Depression steals the good feelings from your day-to-day life and memories. Depression treatment restores your energy and optimism to plan a better future.
Are you feeling empty, helpless, unmotivated?
Are you feeling that life has passed you by?
That while the rest of the world and the people you know are enjoying life, finding career and relationship success, you’re stuck in first gear, or maybe even going backward?
Have you lost interest in the activities that used to excite and inspire you?
Are you having difficulty sleeping—or difficulty getting out of bed?
Increased appetite, or no appetite?
Does your world and your life seem kind of colorless, as you just get through your day, only to wake up and do the same slog tomorrow?
You may wonder if it will always feel this way.
Most people experience a level of depression at some point
You’re not alone! According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, in 2014 approximately 15.7million adults in the U.S. age 18 and up had at least one episode of major depression in the past year. Not all depressed feelings are major depression, so the actual number of people dealing with depressed mood is significantly higher.
Think of depression as being on a continuum, from a disappointment that takes over for a brief period of time, to a low-grade chronic depressed mood, to a deeper experience of depression, to a major depressive episode, to fleeting suicidal thoughts, to actual suicide. And all the steps in-between.
Depression in the life cycle
Depressed mood is common throughout the life cycle. Does one of these descriptions fit you?
- You’re a young adult starting your career after college and realizing you’ll no longer get summers off and that you’ll be working for the next fifty years.
- You’re a new parent (especially a new mother) adjusting to life with a baby and wondering if you’ll ever sleep or have sex again. Maybe you feel too distraught or exhausted to take care of your baby. You can’t stop crying except when you’re enraged, and you feel that the walls are closing in.
- You really wanted marriage and children, and you haven’t been able to find a partner, and/or your biological clock ran out of time.
- You’re an empty nester adjusting to a life that may feel empty after your child left for college.
- You’re an older adult who realizes you haven’t achieved all you dreamed you would have by now, and what you have achieved feels empty.
- You’re a retiree who no longer feels a sense of purpose.
There are reasons why you struggle with these milestones.
You’ve been told that achievement equals happiness and you’re seeing that although you have significant achievements, you’re not happy.
Or you’ve been told how special you are, but you’re finding out that you have limitations, that it’s not all happily-ever-after.
Maybe you’ve approached life as checking a series of boxes (bachelor’s degree, advanced degree, high-status career, relationship with a partner who looks good, children, big bank account, large apartment or house), instead of living with gusto because it’s satisfying, and you’re not seeing the big payoff.
In fact, you’re feeling that it was all pointless.
Depression as reaction to loss
Maybe you’ve experienced a significant loss—divorce, death of a loved one, loss of your health, loss of a meaningful career—and you’re having trouble getting past the sense of devastation, so even thinking of how to start a new chapter in your life feels impossible.
When you’re depressed it can feel as though you’ve always been depressed and that you will feel this way for the rest of your life.
The good news is that there is help and hope through working with an experienced and compassionate therapist.
You can feel better!
How I can help
Therapy with a skilled and warm therapist can be incredibly helpful in dealing with depression. I can help you learn to cope with the symptoms, including overwhelming feelings, negative thoughts, and low energy, and help you confront and understand the root causes.
Symptom reduction and understanding root causes
My approach deals with both symptom reduction and a deep understanding of the root causes.
All in an atmosphere of warmth and understanding, in an interactive experience of mutual listening and talking.
It will not be a cold experience of you doing all the talking, where the only difference between talking to me and talking to your reflection in the mirror is that I nod and say, “Ummm” and “And how did that make you feel?” That remote kind of experience only increases your feelings of isolation and disappointment.
The depression treatment I offer is based on a real and empathic relationship, and you will start to feel better over time from being thoroughly understood, learning that your situation is not hopeless, and learning to become a more active participant in your own life.
Theoretical understanding and compassion
This approach to treatment is driven by a solid theoretical understanding through more than twenty-five years of ongoing study and experience, and by compassion.
Neither is sufficient on its own.
I have a problem-solving orientation, and part of my job is to help you approach your issues from an adult, problem-solving stance, rather than from a childish, dependent stance where I try to solve your problems for you and tell you what to do.
