Depression takes on many forms. Mine gives me an overwhelming sense of worthlessness – something I know in my heart of hearts that I shouldn’t be feeling, but do. Aside from the daily medication that I’ll most likely be on for the rest of my life, I recently made the decision to see a psychologist.
For those unfamiliar with psychologists, the Wikipedia definition is: “specialists who study normal and abnormal mental states, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behaviour by observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments”.
I have found it invaluable. Every few weeks (or more regularly, if I need it), I pop in for an hour and ask for advice on how to deal with certain life situations and talk through events in my life that I need assistance with. My therapist is also helping me to recognise how my depression and sense of worthlessness feeds into my everyday life, so when I notice it occurring, I can pump the brakes and alter my “neural pathway”.
The way she worded it was to think of my depression as being like a vine. As time passes, the vine is going to creep over my brain and slowly take over. What I need to do is recognise the early warning signs and cut the branch off as soon as I can feel it creeping in.
It takes some practice, especially when you’re spilling your personal history to a complete stranger. But if you find the right person, the feeling after each session is liberating. The more sessions I have, the better I’m feeling about life and more importantly, myself.
The brain is a complicated instrument, but with my psychologist’s help, I’m learning to control it and, in-turn, taking back the control of my depression.