Not all therapists use the same strategies for dealing with your depression. Notice the ownership language used in the first sentence, your depression. Does this sound familiar? Hi, I’m Bill, or Jane, and I’m an alcoholic. This kind of language puts an adhesive label on you. I am a depressed person, and or, I am an alcoholic. Instead of using a label, consider saying, I am a person who suffers from depression; I am a person with an addiction. How language is used can shift your perspective.
Your therapist and you may investigate what’s driving the narrative that is keeping you depressed, and keeping it alive? What is the pattern that’s holding you captive? Let’s say you got poor grades in high school, but you applied to colleges with the hope of getting in to one of your choices. You were accepted to one, but the financial package offered didn’t help enough. You ask your parents for financial assistance, but they were divorced and couldn’t help.
One disappointment can snowball to the point where you lose perspective, and begin thinking you are a failure. From that point on, your focus is inward—I’ve failed, my parents won’t help, I’m never going to amount to anything, and so forth.
Reframing a story you repeat to yourself is one way to help break the pattern of depression. Instead of concluding with failure, write a new story with empathy for yourself. My grades were poor in school because my parents fought all the time. I did the best I could to get myself a college education, and I don’t have to give up. I can look into taking a few college level courses at the local university, and explore my options. By connecting to the outside, rather than connecting to the inside of oneself, one’s perspective and narrative can change. It’s action focused rather than inward focus.
Low motivation often times hangs on the arms of depression, and can be a roadblock to action. Make a list of 100 things that give you, or once gave you the slightest degree or more of pleasure. For instance, a bird’s call, blue sky, a flower, the deep red in the carpet, your compound miter saw, or playing tennis on clay courts. By making the list, you are engendering positive emotions. Positive emotions can jump start your life again.
Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. We aim to provide a space where you can find out how and why you have struggled with addiction. Our therapeutic and medical support are just one of the tools we provide to help set you up for success in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-396-8526.