What is Depression?
A person can get psychologically depressed when all of their systems of coping fail them. They hit a wall of hopelessness that they cannot cross. The person begins to be overwhelmed by the effort to climb over that wall and they cannot find their way to any feelings of meaning, connection, or joy.
A person’s ability to cope can get severely compromised. Some people need acute and serious help with hospitalization and medication. For some others, it is a persistent buzz of hopelessness and an inability to understand why they feel so weepy, angry, bitter, or blank. They may be so lost in their feelings that they need help to see things differently and from a vantage point that they can’t quite reach.
When a person’s whole being pushes down some feelings, some particular feelings, for long enough, it takes away their energy. Their energy gets consumed by the effort to keep some feelings down, contained, and locked away. When they can release those feelings and access their buried emotions, they feel lighter when they can express them. The depression can then lift.
Stereotypically, men are taught to disregard feelings of sadness and only express volatile feelings like irritability and anger. Women get socialized to express sadness, stuff their anger as unbecoming, and be taught that they can get help when they are dialed down and express low energy feeling states. Helping them recognize anger and the emotions around feeling helpless and powerless can be helpful in releasing depression.
Getting help is different for different people
Getting in touch with feelings, is, however, not easy for many people. They may need help in understanding themselves, learning to speak up for themselves, and get them out the door of this situation. It can be hard work, and for some people, it may be very scary to open up their boxes of carefully packed-up emotions, and really look deep inside to examine older outgrown belief systems, and learn to communicate authentically. It can be the beginning of a new life. Good psychotherapy can get you there.
Take Your First Steps with Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a collaborative process between you (or both of you) and me. This intentional conversation is specifically guided to bring about changes in feeling, thinking, behaviors, peace of mind, growth, and coping skills. These changes add breadth and depth to your life and lead to peace of mind and steadiness. I work with individuals and couples from all cultures to improve essential relationships, help you recover from depression and anxiety, and positively redirect and focus your life.
Even healthy people from well-functioning and non-dysfunctional families sometimes have a difficult time thinking clearly when faced with big decisions, inexperience and emotional overwhelm. Clear thinking is crucial to making good decisions for life and love.
I consider our time and space together sacred and hold myself to the highest ethical ideals of my community of therapists.
Racism Affects All of Us
I wrote this essay in 2021, during all the political and social unrest going on at the time. It focuses on my personal experiences involving difference, skin color, and oppression. They are micro-aggressions; occurrences that unfairly advantages some and unfairly disadvantages others. It starts with an awareness of perspectives.
Kudos from Clients
“I am so grateful for the time I had with you, and will keep you close in my heart. Working with you shaped my life for the better, more than you can imagine.”
“You helped me find my path and helped me sort out my life. Thank you!”
“Thank you for your clarity of thinking and support. I was able to leave an abusive woman and take better care of my children. You taught me how to be compassionate during the process. I wish I had come to you many years before.”
“My career is really taking off now. My hard work with you has paid off many fold. People really see the change in me.”
I am a 30-year-old man with parents from India. I am also American. I used to clash with them a lot. Now I have learned from Kalpana how I endured my parents’ own traumas and have a clearer boundary with them. My parents were not happy initially that I “had to go into therapy” but now I am happier and they understand me better because I don’t leave angry. I stay and hold my own and speak to them. I get my own culture better and my parents understand that I have a different life from them.
We came to speak with “Dr” after we got her name from our primary physician. In the beginning, it was difficult to understand why she held us to a particular format of meeting every week at the same time. Then we understood that therapy with her is not a class or just information, it is a process which has momentum and is uniquely tailored for us. She keeps all our important information in her head and over time our relationship has healed so much. We are better parents to our kids and we have a much better understanding of our children.
We came to see Kalpana because we had chaos in the home with our child. My wife and I fought a lot, our child cried a lot, and we went to a lawyer to seek a divorce. Now we have better fights which are more calm, she taught us to be kind and firm with our child. Wish we knew this early that it can be so good. Therapy first before a lawyer visit!
She challenges me to think more clearly and after understanding myself better I am not just stressed all the time. I can come back to a baseline faster even if I get super worried. I am more organized emotionally which seems a funny thing to say, but that keeps me grounded in reality. I have seen other therapists too but Kalpana works quickly and deeply.