May 15 2007

Treating Depression

Published by at 8:15 pm under Counseling & Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy” and medication are two effective ways to treat depression.

Research has shown that being able to talk about your concerns, even for a short period of time, is very helpful.

I often hear from clients that they began to feel better right after making the appointment to see me. This is likely because they are finally doing something about their depression. Making the appointment and starting psychotherapy helps them feel more support, less isolated and more hopeful.

In addition to feeling supported, Cognitive Therapy helps address the underlying negative thoughts and behaviors related to the depression. For example, depressed individuals often have negative thoughts ( “I am worthless, incompetent, unloved, stupid, etc”) about themselves, their relationships, and the world.

They also have trouble coping with everyday life challenges. Rather than moving forward and trying to get something accomplished, they may stay in bed all day, watch tv or movies and avoid more important tasks.

So, is very important for the therapy to address these negative thoughts and behaviors. Effective therapy will address these issues and help the depressed person change their thinking and cope with important challenges. Taking action, any action, can create some momentum towards change.
Using medication is also a very good idea, especially when the depression has been going on for a long time or when “talk” therapy has not been enough. There are many medications available and most work in a similar way by helping to create a more balanced level of serotonin in the body. With more adequate levels of serotonin, we are able to feel more calm, sleep and concentrate better, and generally have more resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

Do you know anyone who has talked about their battles with depression?

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