Is Everyday a Struggle?
Do you feel overwhelmed, anxious and fatigued? Are you constantly carrying around an unyielding weight of sadness and despair? Is it difficult for you to consistently keep to a schedule or complete tasks that others seem to do with ease? Have you experienced difficulties maintaining healthy relationships or keeping a job? Do you often feel worthless, frustrated that others don’t understand you, or extremely alone in the world?
One of the biggest issues facing people experiencing depression or bipolar disorder is a strong sense of isolation. It is common to become frustrated with yourself for not being able to handle life as easily as others do. And, it’s equally as common to feel frustration toward others when they can’t understand why getting out of bed is a daily challenge for you. Living with depression or bipolar disorder can be lonely, stressful and hard. You may even hate yourself at times. And, it can be scary – when the seasons change, you may fear that you will change, too.
You Are Not Alone
Depression is extremely common, which may be why such a high percentage of the American population is taking antidepressants. Millions of Americans struggle with depression in some form. It can affect people occasionally or it can prove to be a life-long challenge. And, medication, while it can be helpful, is not always needed to treat depression.
Bipolar disorder is not nearly as common as depression, although it is often expressed as depression with spouts of mania and angry outbursts. If you think you may be suffering from bipolar disorder, it’s important to seek a diagnosis.
With help, though, both depression and bipolar disorder are very manageable. It is possible to feel better and interact with others and in the world in ways that feel good.
Therapy Can Help
Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, there is always a way to learn something new, more fully believe in yourself and experience happiness. Therapy is a place for you to express yourself and to receive the support you need in order to feel and function better everyday. A lot of life is about timing and circumstance. Even if you’ve tried therapy in the past and it hasn’t worked, that doesn’t mean that you might not make a life-changing breakthrough in your next go at it.
A BPS therapist who is highly skilled in depression treatment will meet you where you are right now and listen to what you’ve tried in the past to cope. He or she will work with you to discover fresh angles and ideas to help you manage your depression or bipolar disorder right now. In therapy, you’ll develop the skills needed to navigate your energy levels and resources, take care of yourself and your daily needs, maintain healthy relationships, and feel better on a regular basis. Your therapist will support you as you make self-discoveries and create balance. Depression and bipolar disorder may affect you throughout your life, but with help, it is possible for you to gain control over these challenges and live a very full and happy life.
But, you may still have questions or fears…
I don’t think that anyone – even a therapist – could possibly understand how bad I feel. And, I highly doubt that there is any real and sustainable help out there for me.
Feeling a sense of being beyond help is often a component of depression. Your feelings, while unique because no one is just like you, are shared by a lot of people struggling with depression. Many people, like you, truly believe that they are far worse off than anyone else and their lives will never be manageable. Thankfully, experience shows us that isn’t and doesn’t have to be the case. A therapist can help you to feel less isolated, relieve some of the burden you’ve been carrying and help you recognize that feeling better is very possible.
I feel like I’ve tried it all before and nothing has helped. I’ve invested so much time and money and I’m still depressed.
People who have been depressed their whole lives – 60-year-old men and women – have made amazing breakthroughs in therapy. Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the right therapist at the right time. We are constantly evolving and you never know when something might just click. And, change can be a gradual process. Once you begin therapy it may not seem like much is changing. But, after working at it, you may look back and say, whoa, I am feeling better and doing more than I ever thought was possible. Keep trying and believe in your ability to feel better. You will find the time/therapist fit.
I’m struggling to get anything done. I can’t even think about how hard it would be to take on therapy, too.
Right now it’s clear that you are really struggling and that life feels very hard. Working with the right therapist can help alleviate your sense of feeling overwhelmed. If you can commit to one hour a week, a therapist can help you organize and streamline all your other activities so they seem easier and more manageable. And, you can talk with your therapist about developing a therapy schedule that works well for you. On really tough days, even a brief check-in with your therapist might just be what you need in order to reboot your system and get motivated to move through your day. The goal is to figure out the right treatment program for you and to provide you with the support you need. With help, your life can become more full, enjoyable and productive.
We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a therapist who has expertise working with depression or bipolar disorder.