Opening Up: Rites of Passage NW and Overcoming Depression

Natural Depression Treatment: The First Step is to Open Up


In order to overcome depression, the affected person has to be willing to talk about it. It’s a difficult thing for most young people to do, especially when they themselves don’t even know how to process their own thoughts and feelings. There are a variety of support groups and programs that persons with depression should consider. A treatment program like wilderness therapy from Rites of Passage NW provides many of the much needed opportunities for individuals to open up—from journaling, to group therapy, to mentoring.

Avoiding Issues And Isolation: The Wrong Way To Combat Depression

In the beginning stages of treatment, teens or young adults are often reluctant to open up about personal struggles; they often seek isolation in an attempt to avoid addressing their issues. Isolation fuels depression, so ensuring the young adult has healthy group interaction where they can learn to address their issues in healthy, positive ways is essential.

Honest With Oneself: Journaling

In order to begin being honest with other people, it first requires being honest with oneself. Many people with depression suppress their emotions. Treating depression involves coming face-to-face with these feelings in order to move past them. Journaling is one way to self-reflect on personal choices and behaviors. The process of writing is a way for individuals to have an honest dialogue with themselves about the reality of their situation and to make explicit goals for the future. With the guidance of a therapist, journaling can be a powerful tool in helping a young adult address and understand what lies beneath their outward indicators of depression.

One-On-One: Instructor Relationships

In the early stages of therapy, individuals are often reluctant to open up and share personal experiences. The role of the instructor or therapist is to guide students through discussions that help them work through their issues. An instructor also teaches young adults how to communicate. For many of them, this is new territory as they have used isolation or anger as ways of avoiding communication. As trust and openness are established in the relationship, the students begin to participate more actively and guide the discussion on their own terms.

Into The Group: Peer-to-Peer Support

Opening up to someone who shares a similar experience is an effective way to work through depression. When individuals open up to one another in group therapy, they are able to see firsthand that they are not alone in their struggle. They can learn from other experiences, and derive satisfaction from sharing their own experiences to help others. When peers are working together to achieve the same goals, individuals feel more motivated and inspired to put the work in. When others express similar thoughts and feelings, young adults also feel less afraid and anxious to voice their own. Peer-to-peer feedback resonates and seems less threatening, because a young person doesn’t see it as coming from a judgmental position of authority.

Becoming A Leader And Mentor

One of the most fulfilling things that students take away from wilderness therapy is the ability to mentor or lead others in a positive direction. As students gain confidence and earn the right to become group leaders, they lead camp councils and exercise talents that many didn’t even know they had. Not only do they open up themselves, but they also guide conversations as they help others open up as well. It’s rewarding to help another person, and it motivates individuals to continue succeeding in their own transformation.

Opening up is the first step in overcoming depression. Whether it’s through instructor relationships, peer support, or the insight gained from journaling, therapy provides an environment where young adults can develop the skills to communicate and explore the thoughts and feelings related to their depression. When a person can talk about it, he or she can then begin to conquer it. Rites of Passage NW can help, call us today to learn more about the programs we offer to assist in the hurdle to overcome depression naturally.