Wellness Road Psychology
Psychologists located in Midtown East, New York, NY & Tarrytown, NY
Any long-lasting feelings of worthlessness, feeling "down,” or hopelessness may be due to depression. It is a common mental illness that more than 280 million people worldwide face. Nearly 5% of adults experience the negative feelings and emotions that characterize the condition. Additionally, about 16.7% of people experience some depressive disorder in their lifetime. It can affect people of any age, race, or nationality — and in most cases, it is treatable through medication and therapy.
Therapy for Depression with Wellness Road Psychology
The Impact of Depression
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide due to its ability to disrupt all aspects of life — from work performance to interpersonal relationships and overall happiness. In addition, individuals with depression have a higher risk of developing physical illnesses like heart disease and stroke and an increased mortality rate.
Depression can manifest itself in many forms, such as feeling overwhelmed or exhausted for no reason, losing interest in activities previously enjoyed, difficulty concentrating and remembering details, appetite and weight changes, persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm
Fortunately, there are effective treatments available that can reduce symptoms and help individuals lead healthy lives. Treatments such as psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medications (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs) are designed to restore balance in brain chemistry and provide essential insight into how individuals perceive themselves and their environment to begin the road to recovery.
How Depression Is Diagnose
To be diagnosed with a depressive disorder, a person must meet the criteria in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In addition, therapists will ask questions to see if you exhibit at least five symptoms.
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day;
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all activities;
- Significant weight loss/gain
- Sleep disruptions such as inability to sleep or oversleepin
- Psychomotor agitation or retardatio
- Loss of energy or feelings of fatigu
- Daily feelings of excessive guilt or worthlessnes
- Experiencing indecisiveness or reduced ability to focus, think, or concentrat
- Suicidal ideation and recurring thoughts of death.
If these feelings last over two weeks, they may be classified as a depressive disorder. Additionally, these symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning and must not be attributed to physiological conditions such as disease
Effects of Depression
One of the primary effects of depression is isolation. This can be difficult to overcome, as many people with depression find it hard to reach out and form meaningful connections with others. This isolation can lead to a vicious cycle of depression and hopelessness. Therapy helps someone facing depression to take steps to connect better with the outside world
Depression can also impact physical health, including fatigue, decreased motivation, irregular sleep patterns, and digestive problems. A therapist helps bring awareness to this and offers a structured way to build healthier habits
When untreated, depression can lead to other mental illnesses like anxiety or eating disorders. In severe cases, depression may lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors
How Depression Impacts Social Activities
Depression can significantly negatively impact an individual's ability to work, attend school, and participate in activities. This has far-reaching consequences on their quality of life and ability to care for themselves.
At school, depression can interfere with learning by making it difficult for someone to process new information or remember taught material. Additionally, the lack of energy and social withdrawal associated with depression can make it hard for a student to interact with teachers or peers normally
At work, depression can lead to absenteeism, poor performance, and lowered productivity. In addition, they may have reduced self-confidence and have feelings of guilt, isolation, and worthlessness that can prevent them from performing their best
Finally, depression can remove individuals’ motivation to engage in social activities and even basic self-care tasks. This can make it difficult for a person with depression to take part in activities that would bring them joy or provide necessary interaction with other people. It can also leave someone isolated from family and friends who may not understand their condition. With proper treatment and support, however, it is possible to improve functioning in all areas of life impacted
Types of Depression
Depression is classified into several types: major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.
Major Depressive Disorde
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is characterized by a period of at least two weeks in which an individual experiences low mood or loss of interest or pleasure, accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in appetite or sleep patterns, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt or worthlessness and thoughts of death
Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) involves similar symptoms, but they last longer - typically more than two years.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating periods of extremely high and low moods, ranging from mania to depression. It may also include episodes of mixed symptoms involving manic and depressive features
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs during specific seasons, typically in the winter months when there is less sunlight. Symptoms often include fatigue, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and hopelessness. Treatment involves light therapy and lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and improved sleep hygiene.
Post Partum Depression
Post Partum Depression (PPD) is a specific type of depression in new mothers. This type of depression can be complicated to manage, requiring medical and psychological treatment. Common treatments for PPD include counseling, psychotherapy, nutrition and lifestyle modifications, and anti-depressant medications. Therefore, it is important for women suffering from PPD to seek appropriate help to ensure their well-being and the health of their babies.
Types of Therapy for Depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a form of talk therapy that focuses on changing the negative thought patterns associated with depression by encouraging more balanced thinking. This can help a person identify, challenge and modify any negative thoughts about themselves or their circumstances. CBT is often used in combination with other therapies and can be very effective in reducing symptoms of depression
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) focuses on helping individuals resolve conflicts within relationships that contribute to their depression. It also allows people to develop better communication skills and interpersonal boundaries and improve problem-solving abilities and overall self-confidence.
