The condition of Depression is scary to most people because in it’s severest forms can lead to suicide. Depression is categorized by Mild, Moderate, and Severe in most cases. The cause of Depression can be situational, hereditary, and the ACE’s study identifies Depression as a condition related to abuse or neglect in childhood (untreated trauma). Depression creates a heaviness for the person suffering, and often shows up as lack of motivation, hopelessness, isolation, and can become so severe it interferes with cognitive functioning.
Depression can also be a consequence of Codependency. The challenges facing families suffering from codependency is related to the powerlessness and distorted thought process. When one is functioning under an external locus of control, the person suffers because the thought process is focused on everything one can’t control. This in turn really creates a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. Psychotherapy supports one suffering from codependency by supporting the transition back to an internal locus of control and recognizing the limits of control and power.
Depression’s sibling is Anxiety. Most often when one is suffering from the effects of Depression, Anxiety is paired due to the surviving behaviors. The need to withdraw, isolate, and limit activity will result in the discomfort from not being in connection, but also the discomfort when in connection. Chemical imbalances related to depression can create vicious cycles making it difficult for one to step out of depression without support.
Depression is also linked to trauma and a consequence of unresolved trauma from childhood. When one has suffered trauma, there are physical biological changes in the brain that can prevent healthy social and emotional development. Research has shown that the effects of trauma can be reversed through mindfulness and psychotherapy, however, many are stuck in the cycles and self medicating that it takes lifestyle consequences to initiate treatment. Those consequences can be strain on relationships, productivity at work, social anxiety, inability to focus or cognitive dysfunction. For many, Depression is a comorbid factor and a consequence of something deeper.
Read more about trauma and how it dates back to childhood in Amber’s blog here:
According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, 70 percent of the American population has experienced some kind of traumatic event at least once in their lives. In truth, the actual numbers may be higher when we expand the conventional definition of trauma.
Trauma typically is categorized as a dramatic or life-threatening event that tests a person’s resilience (think natural disaster, physical assault, sudden accident, etc.). However, trauma can also take the form of subtle, systemic, and even intergenerational experiences that last for years. If trauma dates back to childhood, for instance, a person can become especially good at surviving and relying on defense mechanisms. Yet those mechanisms only worsen the situation. Over time, the trauma becomes more complicated, and that greatly increases the risk of the individual developing counterproductive coping skills and unhealthy numbing patterns.
No matter what our experiences may be, unresolved trauma has the potential to re-trigger us throughout our lives. An uncomfortable situation may recall prior memories that we’ve been burying inside, leaving us suddenly overwhelmed with the resurfacing emotions. On the flip side, we may become so “good” at averting pain that our whole approach to life changes (i.e., avoiding emotion and relationships altogether). Or we may find ourselves continually living in extremes, unable to do things such as spending, eating, or exercising in moderation.
Unfortunately, our culture can be incredibly judgmental when it comes to exploring and sharing our emotional pains. While self-care is popular, telling others about our struggles is something to be avoided. It’s almost as if emoting has come to be considered a sign of weakness. As a result, traumatic experiences are often minimized or disregarded entirely.
This, obviously, isn’t the best approach. Rather, talking about your trauma is the way to find understanding and answers. In therapy, paths to healing are revealed in a safe environment where you can open up, explore your trauma, and truly feel your emotions—instead of avoiding them.
In our next post, we’ll further explore how therapy allows you to understand the source of your trauma so you can heal. In the meantime, if you’re seeking guidance now, learn more about our trauma therapy services and get in touch. We’re always here to help.
Treatment for Depression includes medication management, neurofeedback, TMS, psychotherapy, ECT, healthy diet and exercise. Often the treatment for Depression is dependent upon the causal factors of Depression. For example, Depression can be a consequence of major life changes such as pregnancy, loss of loved one, or medical conditions (chronic pain). Depression can require more than one type of treatment and most often always includes psychotherapy. The reason for this is because the increase in hopelessness and lack of motivation can distort one’s perception. Psychotherapy will support a healthier narrative and reality based thinking that’s not colored by the symptoms of Depression.