Well I’d like to start my JA.com answer by thanking you for your patience and praising you for taking a step to start feeling better again. Like I mentioned in our brief chat, I think that an evidence-based treatment approach that really targets important life changes and new coping skills will be very helpful to you over a few months. I would suggest working with a licensed psychotherapist master’s or doctoral level, with advanced training in cognitive behavioral therapy. Talking therapy or chanting for that matter has little science behind it. Your academic background uniquely qualifies you to quickly learn and apply CBT and behavioral activation tools and strategies:
I think boundary setting with others is going to be very important here, which will involve actively defining what those boundaries are, and where they need to be placed. People-pleasers often need to target change in their own established thinking and feeling patterns that currently interfere with boundary and limit setting.
A very major study has been conducted recently and demonstrated empirically that the “behavioral activation” component in CBT is often the most helpful. Since you are a very active high achiever in contrast to many people feeling depressed who shut down, stay in bed and do very little. Activation or behavior analytic principals may be very helpful to you in doing less work, and focusing on taking care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself (down time for you, relaxation, hobbies etc) you can’t be as effective in your role as family member, work-mate or friend.
Now because this as simple answer service I don’t really get to know a person through a few minutes of chat. But with many of the high achieving clients I’ve worked with in my private practice, one of the most valuable clinical skills they can learn is the relaxation response. It’s like learning to drive a car, but with a month or so of daily practice you can learn to self-invoke the relaxation response. Being able to self-invoke relaxation may be helpful during those times of frustration when others are placing demands on you that exceed your boundaries. Relaxing helps you to more effectively communicate your limits to others and to problem solve, parent and partner more effectively under conditions of normal family stress. Stress reduction is also a key generalized treatment strategy for depression. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response. It can also help you to sleep more deeply, which is also a “protective factor” in depression treatment.
Here is one of the best relaxation training programs I’ve found online and its free, - great video and audio tools you can use to start learning:
Finally, given the suicidal thoughts you mentioned. Make sure you have a safety plan. Call a friend or family member if you feel you’re really in danger. Call 911 if you find yourself planning and intending to act if you can’t get to a supportive family member or friend fast. It’s very important to get evidence-based psychotherapy so you can really start to change those underling thoughts, feelings and behaviors that currently maintain your negative mood. Here are some CBT therapists in your area. Chose a few and give them a call. If you don’t find a strong positive connection to your therapist ask for a referral or start to look for another one. Rapport is very important as is advanced clinical training in CBT and or Activation Therapy. Make sure that you’re actually actively doing both problem and emotion focused problem solving not just talking and listening. If you need support addressing feelings related to the loss of your brother please bring this up along with your need to target increased work life balance: Here are some interesting work life balance quotes I found:
2. Banish time-hogs. If something or someone is wasting your time, get rid of it. Stop attending unnecessary meetings, limit face-time with your demanding direct report, or stop visiting distracting websites.
3. Treat non-work time as sacred. Protect your time outside of work for your health and sanity. You will only feel refreshed if you truly disconnect and recharge:
Finally, I hope I got the right Cedar Park here. If not you can adjust the search settings but make sure that you select “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” on the therapist orientation category to the right of the screen:
Well, I hope you sincerely XXXXX XXXXX answer helpful. I think you have a lot to offer this world and that there are proven therapeutic strategies you should work with to help remove the obstacles to having a healthier happier life. Finding a therapist who is also a truly good person but with the right evidence-based training, I think, will really help you here.
. Don’t forget to press the “Accept” button if my answer is to your liking. If it’s not, don’t and we can get you a second expert opinion to build on what we’ve come up with here together before you pay.
I wish you the very best in life!