We may reach a point when our lives feel grey and our interactions with others have lost the joy they once had. Mundane everyday tasks may feel overwhelming or just a little harder than they used to. Perhaps the pleasure we used to feel meeting a friend or doing something we enjoyed has faded. Reaching this point is more common than we often think.
For most of us there will be periods in our life where satisfaction is harder to find than others, this is an unavoidable part of being human. There may be times when the grey cloud has settled and will not move, where our ability to function as we would like is impaired or it feels impossible to extract happiness from the world. When experiencing low moods or depression it can feel totally engulfing and impossible to see a way out.
Sometimes we know exactly what is affecting us but can’t see an end, others it can be difficult to understand what is going on. It might feel as if everything should be alright but we don’t feel it that way.
Often we carry these feelings alone, unable to share our thoughts for fear of embarrassment, duty or fear that they will not be taken seriously. There are many different aspects that can contribute to low mood and depression and working together with a counsellor there is the opportunity to address your problems and explore the concerns that you may not have been able to express before. Here are some of the issues that I hear clients struggle with:
- A sense of your identity
I feel I don’t have a place, that I have lost the role I once had. There is so much more to me but no one else gets to see it. I find it hard to recognise myself now days.
- How you feel about yourself and what is stopping you from achieving your goals
I am frustrated because I am never satisfied with anything I have done. I feel like I have not accomplished anything in life and everyone achieves things but me; I wish I was more like them. I lack the confidence to move forwards.
- Uncovering meaning and purpose in your life
I used to feel like I had a purpose in my life but my situation has changed and the drive I used to have has faded, leaving me drifting.
- How your personal history affects the way you relate now
I thought I had overcome my childhood issues but the experiences keep reappearing and however hard I try I find it impossible to forgive and move on.
- Your relationship with others
I have always struggled with the relationship with my father/mother.
My children aren’t respecting me.
I come back from work exhausted from the interactions with a colleague, I am in a toxic environment at work but feel there is no escape.
- Life transitions
I have recently lost my job and I don’t know where to go now.
I am struggling to build a new life after a divorce/breakup.
I have lost someone close to me and are left with a sense of emptiness.
Throughout our lives we receive all sorts of messages about the type of person we should be, whether it is an advert telling us how to look or a relative directing us towards certain decisions. With all this information streaming in telling us what we should be, we can lose track of what we want and what gives us satisfaction.
There is not a simple solution that will work for everyone. Various aspects such as exercise, sleep, diet, and medication can play a role and sometimes it can be helpful to take this journey with someone else.
Talking and exploring is a way to help us uncover what we really want and need from our life. Through counselling we might work together to find ways to understand your priorities, what drives you and ultimately what gives you meaning and happiness.
If your mood is low or you are depressed you are not alone and there is support out there for you. Whether it is changing your lifestyle, visiting you doctor or exploring therapy, taking action will help to alleviate the feelings you are experiencing and allow you to start enjoying life again.