What Is Depression?
Depression is a very common mental health illness in America today. It is an illness that affects how you feel, think, and act in negative ways. It can cause you to feel sadness as well as lead to a loss of interest in your daily life and its activities. There are many specific forms of depression that are known today including postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Depression can also be accompanied by anxiety as well. Depression is treatable by both talk therapy and medication and often a combination of both.
My Approach to Treating Depression
Therapy for depression
My therapeutic approach to treating depression at my practice in Capitol Hill includes providing a safe and contained space for people to open up about their history with experiencing depression and how they are feeling their depression symptoms in the here and now. By uncovering one’s history with depression provides further understanding of the self and helps to deal with depression in ways that are proactive and healthy for one to alleviate their symptoms.
I believe that talk therapy for depression can be a highly effective way to treat depression and I also believe that medication alongside talk therapy with me can be an effective treatment. As a therapist, I view each person as unique in how she experiences her depression. As a result, how your depression will be treated will be decided together based on your individual experience with your depression.
Common Symptoms of Depression
There are many feelings and symptoms brought on by depression and these can include:
- Feelings of sadness
- A loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in life activities that were enjoyable before
- Sleeping patterns: too much or too little
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Difficulty with concentrating, making decisions, thinking
- Suicidal thoughts
Causes of Depression
There are several key causes for depression. Each category is important to consider when considering if one is depressed. These factors include:
Biochemistry: Brain chemistry can contribute to depression.
Genetics: Depression can run in families.
Personality: If one suffers from low self-worth, anxiety, pessimism, and/or tend toward negative thinking, this person can be at risk for depression.
Environment/Society: If there is ongoing stress, violence, strife within one’s environment and/or community, an individual can fall into despair, which may lead to a depression.
Change in Nature: When the seasons change and the days become shorter with a lack of natural light for several months, this can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a depression that comes on from too much time in the dark.
Change in Life: Postpartum depression is an illness that may present after a woman has had a baby. As she seeks to adjust to her new baby and her life as a mother for the first time or as she adds children to her family, a felt sense of low mood and sadness may descend leading into depression.
How Therapy Can Help
Therapy for depression can provide a safe space to discuss your feelings of depression and how they are unique and specific to you. Through creating a therapeutic relationship, you can look at times in your life that may have contributed to being depressed and/or track when your feelings of depression arose and how they were received by others. Further, talking can help one to understand your particular symptoms and ways to cope with them as they arise in the here and now.
Your therapist can also work with your medical doctor to aid you in being treated successfully with antidepressant medication as a further treatment for your depression. As you take the medication, you can reflect with your therapist on what you are noticing is and is not changing related to your depression to maximize the combined therapeutic interventions.
If you’re interested in scheduling time, please reach out directly. My practice is located locally in Capitol Hill, Seattle, and I look forward to hearing from you!