For some people depression seems to be an unyielding problem. FEELINGS OF, HOPELESSNESS, IRRITABILITY, WEAKNESS, WORTHLESSNESS AND POWERLESS seem to be an insurmountable challenges, like being covered with clinging glue. Day after day is the same or worse than the day before. Tomorrow holds no promise of improvement. ADVICE AND ENCOURAGEMENT SOMEHOW STOP THREE INCHES FROM THE TARGET.
NOTHING SEEMS ENJOYABLE, FOOD TASTES FLAT, COLORS ARE DIM, SENSATIONS ARE DULL AND PAINFUL AND EVEN THE BLISSFUL OBLIVION OF SLEEP IS ELUSIVE as you toss and turn and sweat, sleeplessly thinking of dull scary thoughts over and over in your bed.
MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS of any sort are an ABSOLUTE AGONY that you avoid. They just remind you of how rotten you feel, or how disparately bleak and oppressive your reality has become. When you do have an energetic emotion it’s a sudden fountain of tears or volatile burst of irritability. Most of the time you just seem to absently distracted and self-absorbed by an UNENDING CYCLE OF NEGATIVE SELF-CONDEMNING THOUGHTS.
FEAR, DOUBT, WORRY, and apathetic HOPELESSNESS CONSUME YOU. Listening to someone is almost impossible. You begin to seriously question if you every really liked or loved anyone including your spouse/significant other.
THINKING, CONCENTRATING OR FOCUSING ON A TASK OR EVEN MAKING A SIMPLE DECISION ARE FORMIDABLE tasks you once did… (A long time ago).
HAPPY PEOPLE IRRITATE AND EXHAUST YOU. On a good day you envy their joy on a bad day you just want to hide. People with any negative emotions feel impossibly heavy.
GETTING STARTED IN THE MORNING (or at anything) IS LABORIOUS, sustained focus on challenging tasks is dauntingly difficult, and any complex plans or tasks are essentially impossible. IT’S LIKE EVERYTHING YOU DO IS MOVING IN SLOW MOTION, PAINFULLY SLOW MOTION.
And all this… well it just makes you feel worse. For some death or somehow just not waking up for a long time would be a welcome reprieve.
Obviously this is more than a little case of the blues. In Canada approximately 1 in 12 people will experience depression. Many more will know someone with depression. In addition to this many hurting people struggle with the stigma of the label of “depressed” or mentally ill. It is estimated that nearly half of all people who suffer from depression never seek the help they need. However people who do seek treatment can expect a high likelihood of improvement or complete cessation of the depressive symptoms. IF YOU OR SOMEONE THAT YOU LOVE IS FIGHTING THIS BATTLE THERE IS HOPE.
The frustrating and illusive problem of depression can be addressed. And people with depression often respond very well and improve when the underlying causes of the depression are treated. Depression is signal to the sufferer that something is not working correctly in either their body or in their thoughts. However, the very nature of depression makes it difficult for the depressed to persist in seeking help and finding answers. But there is help for people who suffer from depression. If you have been to a doctor and DETERMINED THAT YOUR DEPRESSION IS NOT PHYSICALLY CAUSED THEN THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF YOUR DEPRESSION IS CAUSED BY HOW YOU THINK AND FEEL. As a skilled counsellor I can help with this.
Hi… My name is Chester McNaughton, as I work with you I combine a number of uniquely valuable qualities that you need for your healing. Fist I have recovered and healed from a diagnosis of Major Depression. I know what it feels like to be flat our stuck in depression, I know what it feels like to take medication, and I know what it feels like to search and search and search for an answer. This experience gives me a powerful empathy for those who struggle with depression and the challenges of life. I know that you are hurting and I care. I know that you need a safe place free from demands and expectations. I use this understanding to create a safe place for you where you will not feel condemned, shamed or judged for what you are experiencing in your life.
In my process I develop detailed assessment of your current situation and thorough review of your personal history. This helps me understand how much and what kind of depression you experience, what causes it and how it affects your life. I help you to understand how certain types of behaviors, feelings and thoughts that contribute to and maintain your depression. I also help you understand and figure out how your life experiences, your personal views and/or ongoing stressors may be contributing to your anxiety.
