Counseling for Depression
Depression is characterized by a persistent sad mood and loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, lasting for most of the day, every day, for two weeks or more. These are the defining features of a major depressive episode, according to the latest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM V). At least one major depressive episode indicates a major depressive disorder is present, which can range from mild to severe in nature depending on the number of episodes experienced.
Overall, complaints about depression are very common in our culture, and may be accompanied by feelings of guilt, low energy, hopelessness, thoughts about death, changes in sleep, changes in appetite, and weight loss or gain. Major depressive disorder is different than everyday worries, blues, or fatigue. Depression affects daily functioning, and can make tasks like going to work, maintaining your household, managing finances, and communicating with loved ones very difficult to impossible.
Thoughts about death and suicide can accompany depression or any mental health disorder. If you are having thoughts about suicide, it's important to talk to a loved one or professional. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are a veteran, press 1 for specialized help.
Depression can be treated with medication, however, alternatives like counseling and exercise are just as effective as medication in some situations. If you're experiencing depression, we highly recommend beginning counseling as soon as possible. We will help you assess whether you see an improvement in your mood and when to ask your physician for prescription medications that can help.
You can learn more by visiting this page at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Blog posts about depression