our hope is that, working together, we will not only conquer symptoms of depression, but bring you to a place of contentment in life. Contentment looks beyond happiness, which is fleeting and temporary, towards building a solid foundation of confidence and fulfillment in your life. It’s not about brushing negative emotions under the rug; it’s about finding peace amidst the peaks and valleys of life. To quote Brene Brown: “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”[1] Rather than numb your feelings, our goal is to help you find strength and tranquility in the midst of them.


You may have some concerns about depression treatment


I don’t know if therapy will help me.

With depression, it’s easy to feel like nothing can help you, like you’re stuck forever in an emotional paralysis. Our feelings aren’t as permanent as they seem, however—even small changes to negative thought patterns can radically alter your mental health. We take a holistic approach here at Monarch, addressing your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, beliefs, and the connections between them. Doing so allows you to pinpoint the source of your depressive symptoms—how your thoughts influence your feelings, and how your perceptions influence your beliefs. In this way, our approach provides a fresh perspective that can help you see yourself in a new light and experience healing in ways you never dreamed.


I don’t want medication pushed on me.

We’ll never make you do anything you’re not comfortable with. Depression treatment is about meeting you on your own terms, and everyone’s terms are different. We certainly won’t “push” medication on you—although we may discuss it with you. Medication, after all, provides a wonderful cross-over between therapy and mental health, bridging the gap between biology and psychology. Medication isn’t magic, but when combined with counseling, it provides extra relief from your symptoms and can gradually improve your attitude toward life.


I want to focus on the future, not the past.

It’s great to be forward-thinking, but the past wields an unconscious influence over how we’ll behave in the future. No matter how intelligent we are, yesterday affects us in ways we can’t always see. There may be trauma in our lives we refuse to recognize as such—unprocessed grief and loss or childhood neglect that gnaws at our mood without us even knowing it. Here in depression treatment, we’re not going to dwell endlessly on your past experience, but we’re also not going to discount it, either.


Break Out Of Your Emotional Flu And Get Help For Your Depression

If you’ve done everything in your power to alleviate your depression and you still feel stuck, take heart. Working together, we can help you break out of your emotional flu and begin the healing process. To connect with us, you can email us, call the office at 801-349-9606, or message us on our website. Right now, due to COVID-19, we offer depression treatment both in the office and online. We’ll switch back to in-person sessions full-time when the pandemic ends.


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