Sick and Tired of Being Stuck in Depression?

Are you feeling stuck in depression, like there is no way out? One common method of steering clear of the emotions associated with depression can be explained by the TRAP model. According to this paradigm, a distressing Trigger situation, such as a relationship conflict, leads to an emotional Response, which may include depression hopelessness, or anxiety, which in turn may increase the severity of any of the depressive symptoms listed above. In an attempt to sidestep experiencing those unpleasant feelings and symptoms, individuals often engage in Avoidant Patterns of behavior. These differ for everyone, as the label implies, includes behaviors designed to avoid unpleasant feelings.  These behaviors may include staying at home, not getting out of bed, not answering the phone, or distracting oneself with excessive working, shopping, eating, internet surfing, alcohol, drugs, or gaming. Although these avoidant strategies may provide some temporary relief from the discomfort, there are inevitable consequences that include remaining stuck in depression. First, the original trigger has not been addressed, so when the individual eventually re-emerges from the avoidance, the original problem will still need to be handled. Second, avoidance leads to reduced contact with meaningful events. Although often difficult to manage, it is meaningful contact that leads to growth. Avoiding that contact limits one’s opportunities for growth and development. Finally, engaging in avoidance often leads to additional problems. For example, one who turns to food may find the original triggering situation compounded by unwanted weight gain. Now there are two problems to address instead of one!  Continual avoidance may become compounded by feelings of guilt, low self worth, feelings of inadequacy and result in depression.  Again, now there is not only the original problem, but an additional very serious problem.

Stuck in Depression and Thinking about Suicide?

According to the CDC, nearly 15 million Americans (1 in 10 adults) experience depression each year, and most of them do not receive the help they need. Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Little interest or pleasure in activities
  • Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep OR sleeping too much
  • Feeling tired or having little energy
  • Reduced or increased appetite
  • Feeling like a failure
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Moving or speaking very slowly OR feeling extremely restless
  • Thoughts of being better off dead

Take a moment to reflect on a distressing situation in which you recently found yourself. Identify the triggering situation, your emotional response, and your particular avoidance or distraction tactic. Finally, think about the consequences that resulted. Did your symptoms of depression increase? Did you find yourself feeling more hopeless or helpless?  If you recognize that you are caught in a trap, feeling hopeless or helpless, it is time to seek professional help.

Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one are feeling trapped in depression or is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery from depression.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.