There are not enough words to describe how heavy, depleted, irritable and sad you’ve been feeling. This isn’t you, but an empty shell of the person you used to be. Depression has taken away from you the enjoyment of being alive, connecting with your friends and family, and participating in the things that once brought joy.
You have had to compensate for depression over the years. To get some energy, you may have resorted to high risk activities (e.g. self-harm, substances). You may have stopped returning calls or bailed on plans because you couldn’t stir up enough energy to move. Or perhaps, you are constantly putting out the fires created after those low-days. You’re begging your boss for one more chance to consistently show up for work. You are apologizing to your partner for being snappy and mean last night. It feels like you can’t get a break.
Depression and its many faces
I use an approach called Internal Family Systems therapy in supporting the clients I meet. IFS recognizes that depression has many different presentations. There is the original sadness that may have started in adulthood, or perhaps, originates from early childhood. To manage living with the sadness, you have had to build protective layers. For example, there may be a part of you that is hypercritical and says harsh things in order to get you out of bed. You may have a hopeless part that prevents you from becoming motivated. This part knows how much it hurts to have your hopes crushed repeatedly. There may be a part of you that feels prickly and defensive around others. There is no way this part will ever let you get hurt again.
No wonder it feels messy inside. You’re not resolving one wound, but many wounds.
You can feel better
Your system is always looking to feel better and therapy provides the guidance to help it get there. The work is not always easy or fast; however, it is doable. When we work together, we will focus not only on your depression, but all these other protective parts of you alongside. I will not try and convince you to look on the bright side. You’ve done that before, and your brain screams, “That’s BS!” I’m not here to tell you to think differently. If it was that simple, you would have done it already. My job is not to judge you for how you are coping. Instead, I want to spend some time getting to know the many faces surrounding your depression. Once we understand and truly have a connection with your internal system, healing can occur.
Do you want to find out more?
Reach out for a free consultation. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and see if we would be a good fit.
Kasi Shan Therapy is located in Kitchener, Ontario. Online and in-person appointments are available. Schedule a free call to see if we would be a good fit.