Depression Q & A
What is depression?
Depression, clinically known as major depressive disorder, is an illness that causes feelings of intense sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness.
This imbalance negatively impacts your mood and thoughts, leading to behavioral changes. Other causes of depression include environmental, psychological, and social issues, and negative thinking and behavior patterns.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression causes a wide range of emotional and physical symptoms some of which may include:
Sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness
Feelings of guilt, shame, or self-loathing
Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
Changes to your appetite or weight
Irritability or feeling keyed up, on edge
Poor concentration and indecisiveness
Slow movements, thinking, and speech
Restless, purposeless movements
Frequent thoughts of death or suicide
If you are thinking of suicide or harming yourself, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room for immediate help.
Depression can also impact your performance at work or school and disrupt your relationships. You may want to avoid social interaction or have trouble keeping appointments and deadlines.
How is depression diagnosed?
Our counselors begin treatment for depression with a thorough assessment. We use evidenced-based screening tools to assess the level of your depression and make treatment recommendations.
During your evaluation, you talk about your personal and family medical history as well as your current symptoms, lifestyle, and concerns. This assessment helps us gauge your depression and identify some areas for you to focus on in your counseling sessions.
Counselors can also teach you mindfulness skills to better manage negative moods, thoughts, beliefs and physical sensations associated with depression to enhance your positive experiences and get back on track to living a more fulfilling life.
Some people may benefit from a referral to obtain medication in addition to psychotherapy.
How is depression treated?
Emerging research shows that the various types of depression respond to different interventions. We provide customized therapy sessions to help you explore your thoughts and feelings and resolve underlying issues that contribute to your depression. Many of our patients benefit from specialized therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT is a specialized form of therapy where you learn to recognize your negative thoughts and feelings and respond to them differently. During your sessions, you work on identifying triggers for your feelings and exploring how you react to them mentally and behaviorally. Then, you learn techniques to regain control over your responses. You practice those techniques at home between appointments, changing your habits.
What is EMDR?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.