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Would a depression counselor make life better?
The right depression treatment and depression counselor could certainly help you feel better. In fact, there are a variety of benefits of depression counseling. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (which is one form of therapy used to treat depression) works to identify and then teach you how to manage the factors that contribute to depression.
Before we can determine whether or not you would benefit from depression counseling, we must first note that it is common to feel sad, lonely, or discouraged at different points in your life. These are in fact typical emotions and common reactions to hard or tough times in life. Those who get the greatest benefit from working with a depression counselor usually suffer from the symptoms of depression for weeks or months at a time or are experiencing symptoms that impact their ability to effectively handle day-to-day tasks and activities.
If you find yourself falling into the latter category, then you may need treatment provided by a professional in order to alleviate your symptoms and feel better. If this is the case, then it is important to know that being diagnosed with depression or needing to see a depression counselor is not a character flaw. There are various factors that contribute to depression, including but not limited to brain chemistry and traumatic life events.
If you answer “yes” to any one or more of the following questions, or if your depression symptoms are impacting your ability to handle daily activities, then it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor and consider your treatment options.
- Do you often feel sad, lonely, or empty?
- Are you less excited about situations, events, even in the company of loved ones?
- Do you no longer enjoy activities that you used to enjoy?
- Do you feel hopeless, worthless, or helpless?
- Have you noticed or experienced a change in your energy?
- Do you feel more tired throughout the day?
- Is it hard to focus on day-to-day tasks?
- Do you have more trouble than usual making decisions?
- Is it hard to fall asleep at night, stay asleep during the night, or wake up in the morning?
- Have you seen changes in your appetite or weight without being on a diet?
- Do you have thoughts of death or suicide?
- Are you often jumpy or even irritable during the day?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, or if your symptoms are hurting your ability to handle everyday life, then you may wish to contact your doctor or follow-up with one of our professional counselors here at Cherry Hill Counseling. Working with a depression counselor could be the right fit for you.
If working with a counselor is the right step for you, then your doctor or counselor will first want to understand what symptoms you are currently experiencing. Depression comes in many forms, including:
- Major depression, which affects your ability to enjoy life
- Depressive disorder, in which your symptoms last for at least 2 years
- Psychotic depression, a type of depression in which you experience symptoms of depression and psychosis (such as delusions or hallucinations)
- Postpartum depression, a type of depression triggered by the physical and hormonal changes after giving birth
- Seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression where you suffer from the symptoms of depression during the winter months due to the decrease in sunlight
Although there are different types of depression, most are treated well with counseling, medication, or a combination of counseling and medication. There are also natural treatments that are sometimes used under the advice of a doctor and in combination with counseling and/or medication. It is important to work with your doctor to find the treatment(s) best for you.
One common form of treatment is depression counseling with a depression counselor. Counseling can work well to help you overcome depression and alleviate symptoms by focusing primarily on:
- What you do (behavioral therapy)
- How you tend to think about things (cognitive therapy)
- Ways things will be better in the future (solution focused therapy)
- How to get your basic emotional needs met
- Solutions to immediate problems
Both the patient and counselor work together to identify and understand triggers, and practice coping techniques to alleviate symptoms.
Medication is at times used with counseling. Medication alone will not cure depression, but the right type of medication may manage your symptoms.
In addition to counseling and medication, there are natural treatments that can be used under the supervision of your doctor and counselor. These include:
- Regular meals, including breakfast
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
- Hanging out with family, friends, and loved ones
- Setting realistic expectations for mood improvement
Some respond to treatment immediately, while others take months or years to see the full benefits of treatment. Work with your doctor or a professional counselor 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.