Depression Can Be Helped.
If you feel an urgent need for help, if your thoughts or emotions are overwhelming you right now, see your doctor immediately or call 911. Then call us—we’ll help you get past this urgent phase, back to a life you want.
Depression is a very common illness that involves ones thoughts, feelings, behaviors and physical sensations. Depression symptoms may be very slight and hard to detect – as in “low energy or fatigue” or “overeating or poor appetite”. Sometimes the symptoms are severe and feel overwhelming.
Specialized counseling for depression is very effective – 70-90% receiving symptom relief in just a few weeks. So, if some of the symptoms fit, get an assessment to see if depression counseling may help.
Depression counseling may be helpful if you are experiencing symptoms similar to the following:
Sadness or frequent and unexplained crying spells
Feelings of hopelessness
Weight loss or gain
Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Inability to sleep or increase in sleep
Tired or loss of energy
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
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Who Gets Depressed?
A lot of people experience depression at some point in their lives. Depression is one of our most common physical and emotional problems, involving nearly 10% of the population at any given time. Depression can be caused by many factors ranging from social or relationship problems to job worries to biochemistry.
Based on our profession’s counseling experience, we believe that about 3% of children and over 12% of adolescents are depressed in any given year. Depression is more common with people over the age of 65, with nearly 16% in a depressed state. Women seem to have a greater chance of experiencing depression at some point in their lives, with 24% reporting the problem compared to men’s 15%. However the lower percentage of men compared to women may in part be due to the fact that men are more reluctant to report their symptoms or seek depression counseling.
Depression and Other Illnesses
The symptoms of depression are often found together with eating disorders, chemical dependency and a wide variety of other physical illnesses. Several recent studies have shown that when symptoms of depression are relieved through depression treatment, people with co-existing illnesses often have improved recovery for both. In other words, relieving the depression may help the individual address the other illness more effectively.
Depression and Relationships
Being in a troubled relationship can contribute to the symptoms of depression. Also, a physically, sexually or emotionally abusive relationship can make recovery from depression much more difficult. We often assist our clients in addressing relationship issues, when helpful, as part of depression counseling and treatment. Seeking out local professional assistance to improve relationships and or personal safety may be an important step in recovering from depression. Also, most local communities have programs that can be accessed through local agencies or often by dialing local emergency services at 911.
SummerSmith’s Approach to Depression Treatment
Our approach to depression treatment is to help you focus on the things you can control that will reduce your depression symptoms quickly – and allow you to get on with achieving your goals in life.
As you can see from the symptoms list above, depression can affects many parts of your life – your thoughts, how you feel physically or emotionally, your sleep, how much you eat or weigh and even your relationships at work or home. Depression can affect your ability to succeed in work or school and even how well you recover from an illness.
Our depression counseling therapy includes a combination of the following ingredients
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
– CBT is one of the most researched and effective interventions for depression treatment. Created by Dr. Aaron Beck, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a very personalized and practical problem-solving approach. Clients learn new ways of thinking, behaving and relating to others. CBT is focused on solving immediate problems and issues that may contribute to depression. In the longer term, clients often learn skills that are helpful far after therapy is completed.
– Of course our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all connected. When we feel better, it is easier to have better thoughts or actions. Depression is often exhausting and stressful for our bodies. Learning how to improve our body’s ability to physically relax can speed recovery. These skills can be learned often in a few minutes, and often provide immediate relief. There is no 100% effective natural cure for depression, but relaxation is an important component of depression treatment.
Biofeedback – Think of Biofeedback as “turbocharged” relaxation training. Biofeedback is a way to deepen and speed the leaning of relaxation. Biofeedback uses a computer to give a client immediate information about how their body is responding to relaxation skills. Measures such as muscle tension, heart rate or breathing can be a fun and fast way to learn new ways to feel better.
Medication – Medications are sometimes indicated for depression treatment. In these cases SummerSmith works in cooperation with medical professionals to create effective joint strategies of depression treatment aimed at long-term recovery.
Unfortunately, using medication for depression treatment is often associated with troubling side-affects and high relapse rates, especially when they are used as the only form of therapy. Medication may be necessary for some people with severe symptoms or who are not responding to other forms of therapy. In these cases, the medication may help to reduce the most severe symptoms while the lasting effects of counseling can take effect . Most often, our clients quickly learn new skills to combat the symptoms of depression and progress without the need for longterm medication use.
Other Valuable Ingredients for the depression treatment can include a wide variety of interventions to improve relationships skills, physical fitness, career planning, financial planning, nutrition, and living skills, among others. The point here is that often people feel symptoms of depression because of other problems in their lives. When we address these causes, we can often help people reduce or eliminate the symptoms. Depression counseling in these cases can not only address immediate symptoms — it can also lead to long-term improvements in lifestyle and happiness.