Treating Depression

Depression affects up to 7% of the adult population each year according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Women are 70% more likely to endure a major depressive episode during their lifetime than men and adults ages 30-44 are 120% more likely to experience depression than other age groups.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Significant change in appetite
  • Extreme difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, and inappropriate guilt
  • Inactivity and loss of interest or pleasure in once enjoyed activities
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depressed individuals often have difficulty seeking treatment since feelings of hopelessness and helplessness contribute to their belief that treatment could not benefit them. Or they may feel guilty about seeking treatment because they think they should not need help. But depression cannot be controlled even by individuals with a very strong will. And treatment can be effective: multiple studies have shown that psychotherapy, sometimes combined with psychotropic medication, significantly reduces symptoms of depression and elevates mood. Individuals struggling with depression should seek help from a licensed professional who understands the nature of depression and its different forms and can recommend the most beneficial treatment plan.

    Sometimes life transitions, such as relationship problems, divorce, loss of employment, financial stress, difficulties with peers or school, can lead to depression. A counselor or therapist can provide needed support and help the individual develop ways to cope with these challenging situations. Some forms of depression, although exacerbated by difficult or extreme circumstances, may persist even when individuals perceive their life circumstances as manageable. These individuals often benefit from increasing their self-awareness and developing insight into underlying conflicts or unresolved issues contributing to their current difficulties. Major depression is a severe form of depression that inhibits people from participating in relationships or carrying out their usual responsibilities. It can lead to death in some cases if not addressed in a timely manner.

    Overall, if you suffer from depression or know someone who has symptoms of depression, you or that person should arrange to meet with a mental health professional who has the requisite knowledge and experience to accurately evaluate and effectively treat depression.

    If you would like my help, you can schedule an appointment with me by calling my office at 904-687-6336. I look forward to working with you.