According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 30 million Americans deal with feelings beyond their control in relation to their careers, family life, or substance abuse. One of the most common results of these hopeless feelings is depression. Depression is a serious and common disease, affecting 1 in 10 Americans, and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Despite its debilitating effects, there are several ways for those who feel helpless and sad to overcome their depression.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression will vary from person to person, and may even change during the course of the illness. Some very common symptoms of depression, however, include feelings of hopelessness, anger, anxiety, difficultly concentrating, inconsistent sleeping and eating habits, and thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these symptoms, they may benefit from mental health counseling.
The Benefits of Mental Health Counseling
For those who do not understand depression, they may believe you can just snap out of it and move on. The truth is depression is a serious condition that makes it hard for many people to cope with the stress of their daily routine. Mental health counseling is a great way for people to work through their stress, triggers, and worries with a licensed and caring professional. Many people choose to do one-on-one counseling, but there are also many group therapies available including family and couples counseling. Counseling is a great way for people to overcome their depression, with nearly 80 percent of participants seeing an improvement in their symptoms. Mental health counseling can also increase people's sense of empowerment and hope, learn wellness skills, and help prevent future problems with mental health.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
One of the most common forms of mental health counseling is the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. This technique focuses on exploring relationships among a person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By working through these areas in a person's life, a psychologist can help a person understand why they have these unhealthy thoughts and work to prevent the self-destructive behaviors and beliefs that are often associated with them. This kind of therapy can teach someone to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, a person may learn to replace "I can't do anything right," with "I've done this before, so I can do it again." CBT has been found to significantly help people suffering from depression, and can even increase brain functionality.
Another common type of therapy to aid in overcoming depression is interpersonal therapy. Interpersonal Therapy, or IPT, is limited-focus treatment done over a short period of time. This therapy is often used for mild forms of depression, and has seen success in adults, adolescents, and even children. Depression often occurs within the context of interpersonal relationships and affects how successful the relationships are. Interpersonal therapy focuses on how the symptoms of a person's depression are related to their relationships with family, peers, or coworkers. The goal of this therapy is to identify how a person does or does not interact with people in social situations, and offer guidance on how to better cope in these types of interactions.
Choosing the Right Mental Health Provider
Overcoming depression is a completely plausible task. The key though, is partnering with a psychologist who you feel comfortable with and has experience dealing with your particular kind of depression. Psychologists provide an open and confidential environment for people to discuss and work through their feelings and emotions about their disease. When choosing a psychologist, find someone you feel at ease having a conversation with and genuinely trust. Before seeing a new provider, ask them if they have dealt with cases similar to yours. Also inquire about the types of insurance they accept, their fee structure, and the types of treatments they use. Finding the right psychologist can help put you on the path to overcoming your depression once and for all.
To discuss the treatment options available to you, contact me today. Don't let depression keep you from living your life to the fullest.