Depression Counseling can Help You Find Relief – Therapists in Birmingham
[…] because wherever I sat — on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok — I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”―Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Are you struggling with depression? You’re not alone. While depression can leave you feeling lost and without hope, it’s a battle that millions of people wage every day, and many have found dynamic relief through counseling.
The hopelessness one feels in depression, however, can be debilitating to the point that someone suffering from it may never look for help — this is incredibly tragic. Know that the licensed professionals at Thriveworks Birmingham depression counseling are available to give you (or your loved one) the care you need.
Portraits of Depression
Stephanie just started middle school last month, and already she’s falling behind. At home, she complains about being overwhelmed with homework, but doesn’t seem to be getting much done during the hours she spends at her desk.
Jake has a great job, a loving wife and two happy children, but for some reason, he’s been calling in sick a lot and not answering when his work friends call. On his “sick” days, he stays in bed and sleeps for long stretches, often causing him to miss meals. His wife tries to connect with him, but he just uses the excuse that he’s overtired.
Mitch is a likeable guy, but often questions himself in social situations, wondering if people are talking poorly about him or if they even enjoy his company. He becomes distant, almost aloof around others, which gives people the impression he doesn’t want to spend time with them, so they neglect to invite him the next time they get together. Mitch sees pictures of them all having a good time without him one evening, and he submits to his suspicions.
Depression: Definitions and Key Thoughts
Depression rarely affects only the individual experiencing it. Even when dark thoughts are kept secret, friends, family and co-workers feel its crushing weight. Understanding the different kinds, symptoms and signs of depression, however, will help you better identify what you or someone you know is going through, and how they can get help right away.
Recurrent depression, also known as major depressive disorder, clinical depression, major depression or unipolar disorder, is when someone experiences overwhelmingly negative feelings, such as, hopelessness, irritability, anxiety and sadness.
Regular, day-to-day activities like eating and spending time with friends can become taxing. When these emotions persist for more than two years, this is known as persistent depressive disorder.
Other forms of depression include:
- Psychotic depression: depression accompanied by irrational beliefs, hallucinations or delusions
- Seasonal affective disorder: depression due to less hours of daytime in winter months
- Postpartum depression: severe depressive state mothers sometimes go through after childbirth
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
In addition to feelings of persistent sadness, depression can include the following symptoms:
- Delayed cognitive function
- Feelings of guilt
- Suicidal thoughts (or actual attempts)
- Persistent fatigue
- Difficulty in making decisions, large or small
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on detailed work
- Difficulty falling asleep or waking
- Loss of appetite
- Inexplicable aches and pains that don’t lessen with treatment
- Decreased interest in activities that once brought pleasure (hobbies, sex, etc.)
Finding the Source: What Causes Depression?
Depression strikes indiscriminately — male and female, young and old, rich and poor. It can be caused by a variety of events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, and seasonal changes. It can also run in the family.
Sadly, there is no one certain source of depressed feelings. Sometimes the cause is obvious, like when one loses their job, but it can also be a combination of factors. In either case, the most important thing to understand is that help is needed and available.
If you or someone you know is hesitant to see a counselor, at the very least an appointment with a physician should be scheduled, so potential physical ailments can be identified or ruled out. Your physician might suggest that counseling is you best course of action.
Making Progress: 5 Ways to Ease the Symptoms of Depression
Unfortunately, you can’t simply snap out of depression. Depression isn’t “pouting” or “feeling sorry for yourself.” There’s no substitute for the support of a caring therapist. There are, however, a number things you can do to make depression more manageable:
1. Exercise: Exercise not only relieves stress; it also releases mood-boosting endorphins, which can help you achieve a more positive outlook on life.
2. Listen to music: Music can be very therapeutic. The right song can trigger nostalgia and remind you of happier times. Find a quiet spot, fire up your iPod, and relax to some of your favorite tunes.
3. Spend time outdoors: Getting outside for at least 15 minutes a day brings you a host of healthful benefits — the peacefulness of nature, fresh air, and sunlight.
4. Play with your pet: Studies have shown that bonding with animals can relieve stress. Don’t have a pet of your own? Ask to borrow a neighbor’s or family member’s.
5. Laugh: It’s known as the “best medicine” for good reason. Whether it’s a giggle, a chuckle, or a guffaw, few things are better at improving mood and relieving stress than laughter. Watch some funny cat videos on YouTube. Or call up some friends and invite them over to crack jokes at a corny movie (Sharknado anyone?).
Why Choose Thriveworks Birmingham Depression Counseling for Your Therapy Needs?
We believe it should be easy to obtain quality therapy when you need it. It’s one of our founding principles. At Thriveworks Birmingham depression counseling, we hire the best licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists, and mental health professionals we can find. Our highly trained, and caring, clinical team is available to help you — and to meet you wherever you are in your struggles with depression.
To this end, we’ve made it a point to remove all obstacles to your getting the help you need — and getting it quickly. In many cases, you can have an appointment in as little as 24 hours. A phone call or an email is all it takes to begin the healing process.
Depression is like one of those big boxes labeled “TEAM LIFT.” It’s a lot easier to handle when you have someone to help out.