Help With Depression
Depression is a serious condition that affects the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way one eats and sleeps. It affects how one thinks about things, and one’s self perception. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition one can will or wish away. People who are depressed cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. However, appropriate treatment, often involving short term counseling, can help most people who suffer from depression.
Depression varies from person to person. An estimated 33 to 35 million U.S. adults are likely to experience depression at some point during their lifetime. Depression affects men and women of all ages, races, and economic levels.
Depression left untreated may lead to serious consequences. The personal pain and feelings of worry may become so serious that the individual’s ability to perform at work or school becomes compromised.
Research shows that depressive disorders are real and treatable, and no greater a sign of weakness than cancer or any other serious illness. Counseling can help people struggling with depression find improved quality of life.
If you are struggling with depression, you may feel exhausted, helpless and hopeless. It may be extremely difficult to take any action to help yourself. But it is important to realize that these feelings are part of the depression and do not accurately reflect actual circumstances. As you begin to recognize your depression and begin treatment, negative thinking will fade.
If you come for therapy, I will conduct a complete diagnostic evaluation. Be prepared to discuss any family history of depression, and give a complete history of symptoms, e.g., when they started, how long they have lasted, their severity, and whether they have occurred before and if so, how they were treated.
Most of the time counseling or psychotherapy is short–term (10 to 20 weeks) and other regimens are longer–term, depending on the needs of the individual. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, focuses on a person’s thoughts and beliefs, and how they influence a person’s mood and actions, and aims to change a person’s thinking to be more adaptive and healthy. Behavioral therapy focuses on a person’s actions and aims to change unhealthy behavior patterns.
Depression counseling helps a person focus on his or her current problems and how to solve them. Both client and therapist need to be actively involved in this process. The therapist helps the client learn how to identify distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, recognize and change inaccurate beliefs, relate to others in more positive ways, and change behaviors accordingly.
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