Are Feelings of Hopelessness and Despair Making It Difficult to Function?

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  • Do you struggle with feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy or a general feeling of having done something wrong?
  • Do you often struggle with low energy, lethargy or a lack of motivation to complete even simple tasks?
  • Does a general sadness or emptiness prevent you from finding pleasure and fulfillment in activities that you formerly used to enjoy?
  • Are you constantly comparing yourself to others, or judging yourself as inferior to your family and friends?
  • Overall, do you wish you could feel positive about the future, or find a sense of meaning in life to motivate or energize you?

Dealing with depression or dysthymia (a mild form of depressive symptoms) can be an isolating, demoralizing experience. You might find it difficult to envision anything good happening during the day, making it hard to leave bed in the morning or look forward to the future. A fear of losing the acceptance of others may make communicating, socializing or experiencing intimacy a challenge. A constant barrage of critical thoughts directed at yourself, others or the world in general might leave you feeling defeated or irritable. At times, you may even have suicidal thoughts or recurring thoughts of death. Perhaps you feel unable to see the meaning in life, and wonder if it’s even possible for life to be different.

Many Adults Struggle With Depression

Though your particular experience with depression is unique, rest assured that you are not alone: it’s estimated that upwards of 16 million American adults experienced depression in some form during 2015. Depression often first appears during young adulthood, although anyone can experience depression symptoms at any age.

Symptoms of depression can arise for a variety of reasons. Past emotional or physical abuse, struggling with pain and chronic illness, starting a new career and dealing with sexual or sleep disturbance are common causes of dejection. A bad breakup, a challenging divorce, stressful conflict at home, or the sudden loss of a job can lead to chronic melancholy. Alternatively, professional stress, such as competition in the workplace or working typical 60-80 hour Silicon Valley weeks, can make it difficult to fully care for basic needs like exercising, sleeping, relaxing and having regular meals, resulting in a general feeling of despondency. Overall, depression is often a result of chronic, untreated stress.

However, if depression is one of the most common issues for adults, then it’s also one of the most treatable. While no one can ever completely escape self-doubt or sadness, treatment for depression with a qualified therapist can help you overcome dysphoria, guilt and harsh, punitive patterns of self-criticism, making it possible to enjoy daily life once again.

Depression Treatment Can Help You Find Renewed Meaning And Purpose

Depression treatment with an experienced counselor is an effective counter to self-criticism, persistent lethargy and even suicidal thoughts. In fact, by talking to someone who listens and understands without judgment, many clients are able to find relief relatively quickly.

My unique psychodynamic therapy style prioritizes non-critical acceptance and positive regard. This empathic technique ensures that we begin depression treatment by first establishing a comfort level that will best match your unique personality and history. We’ll try to understand your depression symptoms in a non-judgmental, accepting environment and explore both your daily life and your personal history to better comprehend not only where your feelings of sadness and low self-worth come from, but also how we can treat them. We might revisit your developmental milestones, your family life and structure, major relationships and occupation or talk about your social life. This assessment technique helps us understand how your unique experiences, memories and habits have led to your present pain, leading to new clarity and lasting healing.

One of the main goals of our sessions will be to practice regulating your self-esteem, increasing your stress tolerance and noticing the self-critical thoughts that lead to depressed feelings. However, rest assured that my treatment for depression is highly individualized and doesn’t use cookie-cutter, stereotyped exercises or models. Instead, our sessions will be relaxed conversations in which you can start feeling fully understood, recognized and respected. We will also attempt an analysis of daily experiences, memories, dreams and fantasies to determine how you regulate, process and express emotions, and how these patterns lead to moodiness, hopelessness and loneliness. We might explore the feelings you’re experiencing, their valency, intensity, frequency and physiology, linking each one to specific events, patterns or behaviors to help you shift your perspective and feel equipped to manage similar emotions in the future with absolute mastery.

