What is Depression: Treatment, Therapy and Counseling

Are you feeling overwhelmed, sad, or depressed? Are you looking for help or some sort of depression treatment near you? There is hope and help nearby, please keep reading.

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What is Depression?

Young man in a counselors office talking about depression with a psychologist

People often use “depression” as a general term to describe feelings of sadness, low mood, and lack of motivation. In reality, depression is something much more significant. 

A depressive disorder such as Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder where the individual must experience five or more depressive symptoms during the same 2-week period.

The symptoms of depression used to assess patients:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Treatment Options for Depression

A gray-haired man jogging - physical fitness helps overcome depression

There are multiple evidence-based treatments for depression, some of which include individual counseling, medication, and neurofeedback.

All of these depression treatment plans should be coupled with self-care and wellness activities such as cold exposure, heat exposure, mindfulness, and physical activity.

If you find that your low mood, lack of motivation, and/or fatigue is consistent and causing significant distress in your life​,​ th​en you may want to consider discussing it with ​a ​mental health professional such as a licensed Clinical Psychologist.

If you feel that you are an immediate risk to either your own life or lives of the people around you PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.

Depression Treatment At Mental Health Center of America

There are multiple evidence-based types of therapies to treat depression, some of which include depression counseling, medication, and neurofeedback. All of these individualized treatments should be coupled with self-care and wellness activities such as cold exposure, heat exposure, mindfulness, and physical activity.

Although this may be challenging, research shows that people with depression who commit to evidence-based treatment over a consistent period of time do experience positive results and can actually prevent depression.

Feelings of hopelessness, anger, and angst can change to feelings of hope, happiness, and peace.

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Types of Depression Common in Arizona

Depressive symptoms can bring on feelings of hopelessness, which if left untreated, can significantly impact an individual’s ability to manage relationships, maintain occupational responsibilities, and effectively cope with general life stressors.

It is important to mention that there are different types or classifications of depression.

Specific criteria vary between these different types but often include symptoms such as irritability, low mood, negative self-talk, and lack of motivation.

To pursue help for depression, find a depression treatment center in Phoenix, Arizona

A depressed brown haired man staring out the window while it is raining

Types of Depression Can Include:

  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation is typically seen diagnosed in children and is characterized by chronic irritability and behavioral conflict.
  • Major Depression which can be seen in both children and adults can include insomnia, low mood, and suicidal thoughts
  • Dysthymia is more often seen in older adults and can be thought of as something along the lines of persistent or chronic depression where an individual experiences consistent depressive symptoms over an extended period of time with a minimum of two years.
  • Substance/Medication-induced Depression can be found in young adults and older adults. It is when depression is coupled with substance abuse that can create a deadly cycle of “drinking because I’m depressed” followed by “I’m depressed because I drank”

Depression Statistics

Depression diagnoses are on the rise, see how it varies between the U.S. and Phoenix, AZ.

Depression Statistics Across America

  • According to the CDC, one in five Americans will experience a major depressive episode during his/her lifetime and even a further 10% have some depressive features
  • Depression has the fourth highest cause of disability worldwide.
  • Depression is found among young and old, religious and non-religious, and all ethnic and racial groups. Although religion can be a protective factor for depression, biological factors coupled with social factors can influence a person and even produce a depressive state.
  • Depression is more severe than periods of sadness that occur as an expected part of life. It is important to differentiate between normal and healthy emotions such as sadness or grief and depression.
  • Although sadness can be hurt and the intensity of some grief can make someone feel hopeless for a time, this is not depression. It is the genuine and authentic human experience of our emotional chemistry.
  • Depression can be a painful condition that can impair a person’s relationships and ability to work productively. Can be life-threatening, placing people at risk of death from suicide.

Depression Statistics in Phoenix, AZ

  • The same report noted that in 2017 alone, 36.4% of high school students reported experiencing sadness or hopelessness almost daily for 2 consecutive weeks, which resulted in stopping participation in usual activities. 
  • Did you know that the Arizona Department of Health Services concluded that suicide is the second leading cause of death in Arizona (ages 15–44)?

Factors of Depression

It may be helpful to know the risk factors for depression and also the protective factors.

Risk Factors for Depression

Mental health professionals recommend that you keep an eye out for potential warning signs of depression such as consistent negative self-talk, lack of motivation, withdrawal from friends and family, isolation, poor sleep, and substance abuse.

  • Mental health disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Drug or Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s)
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

Protective Factors for Depression

Some good news is that research has found what we call “protective factors” for depression.

Protective factors are simply persons, places, or things that elevate mood and reinforce mental/emotional stability. Below are a few examples of some protective factors:

A group of middle-aged people doing yoga and meditation in a grassy field
  • Children in the home
  • Sense of responsibility to family
  • Pregnancy
  • Religiosity
  • Life satisfaction
  • Sense of meaning and purpose
  • Reality testing ability
  • Positive coping skills
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Positive social support
  • Positive therapeutic relationship

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