What are the benefits of depression counseling?
There are many benefits of depression counseling. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (a type of therapy often used to treat depression) helps identify and manage the various factors that contribute to depression. This type of therapy is used to learn effective coping techniques that alleviate the symptoms of depression.
How do you know if you will benefit from depression counseling? It is important to first note that many people feel sad, lonely, or depressed from time-to-time. After all, these are common emotions and typical reactions to difficult times in life. Those who benefit most from counseling suffer from the symptoms of depression for weeks at a time. In addition, it might be time to speak with your doctor if you feel depression is impacting your ability to effectively cope with day-to-day tasks and activities.
Those who suffer from depression, sometimes referred to by doctors as “clinical depression”, typically need treatment under the care of a professional to alleviate his or her symptoms and feel better. Being diagnosed with depression or needing depression counseling does not indicate weakness and is not a character flaw. There are many different factors that contribute to depression, including brain biology or brain chemistry and stressful or traumatic life events.
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, or if your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, then it might be the right time to speak with your doctor and look into treatment options.
- You experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, or emptiness on a regular basis.
- You are less excited about events, situations, and even people that you used to enjoy.
- You often feel hopeless, worthless, or helpless.
- Your have less energy than normal and typically feel tired throughout the day.
- It is hard for you to focus on tasks during the day and make normal decisions.
- You struggle to fall asleep at night, struggle to stay asleep throughout the night, or struggle to wake up in the morning.
- Without being on a diet, you have seen big changes in either your appetite or your weight.
- You have thoughts of death and/or suicide.
- You feel jumpy and irritable throughout the day.
If you nodded along to suffering from any of the symptoms above or if any of the symptoms above are impacting your daily life, then it may be time to contact your doctor and find out if depression counseling is right for you.
If it is the right next step for you, then contact one of our professional therapists here at Cherry Hill Counseling to understand what you are experiencing. There there are many types of depression, including:
- Major depression is a type of depression where symptoms affect one’s ability to enjoy life.
- Depressive disorder is a type of depression where symptoms last for at least 2 years.
- Psychotic depression is a type of depression where one suffers from symptoms of depression as well as symptoms of psychosis (including delusions or hallucinations).
- Postpartum depression is different than normal “post baby blues” and is a type of depression triggered by physical and hormonal changes after giving birth.
- Seasonal affective disorder is often referred to as “seasonal depression” and is a type of depression where one suffers from the symptoms of depression during the winter months or when there is a natural decrease in sunlight.
Although there are a few different types of depression, most forms are treated well through counseling, medication, or a combination of both counseling and medication. There are also natural forms of treatment that can be used under the supervision of a doctor and in combination with counseling and/or medication. It is important to speak with your doctor about a treatment(s) right for you.
One of the most common forms of treatment is depression counseling. This counseling takes place under a professional and often yields great results. Counseling can be effective at helping a patient overcome depression and alleviate his or her symptoms by focusing on:
- What the patient does (behavioral therapy)
- How the patient tends to think about things (cognitive therapy)
- Ways things will be better for the patient in the future (solution focused therapy)
- How to get the patient’s basic emotional needs met
- Solutions to immediate problems
Both the patient and therapist collaborate to understand triggers and practice coping techniques that alleviate symptoms.
Sometimes used in addition with counseling is medication. Medication will not cure depression, but the right type of medication may manage the symptoms you experience.
Both counseling and therapy may be used together or individually. In addition to these types of treatment, there are also natural treatments that can be used at the advice of your doctor. These natural treatments include:
- Counseling when not used in coordination with medication
- Daily meditation
- Daily exercise
- Consistent meals, including breakfast
- Drinking plenty of water during the day
- Spending time with family, friends, and loved ones
- Understanding the realistic expectations for mood improvement (gradually not overnight).
It is important to note that some respond to treatment immediately, while others take weeks, months, or years to see full treatment benefits. Work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that works best for you.
- Anxiety Disorders. (March 2016). In National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know/index.shtml.
- Anxiety Disorders. In National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml.
- Overcoming Depression: Counseling and Therapy. In Clinical Depression. Retrieved from http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/dlp/treating-depression/overcoming-depression-counseling-and-therapy/.
- Understand the Facts. In Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety.