Friday, April 8, 2016

Why am I So Sad?

This question is asked often in therapy. People want to know the root cause of their depression. Reasonable request, right? Of course! Depression wreaks havoc on our lives. Small tasks feel like huge undertakings, like showering or getting dressed. Putting on a smile for everyone else is a big ordeal, making us feel like imposters. So why does depression strike? For some it's obvious. We're experiencing grief and loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of our health, or a relationship. We may also have an organic reason for being depressed. Diabetes, cancer, steroid medications, auto immune disease, etc. Life transitions can cause depressive reactions- moving, divorce, midlife, college. Knowing the cause helps us find solutions. Anti-depressant medication may help reduce symptoms of depression. Psychotherapy and  cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) provide insight and real tools to reduce depression and anxiety. Sharing our inner thoughts and experiences with a therapist is cathartic, freeing us of dark feelings and isolation. Whatever the reason for being depressed, ask for help. You don't have to suffer, hide or pretend you're fine. 
~Nancy Shertok, MSW, LCSW