Dealing with depression is possible, and you can stop approaching each day with feelings of sadness. If you’re tired of shouldering the burden of excessive doubt or guilt, depression treatment can help you find renewed hope and overcome feelings of despair.

You might still have objections to depression treatment…

Depression isn’t treatable.

It’s common for those suffering from depression to believe that they’re not curable, or that depression is simply part of their lives and will never go away. While it’s easy to imagine your depression lasting for an eternity, know that depression is highly treatable. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of depressive conditions improve after just 14 sessions of therapy. In my 12 years of experience, I’ve worked with clients who’ve experienced depression after losing parents, after being diagnosed with cancer and even as a result of childhood physical and emotional abuse. All in all, I know that treatment for depression can help you identify the problem and help you discover joy in your life.

I don’t want to be forced to take medication.

The fear of taking medication can be a powerful deterrent to seeking help. However, a therapist cannot prescribe medication; instead, I will work with you on a deep, emotional level. While I may give you a referral to visit a medical provider for further assessment after getting to know you and thoroughly assessing your experience, I’ll never encourage you to do anything beyond your comfort level. My egalitarian and collaborative approach will help you feel heard and taken seriously. Overall, therapy is about using psychological methods to manage depression symptoms.

Nobody else can relate to my depression because they don’t have my symptoms.

It can be painful to try counseling while struggling with the feelings that often accompany depression, such as loneliness, despondency and irritability. It’s especially hard to do this if you fear that the therapist is forcing you into a uniform diagnosis. That’s why I operate with the belief that my clients are unique, with individual parts, personalities and stories. Though I’ll work hard to make sure you never feel alone in your depression, I’ll also make sure that you feel your distinct voice is heard. Ultimately, my goal is to ensure therapy gradually and authentically connects you to yourself and the external world.  

Are you ready to overcome hopelessness and find motivation to embrace the future? To learn more about how depression treatment can help you reclaim self-acceptance and joy, call me today at (650) 266-8212 for a free professional 10-minute consultation!


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Recent Blog Posts

  • "I have known Mrs. Makarova since September 2008 and I have had many opportunities to observe her psychodynamically and psychoanalytically-oriented clinical work. Mrs. Makarova's intellectual curiosity and ability to process complex issues make working with her very gratifying. It is my pleasure to recommend Mrs. Makarova to physicians on Peninsula and South Bay most strongly and without any reservations.”
    — Adjunct Clinical Faculty Member at Stanford School of Medicine, 2011
  • "I worked with Mrs. Makarova for several years as a colleague at the intensive outpatient clinic in San Francisco and was so impressed with her professionalism, incisive intellect, emotional honesty, and advanced clinical skills in in-depth psychodynamic treatment. She is the most empathic clinician I have ever worked with!"
    — Amrita Narayanan Psy.D. Staff Psychologist, Napa Hospital, 2010
  • "I have known Mrs. Makarova's working on a clinical team at RAMS, and I can say that she is a warm, thoughtful, and insightful clinician. Mrs. Makarova takes a determined and focused approach to every case she treats and has helped many patients improve greatly."
    — Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University, 2009.
  • "Mrs. Makarova is unique in her ability to attend to people; their feelings, their longings and their experiences. She is a true professional and an open-hearted individual. Over the years she has had great success counseling high conflict couples and families. I truly believe that working with her will tilt the scales away from divorce and toward ongoing loving exchanges. For many years I have referred many of my students and their family members to Mrs. Makarova and always got stellar feedback. She combines science-based approaches, having trained in relational patterns at Stanford University, with a unique humanistic style of intervening. As a psychodynamic therapist Mrs. Makarova helps couples see beyond their entrenched relational dynamics and encourages new, functional ways of interchange. I am convinced that Mrs. Makarova's strategic and warm approach is an ideal choice for couples and families in the Peninsula, Bay Area."
    — Alberto Varona, Psy.D. Core Faculty, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Program at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, 2012.