Feeling blue sometimes is a part of life. Maybe you’ve had a bad day or you’re grieving the loss of a family member. On those days, you might feel low energy, low appetite, and a sense of hopelessness. You might even describe yourself as feeling a little depressed.
Usually, the mood passes. Maybe it’s the next day, or a week later, but you wake up and find that your mood has brightened. The sun is shining and you’re looking forward to seizing the day.
But for some people, the feeling doesn’t go away. Day in and day out, the low mood persists, making it difficult to concentrate at work or show interest in the activities that once made life enjoyable.
If you’ve been feeling down lately and it’s starting to interfere with your daily life, you may be experiencing depression. Depression is one of the most common mood disorders in the United States, and millions of people suffer from it every year. It is a mental disorder that can weigh down on you and start to take control of your life.
But you don’t have to bear that weight alone. Treatment is available, and our mental health professionals at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA are here to help you.
What Are Depressive Disorders?
Depressive disorders are mental health disorders characterized by a persistently low mood, low energy, or a loss of interest in hobbies and activities. There are several forms of depression, including postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
One of the most common forms is called major depressive disorder (MDD), which is also commonly referred to as clinical depression. It’s characterized by symptoms that persist for at least two weeks, including:
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Feeling sad or empty most of the day
- Weight gain or loss
- Changes in appetite
- Restlessness or an inability to sit still
- Exhaustion, even if you get a full night of sleep
- Disrupted sleeping or oversleeping
- Unexplainable feelings of guilt or low self-esteem
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling isolated or unable to communicate/relate to others
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
MDD and other mood disorders can arise due to a combination of biological, environmental, and genetic factors, such as:
- Major life changes, trauma, and stress
- A family history of depression
- Certain medical conditions
- Side effects of some prescription medications
- Substance abuse
No matter what type of depression you’re dealing with, we want you to know that help is available. Our counselors and therapists at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA, are here to provide you with support and help you find a healthier and happier path forward.
How Does Therapy Help With Treating Depression?
Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) has been shown to be effective in alleviating and managing the symptoms of depression.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one form of psychotherapy often used to treat clients with depression. CBT is based on the idea that negative emotions and behaviors often result from distorted thoughts and beliefs. In this type of therapy, you and your provider identify and modify any dysfunctional thought patterns you may have so you can mitigate your symptoms and improve your mood.
Dysfunctional thought patterns can come in various forms, like “all or nothing” thinking or self-blaming. For a client experiencing depression, this might take the form of thoughts such as “I am always going to feel this depressed” and “I deserve to feel depressed because I am not a good person.”
CBT tackles these thoughts head-on, helping clients identify them and replace them with thoughts that are a better reflection of reality. In other forms of talk therapy, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), clients may instead focus more on building coping skills, learning how to tolerate distress, and remaining mindful in the present moment. Your therapist might also have you keep a journal or complete homework assignments to practice these activities in between appointments.
Your provider might also recommend medication as part of your treatment. In this case, your counselor or therapist can coordinate with a Thriveworks psychiatrist who will prescribe you medication like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or an antidepressant.
To get started with your own customized treatment plan, reach out to our team of licensed counselors and therapists at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA.
Start Your Sessions With a Thriveworks Therapist in Bellingham, WA Today
If you suspect you might be suffering from depression, we encourage you to reach out and schedule an appointment with one of our qualified mental health counselors or therapists. To do so, call our scheduling team or click our booking widget to find a time that works for you. You can choose an in-person appointment at our Bellingham office or a remote appointment by phone or video.
Sessions are available seven days a week and some new clients can even meet with a provider within 48 hours of reaching out. We accept most major insurance plans and offer affordable rates for those not paying through insurance.
When you sign up with Thriveworks, you’ll also gain access to features like a text support line, a community discussion board, and a free e-copy of “Leaving Depression Behind.”
Depressive episodes can be overwhelming but you don’t have to go it alone. Schedule an appointment today at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA to take the first step on the road to recovery. We look forward to seeing you soon.