I offer plenty of tips, techniques, and strategies—and help you understand what in your life set the stage for depression to play such a large role in your life.
Depression is a particular interest of mine and I’ve studied it on an ongoing basis since 1993, something my patients have greatly benefitted from.
You, like many people I’ve treated since 1995, can learn to feel better and to break the grip that depression holds on your life. You may feel alone now in your life, even if you have a partner and children, but you will not be alone in your treatment. I’m an active ally in your journey to feeling better.
It’s a sign of strength to know when you need professional help—and to follow through and get it!
But you may still have questions about depression treatment….
What if it doesn’t help?
If you and I both work hard, you’ll feel better. I’m committed to working hard to help you. If you decide to not get help for your depression, you’ll lose more of your life to it. Satisfaction in your life is worth the work that you do in treatment. And remember: you’re not working alone!
Is it expensive?
Yes, depression is expensive! Depression steals the satisfaction from every aspect of your life. The costs of depression are immense:
- your joy in life
- your ability to model an enthusiastic optimism for your children, if you have them
- your enjoyment of your relationships and friendships
- your productivity in your career
- your physical health
- Depression treatment is an investment in yourself—for yourself! It also greatly benefits your family, your friends, and your work. How can you afford not to get treatment for your depression?
Do I have to take medication?
Some people benefit from talk therapy alone and never need medication.
Others benefit from talk therapy plus medication for a period of time.
Studies (such as one by Steven Hollon, Ph.D., professor, psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn; Scott Krakow, D.O., assistant unit chief, psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, New York City; Aug. 20, 2014 JAMA Psychiatry, online) show that for people who need medication, the combination of medication plus talk therapy is more effective than medication alone.
We’ll work together to determine the best course of action for you, and if that is ultimately adding medication to the talk therapy, I’ll refer you to a trusted medical doctor who can prescribe medication and follow you for the medical part, while I continue therapy with you.
Case study and testimonial
Peter was referred to me by a colleague after Peter had been hospitalized for a brief time for depression. Note: This is a composite character. I will never use actual patient material on this website or in any writing I do. However, the testimonials are from patients. He was prescribed medication and referred to a psychiatrist for ongoing medication monitoring.
He talked about a woman he had been dating who broke up with him, a church group he had been active in that no longer interested him, his career unhappiness, his disappointment in his family relationships, and his feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.
We looked at things he could do to feel better in the short-term, while we explored things in his past that contributed to his depression. Some of these were circumstantial, such as his mother’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment when he was a young teen and his fears at that time that she would die, and what felt like her withdrawal from the family at that time, when in fact she was just wiped out from chemo and radiation and couldn’t muster the energy to be there for her kids. And his parents’ messy divorce a couple of years later.
Other contributing factors were more complex, such as what he observed about how his parents handled disappointments in life; how burdened his mother felt throughout his childhood; how there were generations of depressed people in his family tree.
Thoughts generate feelings
I helped him connect the dots between his childhood and his current life and to understand how his thoughts contributed to his feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. As he developed a deeper understanding in his treatment and began feeling better, he began talking about wanting to taper off his medication, and with Peter’s permission, I spoke with his psychiatrist about this. His psychiatrist approved of this plan and supervised the transition.
Over time Peter began to date again, explored other career options, replaced his church group with a group of running friends, and found a program that would pay for him to get a master’s in education while teaching in the NYC public school system. He left the job in finance that he hated, and found that he loved teaching. He began dealing with his family relationships in a more productive way, and made great progress in managing his moods.
Testimonial from patient who began depression treatment
“The concepts of taking control of my emotional state and owning up to my ability to choose joy rather than darkness are empowering. You did a world of good for me in a very short time!”
—MK, White Plains, NY
You can feel better!
One gauge of mental health is satisfaction in love, work, and play. Depression prevents you from feeling satisfaction in your relationships, accomplishments, and leisure activities.
If depression is keeping you from fully enjoying your life, I can help.
Depression treatment with an experienced therapist can help relieve your symptoms and help you develop an optimistic outlook that will get you through the worst of times and allow you to enjoy the best of times.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment, give me a call at 212-353-0295 or send me an email.
I look forward to speaking with you.