As a Christian counsellor I approach the healing of depression from a faith based perspective. I combine practical therapeutic strategies (coping methods and problem-solving skills) with the power of healing prayer. My process will equip you with ways to combat the underlying causes of depression and restore emotional strength, and zest for life. We will re-discover your strengths and use them to begin to move you forward in your life. In areas where change is needed we combine practical solutions with God’s healing power to move you from debilitating fear to peace, hope, and wellbeing. Part of the healing process is sorting through realistic beliefs and expectations and accepting what you can and cannot change. Additionally, I will help you develop practical and healthy strategies around stress management, exercise, eating habits, relational/social resources, and self-care practices
“I’m not sure depression counseling can help me. I talked to somebody once and nothing happened. Now don’t know if anything can help me.”
The very nature of depression is to feel hopeless and beyond help. However many people have recovered successfully from depression and counselling was a significant factor in their healing. This is confirmed by large body of research that shows depression counseling is very effective. I know from personal experience that the idea counselling may feel useless or ineffectual, it seems impossible to change how you feel. I personally have recovered from Major Depression using the steps and processes I teach my clients. Healing and hope are possible. Taking the first step to healing is often the hardest, but in depression you must move and you need help to make your movement possible.
“I’m afraid that seeking help with my sadness will just make me seem weak. Shouldn’t I just be able to ‘get over it’?”
For many people this idea is part of a belief system that actually plays a significant role in their depression. We are designed to need others in our lives. We need to share the good parts with others and we need them walk with us through the difficult parts. Asking for help is sign of courage and honesty. If “waiting it out” was going to make depression go away chances are you would not be reading this article. It is difficult and sometimes frightening to admit you need help, and to ask for it requires strength and bravery. However, the truth is: if you could just ‘get over’ your feelings, you probably would have by now. Feeling shameful about your struggles only makes them worse. Depression counseling will give you the tools to truly work through your feelings and provide real healing.
“If I seek help for depression, people might think I’m ‘crazy.’”
The truth is our culture has some “crazy” ideas around emotional health. No one would imagine living their entire life without consulting a doctor or a dentist. And yet somehow we believe our emotional health is less real. Your emotional wellbeing (and everyone else’s) is real, and from time to time we all need emotional care just as we need physical and medical care. Like any other medical professional counsellors are bound by confidentiality. So if you really don’t want others to know what you’re discussing they won’t. You have control over what you tell the counselor (and others).
“I don’t want to take antidepressants.”
Antidepressant medication is a tool just like a crutch or a pacemaker or a prescription for antibiotics. The truth is there is no shame in the treatment. If side effects is concern then you must remember that symptoms of depression (described above) are almost always worse than the side effects of medication. For both those who take antidepressants and those who don’t want to take them it’s important to understand that antidepressant medication is only part of the treatment. Changing how you think, act and live is the key to healing depression. Often medication can help with this.
“I already feel bad, I’m concerned that talking about difficult emotions might make me feel worse.”
In some senses this is a legitimate concern. Often the path to healing involves dealing with difficult emotions and past experiences. However there is a difference between your past negative experiences and a therapeutic conversation. Your past traumatic experience may have been similar to being held down and force fed with a funnel. On the other hand the therapeutic conversation is like being offered a bowl of sour candies. You can say no to the candies or you can take just one or two. You are in control of what you talk about and how deeply you engage in difficult conversations. Many people report a sense of relief and release after talking with a skilled and caring counsellor.
The door is open. Don’t stay alone in the dark and cold. Come in where it’s warm and safe and let’s begin, together, the journey to hope, freedom, and wellness.
I offer a free 30-minute (telephone or in person) consultation. This is a risk-free way for you to get to know me and ask any question you would like. The contact but at the bottom right hand to the page will allow you to request a time for the call.
If you are ready and now is the time you can also set up full appointment with me. Again click the contact tab below and select “in office appointment” and you will be guided through the process of setting up an appointment.
If you just like to call me my number is 587 879 7064. I will answer, or respond to the messages you leave me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Registered Professional Counsellor