Depression and Finding Your Way in the Dark
“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried. You’ve actually been planted.”- Christine Caine
There may be times in our lives when depression takes hold of us and makes things feel impossible, hopeless, or very, very dark. Depression, sadness, stuckness, anxiety, immense overwhelm, whatever you want to call it, is a form of being lost in the dark. It isn’t a momentary experience of sadness but a perpetual one that diminishes how you engage in this world. One of the most common mental health struggles in the US is depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2017, “an estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.1% of all U.S. adults.”
Depression is a form of stuckness, and an ingrained or habituated mental pattern that is hard to break out of. Although it may feel this way, you are not alone. Major depression is not something that can just be switched off and it isn’t a weakness.
Treatment-resistant depression is different than major depression in that someone has tried medications, herbs, dietary changes, various kinds of therapy, etc. but still feels depressed; or it helps slightly, but the darkness has not yet lifted. A sense of hopelessness may also encompass the person as nothing seems to help. This may perpetuate the issue as people sink deeper into the depression as months or even years of effort provide little relief. But, this also may mean that they haven’t found the combination of what works yet.
Our approach to treating depression
Because our wounding often happens in relationship, it is also in relationship where healing best occurs. Psychotherapeutic support and guidance are key to supporting the healing process. We are not meant to heal alone; humans are simply not designed that way. Our practitioners provide a compassionate and understanding place for you to be yourself and to explore healthier ways of being in relationship with both yourself and others. Whether it’s through art therapy, somatic trauma work, mindfulness-based counseling or any other modality we offer, the therapeutic relationship is an important component in recovering from depression.
We encourage you to reach out, even if doing so feels a little scary, edgy, or vulnerable. We will meet you wherever you are in your process, and we are not afraid of the dark.
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Depression
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy is gaining ground as a promising treatment for major depression, which is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy breaks through the stuck patterns often associated with depression, and tends to serve as a solver of impossible problems. If Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy is recommended, our Medical Doctor will sit down with you to review your history and other information to ensure confidence when stepping into this medicine. We recommend 1-3 preparatory sessions prior to a series of ketamine treatments and 1-3 integration sessions afterwards to continue supporting you throughout the process.
“We’re all just walking each other home.”- Ram Dass
When to get emergency help
While Medicinal Mindfulness is not available for 24-hour emergency crisis support, your community does have a wonderful pool of resources available to you if you are in need of urgent help. If you think you may harm yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Also consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Call your doctor or mental health professional.
- Call a suicide hotline number — in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
- If in Colorado, call the Colorado Crisis Line for support and local resources at 1-844-493-8255
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.
If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.