What Does Depression Feel Like?
It can feel like you're sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, or overwhelmed. You might no longer enjoy activities you used to enjoy. You might have trouble concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions. You might be simultaneously exhausted and unable to sleep. You might have a shorter fuse than normal and feel like you get angry quickly, even taking that anger out on those close to you. You might feel like you have no work-life balance and that you’re not able to juggle everything in your life.
You might not even feel like you can get out of bed in the morning, let alone face your family, your work, or the outside world.
You’re not alone. Nearly 21 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2020. This means that a staggering 8.4% of US adults reported to suffer from depression (NIMH, 2022.)
What Can Cause Depression?
Depression can be biological, psychological, or social – or a little of all three.
Depression can be caused by low levels of serotonin or dopamine levels in your brain. Depression can also be caused by genetic factors; if you have a parent or sibling with depression, your risk of developing depression is 2-3 times higher than that of the average person.
Depression can also be situational. Grief and loss can cause depression, especially when combined with other factors. Seasonal affective disorder impacts about 5% of adults in the United States, for example. Social isolation due to COVID-19 has been shown to exacerbate symptoms of depression as well.
What are the Different Types of Depression?
1. Clinical Depression: Persistent depressed mood and loss of interest in life
2. Persistent Depressive Disorder: Mild, long term depression
3. Seasonal Depression: Depression that occurs with the colder, darker seasons like winter
4. Postpartum Depression: Depression experience post-pregnancy/ after childbirth
5. Bipolar Disorder: Severe mood swings of extreme highs and lows
Depression Therapy at the Therapy Space
We use cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) to help you recognize, acknowledge, and tolerate negative thought patterns and negative self-talk, and to develop coping mechanisms to improve your mental health. Neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to modify its structure and function – is possible, but it requires intense repetition of responses to events and situations to adapt your thought patterns. If your response to sad situations now is to recall other sad events, we can help you train your brain and your cognitive process to respond differently to negative events and thoughts.
We know that working on small, achievable goals has been shown to achieve results, especially with a focus on self-care.
Because depression can be caused by biological and genetic factors, we may also discuss whether medication would be appropriate for you as part of your treatment.
Benefits of Depression Therapy
Depression therapy, also known as psychotherapy or talk therapy, offers a range of benefits for individuals dealing with depression. Some of the key advantages include:
Emotional Support: Therapy provides a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to express their feelings and emotions, offering valuable emotional support during difficult times.
Understanding the Root Causes: Therapists help individuals explore the underlying factors contributing to their depression, such as past experiences, trauma, or unresolved issues, leading to a deeper understanding of themselves.
Coping Strategies: Therapy equips individuals with effective coping mechanisms to manage depressive symptoms, stress, and negative thought patterns, empowering them to navigate challenges more effectively.
Behavioral Changes: Therapists work with individuals to identify and modify negative behaviors and habits that may be exacerbating depression, promoting positive changes in daily life.
Cognitive Restructuring: Depression therapy addresses distorted thought patterns and helps individuals reframe negative thinking, fostering more balanced and constructive perspectives.
Increased Self-Awareness: Therapy encourages self-reflection, enabling individuals to gain insights into their emotions, beliefs, and behavioral patterns, leading to personal growth and self-awareness.
Goal Setting: Therapists assist individuals in setting realistic and achievable goals, providing a sense of purpose and direction, even during depressive episodes.
Improved Relationships: Addressing depression can positively impact interpersonal relationships, as individuals learn to communicate more effectively and engage in healthier interactions with others.
Enhanced Self-Esteem: As individuals work through their depressive feelings, therapy can lead to increased self-esteem and a greater sense of self-worth.
Long-Term Resilience: Depression therapy fosters resilience, equipping individuals with coping skills and emotional tools to manage depression and prevent future relapses.
Overall, depression therapy offers a supportive and empowering process that promotes healing, self-discovery, and improved mental well-being. It empowers individuals to regain control over their lives, experience greater emotional stability, and find hope and fulfillment despite the challenges of depression.