Can a life coach help with depression?

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Page last updated: 22/10/2022

In this article, it will be discussed if a life coach can help people dealing with depression. For this, the article will explain what depression is and what is a life coach. Along with that, the article will explain what are the possibilities of help a life coach can give with someone with depression.

What is depression? 

Depression is a mental illness that causes the person to experience an intense sense of sadness. Not only that, people tend to have a decreased sense of self-worth and self-esteem. They also experience a lack of purpose and hope for the future. 

A person might be considered depressed if they present their symptoms regularly and intensely for more than two weeks. Although people experience depression differently, the main symptoms of depression are:

  • Change in sleeping pattern
  • Change in eating pattern
  • Lack of ability to focus
  • Loss of interest in things the person used to love
  • Excessive crying or difficulty crying even if the person wants to
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Pains not related to injuries and headaches
  • Self-harm
  • Thoughts of death and suicidal thoughts

Nowadays depression affects 5% of the world population according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It can happen to everyone but some factors make it easier for a person to develop depression. For example, women tend to be more susceptible to depression than men. 

Other factors include the imbalance of a person’s brain chemistry. Not only that, a person with a personal history of depressive episodes, as well as having a family history of depression, tends to develop depression easier. 

Along with that, people that are experiencing traumas, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or legal or financial matters can usually get depressed easier.

What is a life coach?

A life coach is a wellness professional that orients a person in a certain manner to achieve their best self. They can be a resource when someone wants to improve their career, relationship, diet, or even day-to-day life.

Their focus is to make your goal clear, and through their sessions find ways to empower the person to overcome the obstacles that are holding them back. It can be a psychological situation, such as lack of self-confidence or even related to a lifestyle choice, like a diet for instance. 

Once people identify what is holding them back, they will, with the help of the life coach, figure out what can be done to overcome it using their resources and skills. And once you achieve your goals, they aim for you to keep your growth in the long hall.

Can a life coach help with depression?

How can a Life Coach help someone with depression?

The first thing to be said, when considering if a life coach can treat depression is to reaffirm that depression is a mental health issue, and as such can only be diagnosed by mental health professionals, be it a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

With that said, people can have different experiences when treating depression, and there is value to what life coaching can do to people dealing with depression. It might happen, at times, that a person with depression is referred to a life coach by their therapists.

Life coaching can be a great asset to a person’s treatment, and although they will continue their therapy and even their medication, a life coach can be a person that will help them tackle everyday challenges brought by depression. For example, a coach can help the person to bring exercising to their everyday life.

They can be a way for people to handle the constant negative feelings and thoughts of depression, helping people to understand that they are not as worthless or as bad as depression might make them feel.

With the help of a life coach, people with depression can observe their thought patterns, for example realizing if they feel the negative thoughts more intense in the morning, or if it is something that they feel less worth it of things happening to them and try to break that cycle.

Are there other ways to treat depression?

When talking about ways to treat and cope with depression it is important, to once again, affirm how people benefit in different ways from different types of treatment. With that said, aside from therapy, medication, and the help of a life coach, as said before, there are other ways a person may cope with depression.

Let’s take a look at what are other ways to cope with depression.

Meditation

Meditation is a great way for a person to cope with depression. It is something that will help them focus on their breathing and the movements of their body. With that, they can get out of the negative thinking pattern that someone that is dealing with depression goes through.

Aside from that, meditation can help the person relax their body and mind which can be beneficial to help people with depression manage their sleeping schedule, making them sleep better.

Exercising 

Exercising can be great for depression. And although it sounds impossible, at times, for people with depression to think about going at least for a little walk, exercising can improve their sense of well-being.

By exercising, the person gives a chance to their body to focus on the movements their body is making, they might also get a sense of accomplishment from the exercise and the feeling of well-being that can come from the endorphins.

Friends support 

Having great social support can be extremely important when dealing with depression. Having a close network of friends or family members that make you feel loved, supported, and connected can even be something that prevents a person from committing suicide.

This can give the person a sense of belonging, and although people with depression can often feel like they are not worth it, having people around to even have a laugh now and again can be very helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can a Life Coach help someone with depression?

Can a life coach treat all kinds of mental illness?

As said before, life coaches can be a great asset to a person dealing with mental health issues. Although the treatment will be led by psychologists and psychiatrists, the same way as someone dealing with depression, a person with other mental illnesses can benefit from life coach strategies to help them manage the symptoms brought on by their condition.

It can help them improve their condition by, through sessions with the patient, discovering what are their triggers, and how they can handle the negative thoughts that come from them.

What is a mental health life coach?

A mental health life coach will work with improving a person’s mental health. They will usually help their clients feel more fulfilled with their lives. They want to empower people to live with long-term mental issues in not such a troubling way.

They often use cognitive and behavioral forms of techniques and will offer guidance and support to their clients. They don’t treat mental illness but focus on improving the person’s sense of well-being, which will help them make their lives better. 

A mental health coach will work to help you figure out what is setting the person back and what are their goals, and once that is established the coach and their client will work in a partnership to go after reaching those goals and keeping them active in the long-term.

Is a life coach the same thing as a therapist?

No, a life coach is not the same thing as a therapist. Although people might think they are working the same way with both professionals, they have different purposes in dealing with many things, such as a mental illness.

When a person is in therapy, they are working with a licensed psychologist. They will help you understand and resolve your problematic beliefs, behaviors, and relationship issues. 

They can sometimes go deep in your life history to discover how you became who you are and what can be done to deal with the problems you’ve been facing. 

Repairing and breaking those patterns are not always easy, they can take time and sometimes even be hurtful, but through it, a person can establish healthier patterns of relationships. 

A life coach, on the other hand, will focus mainly on figuring out what are your goals at the moment, and through figuring out what is holding you back, they will encourage you to reach your goals.

Let’s see an example: a person that is looking to lose weight that looks for a coach can figure out why they are not losing weight and deal with that, but through a therapy process the person can understand why their relationship with food and their body has been an issue in their life.

Is life coach a licensed career?

No, even though nowadays more and more people have specialized in becoming coaches of many sorts, it is not, as of yet, a recognized and licensed profession.

People can become coaches for any matter they feel interests them, there are dieting coaches, for better relationships, to help develop in a career, and even to improve your organization skills. What is required is for them to just get a license and they can practice.

Is a life coach worth it when dealing with mental health issues?

As with any other type of coping strategy, when dealing with mental issues, going to a life coach can help some people with depression but not help others. 

Some people might find it is a great benefit, aside from their therapy process, to have someone that helps them with figuring out the best strategies for them to experience an increase in their sense of well-being. 

And although life coaches sometimes tend to be a little more expensive, if the person wants this process and finds it helpful, it can be a positive experience.

Will a life coach give me advice?

No, a life coach won’t give you advice, they will listen to you and through that, help define what are your goals and ambitions. They won’t set the goals thinking of a specific outcome, those are always changeable from one person to the next.

So they won’t give you advice, but through constant conversations, they will help you discover what is the best path you can go through to achieve what you want.

Conclusion 

In this article, it was discussed if a life coach can help people with depression. For that, the article explained what depression is, and what is the job of a life coach. And through that discussed what role could a life coach have in the treatment of someone with depression.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.

References

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression