So, you have a bad day.
Then you have another one.
And another one.
Until it goes on so long that you wonder if you are experiencing depression. Depression has reached a soaring rate in today’s world. Let’s talk about what this elevated rate of depression means and how the pandemic and recent societal unrest have exacerbated depressive symptoms.
Like many people, you minimize your depression, blaming it on the state of the world – for example, the pandemic, social unrest, prolonged feelings of being disconnected from loved ones, to name a few. Even if you justified your depression as circumstantial, you continued to feel personally and emotionally disconnected from yourself when the world started to open up again.
Often, when people first face depression, they discount their feelings by listing the reasons why they shouldn’t feel that way. They assume they should feel depressed only if they have reached bottom-of-the-barrel empty and/or out of luck, money, or love.
How do constant messages of destruction and instability affect one’s depression?
The past two years have been particularly challenging. Like most of us, you’ve been exposed to a stressful pandemic knotted with civil unrest and political scandals. You have become more distraught by seeing photos of overfilled ICU hospital rooms or viral videos of police brutality. You’ve become exasperated by anticipating and hoping things will return to “normal.”
Many of us unknowingly have internalized the signs of destruction and instability in our society, leaving one to have a negative outlook on life. You are angry at the politicians. You suffer from screen fatigue as a means of connection. You are questioning the choices in your future. You feel disconnected from your feelings, making it difficult to delve into the real reason for feeling depressed.
This past year, you may have internalized all of the world’s chaos, leaving you with many misunderstood and complex emotions inclusive of anger, guilt, avoidance, and fear. You simply have “depleted your life cup.”
“A lot of people have it worse than me. Why should I be depressed?”
First, depression isn’t selective. It’s very common, universal. It affects the affluent, the less fortunate; the physically fit, the productive, and so on. Depression may gradually creep up on you, where eventually, the burden of psychological hurt leaves you with uncomfortable feelings of doubt, hopelessness, and/or diminished pleasure in activities you once enjoyed. Life seems bleak, routine.
In our culture of quick fixes, symptoms of depression commonly get masked by overuse of medication tactics. We typically forget that there are other ways of addressing depression, such as exploring and exposing our own underlying psychological meaning of its root causes.
How Depression Rates Have Changed in Recent Years
You may notice that formerly upbeat and bubbly people may now seem sullen and apathetic after a year of disturbing images on their screens and in the newspapers. Let’s look at the numbers. A Household Pulse Survey from earlier this year showed that the percentage of people reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression rose from 36.4% to 41.5% during COVID-19. This increase was most prominent in young adults (ages 18-29) and people without a GED.
Depression will try to convince you that there’s nothing you can control—everything is negative, and it’s going to stay that way. This is a false scenario that is simply not true.
What You Can Do About Your Feeling of Depression.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy allows you to broach your depression in a customized and sustainable manner. You no longer have to feel like you are directing anger inward, trapped in psychic patterns that leave you feeling stuck and helpless. Instead, you might choose to rejuvenate yourself by choosing a safe and contained relationship to connect and express the emotions around your depression.
Please schedule an appointment with one of our experienced depression therapists today. By working together, we can help you identify a more balanced and connected view of the world. One that allows you to connect with your feelings, reconnect to others and the society we live in, and transform your issues into regrowth. In other words, it’s time to focus on yourself- to “refill your life cup.”