Therapy for Depression:
Lighten your Load

Depression messes with your life in so many ways.

You used to love mountain biking, but you haven’t hit the trails in weeks. 

Fatigue and low energy have become your norm. You’re dragging yourself through your day, waiting to get home so you can check out with Netflix or your phone, or just go to sleep.

The guilt you’re feeling is all-consuming, and you can’t stop feeling bad about how you’re showing up at work, in your partnership, and in your friendships. 

Nothing you do seems good enough, causing you to beat yourself up at every move you make. You call yourself names like “lazy” or “loser.” 

People who love you have started telling you they’re worried because you seem really down and checked out. 

There's good news and bad news.

Here’s the bad news: You might have depression.

Here’s the good news: Therapy for depression can help you feel better, feel present and engaged again, and get back to doing the things you love. 

What Happens When You're Depressed?

Depression is a vicious cycle. 

You feel bad, so you do less. When you do less, you feel worse—guilty, ashamed, and down on yourself for not “trying harder.” Because you’re feeling so bad about yourself you do even less...and the cycle repeats itself. 

Depression comes with many challenges: feeling low or sad nearly every day, losing interest in activities you used to love, sleep and appetite struggles, feeling guilty and ashamed, loss of motivation and low energy, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of dying or not wanting to be here anymore. 

(If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, there’s help: dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Prevention Hotline or call our local mental health support line here in Durango at 970-247-5245.) 

Depression Looks Different in Different People

Depression comes in lots of different flavors. Some depression is more energetic—feeling tired, a lack of motivation, dragging yourself around like you’re walking through mud, and sleeping a bunch. 

Some depression is more “heady” and accompanied by significant negative self-talk, persistent negative beliefs about yourself and the world, and thoughts of not wanting to be here anymore or that you’re a burden to the people in your life. 

Depression can be more emotional with painful and difficult feelings like sadness, hopelessness, and apathy. 

Some flavors of depression are a mix of all of the above, a one-two-three punch of painful emotions, difficult thoughts, and lack of energy and motivation. 

No matter the flavor, depression messes with your life, taking you away from the person you want to be and the life you want to live. 

How Does Therapy for Depression Work?

It's time to shift the downward spiral.

One of the goals when working on depression in therapy is to work on shifting the “do-less-feel-worse” downward spiral. 

One of the first steps is to help you set small, achievable goals and start re-engaging in activities that are enjoyable.

I imagine your mind might be saying “that won’t work.” 

The depressed mind sees everything through the lens of depression. It's like wearing glasses with the lenses tinted with sadness, low energy, and negativity. So, it makes sense that your mind is doubtful and that hope feels far away. 

That's why working with your depressed mind is another key part of therapy for depression. Identifying the negative stories your mind tells you and helping you work with your thoughts in a different way can shift the cycle of depression. 

Since difficult emotions are a key part of depression, getting therapy for depression also focuses on how to work with challenging feelings like sadness and loneliness. 

As I often tell folks with depression, the overwhelming part of depression is that there’s a lot going on inside of you…and the hopeful part is we have lots of different places we can start.