We all feel sad from time to time, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Just like joy, happiness, and excitement, sadness is a natural emotion, but sometimes, this emotion may get out of control and become too persistent and intense.
When a person experiences sadness and a loss of interest in regular activities, including those that used to bring joy, these are the signs of depression.
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, and it can be very dangerous when left untreated.
Without proper treatment, symptoms of depression may get worse, leading to suicidal thoughts and self-harm behavior.
The good news is that depression has also proven to be highly treatable.
Depression counseling can help people with this disorder determine the root causes of the problem and learn to cope with the symptoms effectively, improving their quality of life.
What Will We Learn?
Common Misconceptions About Depression
Unfortunately, there are also many myths about depression that may stop people from getting the so-needed help.
For instance, some people think that depression isn’t a real mental health problem and try to explain its symptoms through laziness, passive aggression, or other personal traits.
The truth is that depression is a real mental health problem, and it may have not only psychological roots but also biological ones.
Licensed therapists can diagnose depression after talking to a person who experiences its symptoms, and there are also professional depression screening tests that can help people understand whether or not they should visit a therapist.
Another common myth is that people with depression can just “stop being so sad” and, for example, enjoy fun activities instead.
The truth is that depression affects brain chemistry so a person with depression might be unable to feel joy in situations they’ve used to consider engaging, fun, or exciting.
Last but not least, one of the most dangerous misconceptions about depression is that it’s a sign of emotional weakness.
For instance, people who stick with outdated gender stereotypes may claim that men cannot develop depression.
The truth is that depression affects everyone.
Moreover, numerous researchers show that men are more likely to commit suicide because of depression than women.
Therefore, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of depression as early as possible so that you can get the necessary professional help.
If you or someone you know have suicidal thoughts or consider self-harm, please immediately contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
How to treat depression
As more and more people use antidepressants, it comes as no surprise that many people think that the best way to treat depression lies through medication.
This is another common misconception.
Although medication helps restore the hormonal balance that may induce depression, it cannot fix the psychological underlying causes.
If you think that you might have depression, the best solution is to talk to a licensed therapist. Only a professional can tell you whether medication is required and helpful in your situation or not.
Talk therapy has proven to be effective when treating different kinds of depressive disorders.
Through conversations, a therapist can help you identify the root causes of the problem and address them, replacing your unhelpful thinking patterns and changing unwanted behaviors.
Here are the most common types of therapy used to treat depression.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is the most common and very effective type of therapy used to treat many kinds of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, etc.
The main idea behind CBT is that unwanted emotions and behaviors are caused by thinking patterns.
The goal of CBT is to identify and challenge these thoughts.
This way, it becomes possible to ease the symptoms by addressing the underlying causes.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This type of therapy stems from CBT, but it also has its own distinctive features.
DBT also aims to identify unhelpful thoughts that lead to unwanted behaviors, and it also helps clients cope with their negative emotions through validation.
Both CBT and DBT are problem-focused, targeting specific symptoms.
The CBT treatment relies heavily on journaling and worksheets, while DBT may also use meditation and various mindfulness practices.
This is probably the oldest type of therapy because it’s deeply rooted in Freud’s psychoanalysis.
The psychoanalytic theory explains unwanted behaviors and emotions through unresolved unconscious conflicts. For example, depression may develop because of childhood trauma.
Psychodynamic therapy doesn’t target specific symptoms but rather aims to help clients become more aware of all of their hidden conflicts and learn to cope with negative emotions.
Given that this type of therapy requires a client to process past experiences and memories, it takes more time than CBT.
This type of therapy focuses on people’s social roles.
When a person with depression doesn’t receive proper social support, the symptoms may get worse, and that’s where interpersonal therapy can be helpful.
Similarly to CBT and DBT, interpersonal therapy focuses on specific problems.
Usually, it’s used to address various relationship problems.
The treatment process may involve roleplay exercises that can help clients improve their communication skills in different social situations.
How to get started with depression therapy
As you can see, there are many types of therapy that can help people overcome depression, and only a licensed therapist can come up with an individual treatment plan that will work in each particular case.
Traditional therapy requires a client to sit in the same room with a therapist.
Therefore, you have to commute to their office, and it can take a lot of time.
Fortunately, online therapy platforms like Calmerry offer a more convenient option.
All you have to do is create an account and answer a few questions about your symptoms.
After this, you’ll be matched with a licensed therapist from your state in just an hour.
No matter how tight your work schedule is, you can get the necessary help from the comfort of your home.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Depression is highly treatable, and there are many professionals ready to help you.
You deserve to live a healthier, fulfilling life.
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