The psychologist Abraham Maslow once stated, “You can see neurosis from below – as a sickness…. Or you can understand it as a compassionate man might: respecting the neurosis as a fumbling and inefficient effort toward good ends.” Conditions like depression and anxiety are universal and they can sometimes even be adaptive, an emotional effort to protect humans from further threats and distress. But when mental health conditions begin causing impairments in daily functioning–when they begin overstaying their welcome–it may be time to seek treatment.
Depression counseling at Thriveworks in Montgomery, AL is provided by fully licensed mental health professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Thriveworks depression counselors treat the whole person, not the diagnosis. With compassion, expertise, and meaningful insights, these therapists can help get clients back on track to achieving their goals.
What Are Mood Disorders?
Mood disorders, or mood affective disorders, are characterized by persistent changes in emotional state. Depression is one of the major mood disorders. Licensed psychiatrists in the United States like those at Thriveworks in Montgomery, AL diagnose and treat mood disorders according to guidelines laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The DSM-5 also gives specific symptom criteria for diagnosing major depressive disorder (MDD). Those depression symptoms are as follows:
- A depressed mood (acute feelings of sadness and negativity) enduring longer than two weeks
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy (aka anhedonia)
- Appetite changes, sometimes leading to unintentional weight loss or gain
- Psychomotor retardation (slowed-down movements and thoughts)
- Extreme fatigue
- Pronounced feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Problems with focus, attention, and/or memory
- Suicidality (if you’re ever considering harming yourself, call a crisis hotline immediately)
But sometimes the symptoms of depression can be atypical, like irritability, which can affect depressed men more than women. Mood disorders are also associated with sleep changes because they have a bidirectional relationship with peoples’ circadian rhythms. If you’re experiencing insomnia or hypersomnia (lack of sleep or too much sleep), it could be a sign of depression.
What Is the Outlook for People with Major Depression?
Long-term, untreated major depression can lead to compounded life problems. For example, people may begin to suffer from other health issues. They may have a hard time maintaining regular employment. Here are a few of the common comorbidities associated with depression:
- Substance abuse or addiction, which can be a sign of poor coping skills
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in libido (sex drive)
- Social isolation and avoidance
- Inexplicable aches and pains
- Concurrent anxiety and depression
- Job loss
- Breakups and estrangements in intimate relationships
- Heart disease
- Compromised immune system
Fortunately, the good news is that depression is highly treatable. Skilled therapists and psychologists help people overcome their particular forms of depression every day. Depressive episodes don’t last forever with the right interventions.
How Is Postpartum Depression Treated?
Postpartum depression is characterized by a lingering depressed mood in the year after childbirth. It can affect both moms and dads. At Thriveworks in Montgomery, AL, depression counselors treat postpartum symptoms in many of the same ways they would treat any client with depression. Here are some common treatment methods:
- Person-centered psychotherapy (talk therapy)
- Strength-based approaches
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy, a type of CBT
- Supportive therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Holistic treatments like meditation and muscle relaxation
- Mindfulness therapy
- Family therapy or couples therapy
- Day to day lifestyle modifications addressing nutrition and exercise
- Psychosocial interventions to find community support for the depressed person
- Behavioral activation
- Antidepressant medications and other pharmaceuticals, prescribed by a Thriveworks psychiatrist
Postpartum depression is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. New parents need to take care of themselves with depression counseling when necessary so they can be better providers in the long-term.
Are Any of the Types of Depression Lifelong?
Depression and other mood disorders can arise episodically throughout one’s life unless there are preventive measures in place. At Thriveworks in Montgomery, AL, treating depression isn’t just about mitigating symptoms in the moment. It’s about giving clients the emotional and cognitive resources to fend off future depressive episodes. For example, someone who seeks treatment for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or bipolar disorder (manic depression) may learn about the preventative benefits of mindfulness, CBT, and light therapy. They may also learn the importance of sticking to a sleep and wakefulness routine.
Get Licensed Depression Treatment at Thriveworks in Montgomery, AL
The depression counselors at Thriveworks in Montgomery, AL are recruited from the top 4% of applicants in the mental health field. They can see clients online or in-person at the modern office. Thriveworks accepts most major forms of health insurance coverage, and offers benefits like email and phone access to providers between sessions.
You don’t have to live with depression. Call the Thriveworks office today and get help as early as tomorrow.