Co-workers. Employees. Bosses. Fathers. Mothers. Daughters. Sons. Husbands. Wives. Partners. Grandparents. Parents. Uncles. Aunts. Friends. Acquaintances. Most people have either experienced depression themselves or love someone who has. Depression is an equal opportunity illness that strikes old and young, rich and poor, men and women in every race, religions, and ethnicity. Depression might be an eleven-year-old who barely eats and has lost all interest in school and sports he once loved. It might be a woman in her mid-20s at the gym, trying to work out that feeling of inadequacy that she never seems to shake. Depression might be a man who works 80+ hours per week and has not seen one of his friends in months.
Like all illness, depression has distinct traits, but it is also a unique, personal experience. The particulars of how it forms in individuals will be unique. People who have depression will have some good days, but they will mostly have bad days. It can be difficulty for loved ones to know that their family member, friend, or co-worker is experiencing depression. However, depression is an understandable illness, and it is also a treatable illness. Therapists and counselors can often help their clients manage their depression and have more and more good days.
The counselors at Thriveworks Chesapeake offer therapy for depression, and we have seen the difference treatment can make. We have worked with clients to find their diagnosis and a treatment plan that meets their needs. Our staff has walked with clients as they regain hope and happiness.
More than Sadness: Depression Is an Illness
Depression, unfortunately, can be minimized and dismissed because there are no clear, physical markers of pain, like a rash or a temperature. The pain, however, is very real. So is the illness. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) acknowledge several types of depression as mental illnesses.
“Sad hurts, but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel.
Depression is very different.”
DSM-5 outlines the criteria for diagnosing Major Depressive Disorder, what most people call depression. Everyone experiences sadness, disappointment, and discouragement. These emotions will naturally rise and fall, but Major Depressive Disorder disrupts this ebb and flow so that people become stuck in the depression. Major Depressive Disorder is an illness that may necessitate medical intervention for treatment and, at times, for the safety of an individual. The following symptoms are the DSM-5’s criteria for Major Depressive Disorder.
- For do consecutive weeks, have you experienced one of the following?
- The majority of the day and on more days than not, you feel depressed and sad, so much so that you and your loved ones notice the change.
- You have lost interest in regular activities that you once enjoyed, for the majority of the day and on more days than not.
- Have you also experienced at least one of these symptoms?
- A significant fluctuation in weight—either loss or gain as well as a decrease or increase in appetite, accordingly.
- You are experiencing insomnia (an inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (a desire to sleep constantly).
- A deterioration in your psychomotor skills such as coordination, dexterity, strength, speed, et cetera.
- Experiencing fatigue on more days than not and for the majority of the day.
- Feeling worthless or guilty on a daily basis.
- Difficulty with concentration, decision-making, and clear thinking.
- Having thoughts of death and/or suicide idealization.
- You have tried to take your own life.
- If so, have these symptoms caused distress and impaired your ability to carry out your normal professional and personal life?
Only a doctor or mental health professional should make a diagnosis, but if you can answer yes to these questions, it may be time to reach out for help. Depression comes in a variety of forms. Of course, there is Major Depressive Disorder, but there is also Seasonal Affective Disorder, Adjustment Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and more. Working with a trained professional to find the right diagnosis is paramount to treatment. You may be fighting depression, but you do not have to fight alone. Many caring counselors and therapists are ready to help.
Treatment Options for Depression
Depression is a ruthless disease, but there are effective treatments for it. Many people have worked closely with a therapist or counselor to find the treatment that works for them, and they have found hope and happiness again. You are not alone. Support and guidance is available.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Just as depression can take different forms, so can treatment. Mental health professionals can often help people find a unique and tailored treatment plan that meets their unique needs. Speaking generally, many treatment pans involve some form of psychotherapy and some form of medication.
Starting Counseling for Depression at Thriveworks Chesapeake
Are you ready to have a partner in your battle against depression? If so, the counselors and therapists at Thriveworks Chesapeake are ready to help. When you contact our office, we know that depression makes life harder. We have done what we can to make scheduling therapy easier. When you call to make an appointment, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We accept many forms of insurance, and we also offer evening and weekend sessions.
Let’s get started. Contact Thriveworks Chesapeake today.