Everyone feels down occasionally, whether from a failed romance, financial issues, work-related stress, or maybe even nothing at all. Life is hard, and we can quickly lose our way, sometimes leading to clinical depression. Perhaps you’ve thought about talking to someone, but how do you know when it’s time to reach out and to whom?
More Common Than You Think
An estimated 17 Americans annually suffer from a mood disorder. If you have experienced feelings of extreme sadness or depression for at least two weeks, it’s time to reach out for help. Contacting a licensed counselor could be just what you need to get your life on track and help improve your outlook on life.
Who Can Benefit From Seeing a Licensed Professional Counselor?
About 80% to 90% of patients diagnosed with depression respond well to therapy. The type of therapy you choose depends on how severe your depression is. If you have experienced depression for a long time and have severe symptoms, you may have to work with a psychologist or psychiatrist as long-term depression is often rooted and may require medication. However, many people with mild to moderate depression find working with a counselor who uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), often called talk therapy, is helpful. Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is another short-term method counselors use to help those with depression.
The Differences Between CBT and IPT
The type of therapy your counselor uses depends on what has caused your depression. Both types will help you track your moods and feelings to help you out of a depressive state. The focus of CBT is goal-oriented, helping you track your moods and feelings, allowing patients to take an active role in their treatment.
CBT focuses on looking at how negative thought patterns may affect your mood. During each session, your therapist will make suggestions about you can make positive changes in thoughts and behaviors. On the other hand, IPT therapy focuses on interpersonal conflict and poor social support, as both can lead to feeling depressed. This therapy can help you communicate better and address issues that can make depression worse. Patients learn how they relate to others and how they can make positive changes in personal relationships IPT is effective in acute depression and may even help new depressive orders from developing.
Why Would I Choose Counseling Over a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist?
Many factors make people hesitate about seeking help for depression, one of which is going on medication. Licensed counselors do not prescribe medication to tackle depression. They provide a way to get you “unstuck” from repetitive thought processes that have led to your negative feelings. Counselors use many of the same therapies that psychologists and psychiatrists do but without prescribing drugs. antidepressants can help you get over a particularly deep depressive episode, but they are only a tool and do not help patients address the root cause of their problems. Choose a counselor if you want to address your depression without the use of medication.
What to Expect From a Counseling Session
A counselor’s office is a safe place where you can express your feelings without undergoing judgment. The counselor’s job is to listen to you, assess your situation, and offer solutions that will help you move into a better frame of mind.
When working with a counselor, be prepared to tell your therapist about your depression and what led you to seek help. Make sure you are comfortable talking to the professional you choose. If not, it’s perfectly okay to change therapists.
Improve Your Quality of Life
Happiness is closer than you realize. Working with a licensed counselor in a therapeutic setting gives you an opportunity to explore thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. You will also learn coping skills so you can better manage daily stress and other factors associated with depression. You’re worth it. Call us to set an appointment today.