Does Depression Counseling Help?
Updated July 01, 2020
It is not uncommon to feel sad or alone from time to time, but if these feelings are always there, you may have a depression disorder. Often, anxiety and depression coincide, so it is essential to talk to your doctor or a counselor if major depression is noticed. Many people get into such a rut that they don’t even know they are dealing with depression, nor do they realize that major depression is treatable. If you are told that you may be suffering from severe depression or postpartum depression, among others, counseling for depression is available. Finding the right counselor when you are living with depression is easier than you may think. With counseling and perhaps antidepressant medications, you can get back to a more normal life.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?
There are a lot of symptoms of depression. Depending on if you have severe depression, major depressive disorder, or other types of depression, your symptoms may vary in severity.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, some symptoms include:
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Loss of interest in pleasurable or fun activities
- Extreme fatigue
- Trouble making decisions
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Craving unhealthy foods
- Poor work or school performance
- Feeling guilty
- Body pain
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Dropping out of activities
Again, this is just a partial list. However, these are the most common symptoms of depression. In all, 322 million people worldwide live with depression, and around 16.1 million adults aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year. However, these people do not have to live their lives dealing with depression. There are treatments for depression that can substantially improve the quality of your life. Finding the right counselor is the first step in the right direction to feeling happier.
How Is Depression Diagnosed?
Typically your doctor will diagnose you with depression and may provide you with a low dose medication as a depression treatment. Some physicians may refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist if they think you have a depressive disorder or major depressive disorder. The form of depression can vary, depending on your symptoms and causation, so it is essential to get a proper diagnosis and follow up with depression counseling as recommended.
How Do I Find A Counselor For The Treatment Of Depression?
If you are ready to find a counselor for the treatment of depression, there are many options available. Many offices offer online counseling for depression treatment, as well as in-person therapy.
The first step would be to contact your insurance company to find a counselor in your network. If your insurance allows you to see anyone you want, finding the right counselor can be found by asking a trusted friend or your primary care physician. If you do not want others to know that you are seeking the help of a counselor, you can do a web search online and see who has the best ratings in your area.
Treating depression is not a one and done situation. So, it is important to find a counselor that you feel comfortable with, as you may want to schedule appointments with them for several months. Depending on your diagnosis, long-term counseling is a possibility to continue to keep your mental health in check. The important thing to remember is that counseling for depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and the process is designed to help you feel better.
What Are The Different Kinds Of Depression?
Dealing with depression can be challenging because treating depression can feel like an uphill battle sometimes. However, it is entirely possible to feel better with counseling and medication, depending on your depression symptoms.
When counseling for depression is prescribed, it may be for:
A depressive disorder is one form of treatable depression. This is because it is a form of depression that may be associated with other medical conditions. Endocrine system and reproductive system disorders are frequently associated with depressive disorder. If the symptoms are severe enough, you may be told that you have a major depressive disorder.
People with low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) often have a comorbidity of depressive disorder. This is because your low TSH, also known as hypothyroidism, is at levels that cause you to suffer from weight gain, memory loss, fatigue, and fluctuating or depressed moods. When TSH is normalized, with the help of medication or time depending on the causation, a person’s depressive disorder typically reverses, as well.
While counseling for depression may help you manage your low moods regarding your weight gain and other symptoms, most people only need it short-term.
Other medical conditions that can cause depression include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, HIV and AIDS, strokes, and many others. While these conditions cannot be reversed with medication, some of the symptoms associated with it may be controlled. Counseling for depression when you have these medical issues may become long-term, depending on how well you are managing your disease and how advanced it may be.
Childhood depression is diagnosed when children or adolescents are found to have two more symptoms that are not attributed to another disorder.
Since depression in children and teenagers can be challenging to diagnose, family history of a depressive episode or mood disorders are taken into consideration.
Younger children are more likely to have physical symptoms or body pain, as they often don’t know how to describe what they are feeling. They may be unable to talk about their feelings or healthily express their emotions and just say, “I hurt.”
Symptoms to look for in children or teens that you suspect may have childhood depression include:
- Loss of interest in activities that they typically find to be fun
- Trouble concentrating
- Increased or decreased sleep cycles
- Appetite changes
- Running away from home.
- Talking about death or dying
If you suspect that your child is suffering from depression, you should schedule an appointment with their doctor and discuss if counseling for depression would be helpful.
Clinical depression is defined as severe depression regardless of age, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association. When treating depression classified as clinical depression, it typically requires a combination of psychological counseling and antidepressant medications.
Symptoms of clinical depression may be similar to other forms of depression-like bipolar disorder major depressive disorder or childhood clinical depression, such as:
- Angry outburst
- Loss of interest in sex, sports, hobbies or work
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Pain throughout the body
- Trouble concentration and making decisions
Treating depression is not impossible; however, getting to the root of what initially caused the depression is essential. While feelings of depression can seem everlasting, there is hope that you will feel more like yourself with the help of counseling.
Another type of depression you may encounter is maternal depression. This type of depression happens when women are pregnant. Maternal depression is an umbrella term that is comprised of four different types of depression diagnoses.
The four types of depression are prenatal depression, baby blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis.
Prenatal depression happens during pregnancy and affects 10-20% of pregnant women. Symptoms include crying, sleep issues, anxiety, and lack of attachment to her fetus.
Baby blues occurs during the first week or two after the mother delivers her baby. Typically, symptoms resolve after a couple of weeks. Baby blues affect up to 80% of women and consist of crying, irritability, mood swings, feeling overwhelmed, and extreme fatigue.
Between 10 and 20% of women suffer from postpartum depression. Sometimes it starts as the baby blues and then progresses to postpartum depression. Other times the onset is delayed. Postpartum depression typically takes place in the first few months after the baby is born. In severe cases, it can last for longer than a few months. Symptoms of postpartum depression include frequent crying, feeling inadequate, irritability, loss of interest in caring for oneself, fatigue, or lack of bonding with the baby. While most forms of maternal depression typically do not require medication or counseling, patients with prolonged postpartum depression may benefit from therapy or prescription medication.
Postpartum psychosis is a severe form of depression and is often debilitating to the mother. Only 1-2 out of 1000 patients have postpartum psychosis. It usually starts within a few days to a few weeks after delivery but can present anytime during the first year after having a baby. Symptoms include hallucinations and delusions, hopelessness, anger, and paranoia. Many times, postpartum psychosis patients are hospitalized for the safety of themselves and their babies.
There are many types of depression, but the majority of them can be managed with either medication, counseling, or a combination of the two. Depression counseling does help those who attend. While those who are seriously depressed may find it challenging to get dressed and leave the house, there are alternative ways to get the counseling that is needed, such as online therapy sessions. Once the patient is feeling up to leaving the house, they can either go to in-person counseling or continue with online counseling sessions.
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