What is Depression?
Many of us will endure days that seem harder than others. While it’s normal to have “the blues” every once in a while, major depressive disorder is a severe illness that can affect many aspects of your day-to-day life. If you are struggling with depression, your sadness can feel overwhelming and can also include feelings of guilt and worthlessness. You may find it challenging to focus on school or work, and you may feel disconnected from your friends, partner, coworkers, and family.
Depression is defined as a period where an individual feels depressed for two weeks or longer and can have many different symptoms, such as:
- Trouble concentrating
- A loss of interest in activities that one used to enjoy
- Feeling worthless or helpless
- Changes in appetite
- Physical aches and pains
- Digestive issues
- Suicidal thoughts
Depression is very common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 17.3 million adults in the U.S. have experienced major depression at least once in their life–about 7.1 percent of all adults living in the U.S.
There are many different forms of depression, including major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, and bipolar disorder.
What is Depression Counseling?
The good news about depression is that there are several different treatments for depression available, including talk therapy (depression counseling), medication, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Since there are many different treatment options available, it can take time to find the right one that works for you. However, talk therapy can be a great place to start and put you on the path to possibly exploring other options.
There are many different forms of therapy available when it comes to depression counseling. There is interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social skills therapy, psychodynamic therapy, supportive counseling, behavioral activation, and problem-solving therapy.
Depression counseling is tailored to each individual’s needs. Based on the information you share with your therapist, he or she will be able to determine which kind of therapy may be the most successful at treating your depression.
Aside from talk therapy, your therapist may refer you to a psychiatrist, a healthcare professional that can prescribe you medication for your depression. Deciding to take medicine is a deeply personal choice and can be discussed with your psychiatrist or counselor.
How Does Counseling Help Depression?
Depression can take many different forms, and the kind of depression one experiences can range from mild to severe. Based on the type of depression an individual is dealing with and the symptoms they are ensuring, they may find that one kind of therapy can prove to be more beneficial than another.
There are several forms of therapy available, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social skills therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. One of the most common types of therapy, CBT, helps individuals change negative thought patterns. Negative thinking can cause your depression to be worse. However, by learning to stop those negative thought patterns and think more positively with CBT, you may feel better if you have mild to moderate depression.
Another form of therapy, interpersonal therapy, can help you learn more about how you relate to others and make appropriate changes where necessary to help improve the strength of your relationships.
Depression counseling is meant to help give you a safe space to talk to someone about how you feel that is free of judgment. Many times, individuals suffering from depression may feel like they have no one to turn to. They may feel like no one will understand them. By talking to a counselor, you can express how you are feeling and undergo treatment that can help you feel better.
Also, regardless of the treatment that feels right to you, your counselor will discuss positive lifestyle changes you can make to help cope with depression. These positive lifestyle changes include exercise, building a social circle, eating well, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress.
Counseling for Postpartum Depression
As a new mother, you may find yourself struggling with many new changes and challenges. Not only are you trying to care for your newborn, but you might not be getting enough sleep. You may find that eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet is difficult, and you might even be dealing with different forms of physical pain.
All of this can be overwhelming for a new mother, and some women will experience postpartum depression. You don’t even have to be a new mother to experience it. Even if you have already had children and are giving birth to your second, third, or even fourth child, you can still experience postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is much more common than you probably think: about 1 in 10 women will struggle with it at some point in their life, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Women who experience postpartum depression may feel sad, hopeless, or guilty. Many times they will not want to bond with their baby. There are many different causes of postpartum depression, including hormonal changes, a family history of depression, and high levels of stress in your life.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Crying spells
- Trouble bonding with your baby
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Trouble concentrating
Counseling for Teenage Depression
Depression can affect individuals at almost any age–even those in their adolescent years. Did you know that depression affects about 1 in 5 of all adolescents by the time they reach adulthood?
There are many different forms of treatment for teenagers experiencing mild to severe depression. At Focus Forward Counseling, we can find a treatment plan that is tailored to your child and his or her needs.
Forms of therapy available for teenagers include positive lifestyle changes, medication, interpersonal therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Symptoms of depression in teens include:
- Feeling sad and crying frequently
- Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Trouble focusing at work or school
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Suicidal thoughts
Teenage depression can be caused by biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Many teenagers deal with low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, bullying, stress, puberty, and hormonal changes, eating disorders, physical or sexual abuse, and more. It can be difficult for any individual to deal with these stressors, and depression counseling for teens can help provide a safe space where they can talk to a trusted adult about how they are feeling.
For more information about depression counseling services and to book an appointment at our Alpharetta or Cumming office, please give us a call today at 404-388-3909.