Does Depression Counseling Help?

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated May 2, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

It is not uncommon to feel sad or alone from time to time, but if these feelings are always there, you may be living with a depression disorder. 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 experiencing severe depression or postpartum depression, among others, counseling for depression is available. Finding the right mental health counselor when you are living with depression is easier than you may think. With counseling and other treatment options, you can get back to a more normal life.

What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?

Talk About How Depression Impacts Your Life With A Therapist

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
  • Sadness or guilt
  • Worrying or anxiety
  • Irritability, frustration, and or anger
  • Tiredness, restlessness, or extreme fatigue
  • Loss of interest in and/or withdrawal from pleasurable or fun activities
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself
  • Craving unhealthy foods
  • Poor work or school performance
  • Body pain

This is just a partial list. However, these are some of the most common symptoms of depression according to mental health professionals. 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 under the weight of depression. There are treatments that can substantially improve the quality of your life. Finding the right counselor may be the first step in the right direction to feeling happier.

How Is Depression Diagnosed?

Typically, your doctor will diagnose you with depression. They 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. 

Psychiatrists can give you an overview about the stages of depression, and what to do in each stage. 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.

Ilona Titova/EyeEm

The first step may 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. You may also want to search for counselors that are experienced in treating depression, or who are familiar with modern techniques, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Treating depression is usually 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 a depression can be challenging because treating depression can feel like an uphill battle sometimes. However, it is entirely possible to reduce the adverse impact of a depressive episode to feel better with counseling and medication, depending on your depression symptoms.

Depressive Disorder

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 experience depression symptoms. This is because your low TSH, also known as hypothyroidism, is at levels that cause you to experience 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 different types of 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. The side effects of some medications may also contribute to depression. 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

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.”

Along with the above list, some additional symptoms to look for in children or teens that you suspect may have childhood depression include:

  • Appetite changes
  • Running away from home.
  • Talking about death or dying

If you suspect that your child is experiencing depression, you should schedule an appointment with their doctor and discuss if counseling for depression would be helpful.

Clinical Depression

Clinical depression is defined as severe depression regardless of age, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association. Clinical depression differs from birthday depression which only occurs as one's birthday approaches. When treating depression classified as clinical depression, it typically requires a combination of psychological counseling and antidepressant medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly utilized, as is interpersonal therapy and other forms of talk therapy.

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
  • Feeling sad all the time
  • Feeling hopelessness
  • Pain throughout the body
  • Trouble concentration and making decisions

It is not impossible to treat depression; 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.

Pregnancy Depression

Talk About How Depression Impacts Your Life With A Therapist

Therapy for depression is often focused on depressive symptoms with no direct underlying cause, but other types of depression can be related to other factors, such as pregnancy depression. This type of depression happens when women are pregnant. Pregnancy depression is an umbrella term that is comprised of three different types of depression diagnoses: prenatal depression, 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.

Between 10 and 20% of women experience postpartum depression. Sometimes it starts small 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 help from mental health professionals. Depression counseling can help those who attend find better ways to control their emotions, manage their symptoms, and regain control of their mental health. 

Those who are seriously depressed may find it challenging to get dressed and leave the house may be relieved to know that there are alternative ways to get the counseling, such as online therapy sessions. Online therapy has been shown to be just as effective as in-person counseling for patients living with depression and anxiety, as it uses the same professional techniques as its traditional counterpart in a digital setting.

With online therapy, you can meet with a licensed professional via text, phone, or video chat from the comfort of your home, meaning you do not have to travel to and from an office to receive treatment. You can talk on a more flexible schedule and, with services like Regain, chat with your therapist via a 24/7 messaging system that allows you to send updates and receive advice outside of your sessions. To try Regain, take the short quiz to be matched with a therapist suited for your needs.

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