Depression is a wily snake

Maybe you know you’re depressed.

Could be your doctor gave you the PHQ9 and expressed concern at your result. Could be people in your life have noticed a change and wondered aloud.

It’s also just as possible you “feel uneasy” are “not yourself” or are “just blah” and it may never have occurred to you this feeling has a diagnosis, much less a treatment!

All around the globe, common depression symptoms include low moods, sadness, crying, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping, but that’s just for starters. Other symptoms (like decreased concentration, illogical thinking, or physical symptoms) and the very nature of depression can make it one wily snake to pin down!

(Another tricky thing about symptoms is they can be shared by bipolar, major depressive episode, or chronic depression as well as other maladies and it can take a trained professional time make an accurate, specific diagnosis…but enough talk about symptoms!)

What sufferers want is to feel better. Duh!

Nearly all practitioners, whether medical personnel, psychologists, counselors, or social workers, agree there are physical factors involved in mood disorders which- in the VAST majority of cases- will respond well to medication even if some trial and change is needed.

Let me be clear: a good practitioner won’t force meds on you even when they heartily believe in them. A good practitioner will take the time to explore your reasoning or any worry you might have. You’ll make a decision together and she’ll continue to respect your position and concerns each step of the way. (For 50 signs of a good therapist, read here.)

The good news is there is MUCH you and a therapist can explore as additional ways to feel better, cope better, and hopefully GET better. Therapy is no guarantee your depression will be cured or that life will no longer hurt. Good, productive therapy aims to point you toward solution and support you as you walk through the challenges. Just having that support can mean a significant improvement in your life!

Yes, you could tough it out some more. You could just try the meds your doctor prescribed. Or you can do more to feel better sooner. And no matter what your current state of mind is telling you, the TRUTH is, you deserve a good life.

This Buzzfeed article makes some good points about the downward-spiral and vicious-cycle-perceptions that keep people trapped in depression. Gently intervening in these “thinking distortions” takes the safety and skill of a trustworthy therapist.

Of course I’m going to promote therapy as a solution. I’m definitely biased toward therapy! I’ve seen it make a positive difference again and again and again and again and again…

You get what I’m saying.

If you have energy to do just one thing this week, let it be reaching our to connect with a good therapist. If you’ve landed here and finished reading, it means you’re already well on your way.

midlife love couple

Midlife Dating, Mating, and Relating

What makes Midlife Love so challenging?

You’d think midlife love would be a piece of cake. After all, we don’t have the same naivete we possessed as young 20-somethings just starting out. Now that we’re a little older, we’re supposed to be wiser. Yet, honestly, for many of us, we’re not sure we actually know what we’re doing.

We might feel wounded by life and the reality of circumstances. And we’re afraid the landscape has changed in ways we don’t understand. Maybe we think we’ve never been good at this stuff. Maybe there’s a long, awful track record of heartache and pain. Maybe it has ALMOST become easier to give up than to actually try for what we want.

Love and attachment, the forming of bonds, romance, sex, relationship… often a mix of fulfillment and pain. It doesn’t matter how old we get, romantic love is still a huge factor in life satisfaction.

It’s not too late!

Even though you don’t need the census bureau to tell you there are scads of single women and men (of all preferences btw) still longing for love, let’s start with some facts:

In Cincinnati alone there are 120 thousand men and 120 thousand women.  About 61 thousand of each have never married. About 13 thousand men and 16.5 thousand women are divorced. Sad stat?  About 33 thousand of each gender are currently married and separated. Chances of staying married 20 years or longer is still about 50/50 for both genders.

What does this mean?

Midlife love is statistically still possible

It means if you’re single at age 35 and beyond, the available pool is back to what it was in our early to mid-20’s! No wonder there’s a boom in baby boomer dating, mating, and relating! And there’s a plethora of advice about how to go about it.  That’s the good news.

What’s the flip side?

It means people could use some help finding, keeping, and relating to a mate! I have a theory that healthy relationships last. That’s why coaching in this area is a five phase process including: Preparation, Attraction, Connection, Evaluation, and Relationship.

If you are ready to actually be in a relationship with someone who can be a partner in life, I am here to help! Or if you want help in any of the areas listed above, even in a long-term marriage or relationship, it’s what I do!

Look for FREE wisdom in the blog because I’m not stingy. I’ll share some good stuff that will cost you only the time to read.

Of course, you can READ about things and TRY STUFF til you’re worn out. And for some of you that will be sufficient for you to get where you want to go!

But if you find yourself stuck, or just in a hurry to get where you want to be – no matter what you suspect might be getting in your way – we can do some very good work on-on-one. And no matter what your situation, if you want a good mate, there is someone for you. I can help you get there. Read more about the process of individual coaching here.

Ready to start? CALL to make an appointment or schedule your FREE 15 minute in-person consultation. 513-530-5888

demographics taken from American FactFinder, US Census, available at: http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

green grass symbol of choosing the right counselor, psychotherapist, or life coach

Finding your right counselor or life coach

The right counselor or life coach.

You’ll invest time, energy, and probably some money finding the right therapist or coach. Timing-when you’re right in the middle of a crisis or need to feel better fast-can make it even more stressful. Don’t worry. Your natural process of selection is at work no matter what. Follow these three tips and it will be even smoother:

1. Trust yourself. Listen to your gut.

If you get an uneasy sense or bad feeling, trust it. That’s your gut instinct talking to you.

I’m saying this first because you may or may not have a developed sense of your own instincts. You may have a habit of ignoring them.

And if you are good at listening to them, now is the time to pay attention. I promise you this: the gut knows; it will not steer you wrong. (Need help identifying this or paying attention? We can work on that!)

2. Engage yourself. Do a little thinking.

You already know a ton about how you’re made and what you need.

If you take time to write down what you know, your chances of finding it increase tremendously. (It almost feels like magic, but research supports writing it down works!)

Stuck? Ask yourself two questions:

In past relationships with doctors, dentists, teachers, athletic coaches, yoga instructors (whoever has been in a position to help with your health and achievement) what has pissed you off? Seriously, think of your pet peeve in those situations. Is it someone bossy? harsh? arrogant? hyper?

Now think about the best relationships in that context if you’ve had them. What was good?

Was it a gentle dentist? Did your doctor really listen? Did a teacher do a good job explaining why?

Use the good and bad information to help define what you’re looking for.

For example:

  •  I need a good listener, who can communicate understanding, who doesn’t do all the talking.
  • I don’t want someone to stare at me blankly while I try to figure things out on my own.
  • I need someone with an easy sense of humor.
  • I need someone I know cares who will challenge me when I need it.

By all means, once you have prepared by doing this work, share your list of needs with a potential therapist. He or she should be able to tell you if and how they can be that for you. It also gives them a chance to let you know they can’t.

3. Honor yourself. Your feelings matter.

It’s normal to be nervous about entering this kind of relationship. It’s normal if you’re scared. It’s normal to feel incredibly vulnerable and uncertain.

Of course you feel that way! You are preparing to spill your guts about the hardest parts of your life with someone you don’t even know yet.

Because you matter, keep in mind these three things:

  • know your feelings are real and normal
  • put some thought into defining  exactly what you need (in writing is best)
  • trust your gut and go with it.

Be encouraged; you will make a good, helpful connection. Your healing and growth depends on it! A little preparation, a little action and you will definitely find your person. Let me know if you think we are a good fit. You’re the expert on you and I’d be honored to join you. Give me a call.