You are down to your last anti-depressant and Your sleeping tablets aren’t working. You are getting through the day, but only just, falling into bed each night emotionally exhausted. You don’t really know why you are depressed or why you can’t sleep but you do know you can’t go on like this for much longer. Positive thinking hasn’t really helped you because you don’t have much that is positive in your life right now and exercise, well forget it, it’s hard enough just to drag yourself out of bed most days. Depression is pulling you down into a gaping black hole. You can’t do it on your own anymore. You do need therapy.
It is fashionable in today’s contemporary world to ‘dumb down’ the realities of unhappiness, depression, violence and death by medicating our distress. Numerous medications, legally available, are swallowed by the mentally vulnerable every day. And for the rest of us, we self medicate – a bottle of wine or two, or maybe ‘soft drugs’ do it for us.
A common misunderstanding that permeates society today is that we must avoid pain at all costs. Whilst these substances do relieve our pain fairly quickly, the downside is that the effects are only temporary and the root cause of our pain is still there.
Why are we so afraid to feel our pain and face our problems? It hurts. We hide behind a mask pretending to be someone we are not. We cannot be ourselves. We might find out something we don’t want to know?
In order to alleviate ourselves of our pain we need to feel it and to understand where it comes from in order to get rid of it. And we can’t always do it on our own. We need the help of qualified others to help us step out of this darkness and into the light. Keeping silent about our problems just magnifies them even more.
The purpose of psychotherapy is to help us understand and love ourselves a little better so that we are not at the mercy of unconscious forces that continually lead us to experience discontented lives and downright misery. Many people are prepared to seek help when it comes to their physical ailments but when it comes to their mental suffering they fail to act.
If you are considering a journey with psychotherapy, your choice of therapist is most important. Shop around for a therapist that you trust and can feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts with. Consider her level of experience. And if your are not happy with your initial choice, don’t be afraid to search for another therapist who is more suited to you.
What you can most gain from psychotherapy is the experience of insight where you will feel more hopeful, more energetic and your symptoms of depression and anxiety will lessen or disappear.
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Psychotherapy isn’t necessarily about curing or fixing you up. And it isn’t about some ideal of perfection or improvement. It doesn’t look to the future for a trouble free existence. But it is about helping you to come to a place of peace within yourself. A place where you can appreciate and value your own existence without depression.