Psychodynamic therapy looks at the underlying causes of depression by looking at past experiences and relationships. Then, the therapist works with the individual to explore how these early events might affect current life situations and behaviors, which can help the individual better understand their feelings
Interpersonal Therapy focuses on helping clients understand and work through their relationship issues, as these can sometimes be at the root of depressive symptoms. Finally, Psychodynamic Therapy concentrates on uncovering past unresolved conflicts that may contribute to current moods and behaviors.
Behavioral therapy helps individuals identify and change behaviors contributing to their depression. Examples might include avoiding certain activities or people, overeating, or overspending, among other treatments that can be effective in reducing depressive symptoms by helping individuals gain insight into how their behavior is impacting their mood, as well as empowering them to make changes that will improve overall functioning in all areas of life affected by depression.
Cognitive Therapy focuses on changing the thought patterns that exacerbate depressive symptoms. This type of therapy helps individuals recognize and challenge distorted thinking and replace negative thoughts with more balanced perspectives. In addition, Cognitive Therapy can help people learn to identify and modify unhealthy behavior patterns.
Psychodynamic Therapy addresses the underlying causes of depression by looking at psychological issues contributing to depressive symptoms. It can help individuals increase insight into their feelings and behaviors, as well as gain a better understanding of their relationships with others.
Light therapy is a seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatment involving exposure to full-spectrum light. It effectively treats SAD symptoms and can help individuals with non-seasonal depression. Light therapy works by triggering the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which helps to regulate mood and other bodily functions.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) aims to help individuals become more mindful of their thoughts and feelings while also developing the skills they need to manage them. This type of therapy emphasizes acceptance and commitment instead of avoidance or change, helping individuals create a sense of purpose in life. Through this process, individuals can learn to tolerate better difficult emotions, such as those associated with depression.
Marriage and family therapy can be beneficial for individuals with depression. This type of therapy helps families work through conflicts constructively and identify areas where individual members may need additional support or guidance. Additionally, Marriage and Family Therapy allows all family members to share their feelings in a safe environment, which can help to reduce depressive symptoms by improving communication and understanding within the family system.
Art therapy is another form of treatment that can be used to help manage depression. This therapy combines traditional psychotherapy with creative expression and allows individuals to explore their feelings through art, such as drawing, painting, music, or sculpting. It can help provide a sense of mastery over difficult emotions and can also give insight into areas that may need further exploration. It also allows the patient to engage in the joy of creative outpu
Medication therapy is often used in conjunction with psychotherapeutic treatments for depression. Antidepressant medications increase the availability of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps to regulate mood. Different classes of antidepressants are effective for treating various types and severities of depression, so it is essential to consult with a doctor about what style would best suit one's individual needs.
Medications for Depressions
Medications are often used in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat depression. Antidepressant medications work by altering levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin or norepinephrine. They may take several weeks to reach their full effect and should be taken under the care of a doctor who is familiar with side effects and interactions that may occur.
Common types of antidepressant medications include:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): These increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, which helps to regulate mood. Common examples include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa.
- Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): These antidepressants help increase levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which can help with symptoms like fatigue and poor concentration. Common examples include Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs): TCAs work by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Common examples include amitriptyline and nortriptyline.
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): MAOIs block an enzyme that breaks down certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Common examples include Nardil, Parnate, and Marplan.
- Benefits of Therapy for Depression
Therapy can be a powerful tool in helping people manage depression. It allows individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment. In addition, therapy can provide valuable insight into how specific thought patterns or attitudes may contribute to depressive symptoms and help them learn more effective ways of responding to challenging situations.
What Does Therapy Do?
Therapy gives a supportive, understanding, and nonjudgmental environment to address the thoughts and feelings that can lead to depression. It also provides a safe place to work through conflicts that may contribute to depression or other mental health issues.
Therapy is an effective way to gain better insight into thoughts, behaviors, and underlying conditions related to depression. By identifying triggers and developing new coping skills, therapy can help individuals manage depressive symptoms more effectively. Therapy also helps individuals learn how to make lifestyle changes that could benefit their overall mental health, such as exercising regularly or spending more time with family and friends. Ultimately, therapy helps people become more aware of the factors that contribute to their depression so they can create healthier relationships with themselves and others.
Alternative Treatments for Depression
In addition to psychotherapy and medication, there are a variety of alternative treatments that may help with symptoms of depression, such as exercise, acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation. While these treatments cannot replace professional psychiatric care, they can provide additional support and stress relief. Before starting new treatments, consulting with a doctor or mental health professional is always recommended.
Self-Help for Depression
In addition to therapy and medication, there are a variety of strategies that individuals can use to help manage their depression. Self-help techniques include lifestyle changes such as exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting adequate sleep. Other strategies focus on improving communication skills and developing coping mechanisms for dealing with stress or difficult emotions. Additionally, engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation can help offset depressive symptoms–even something simple like taking a walk outside or doing some light reading can make a big difference.
There are specific dietary changes you can take that may help to relieve the symptoms of depression.
Increase protein consumption
Protein contains essential amino acids the brain uses to make chemicals such as serotonin. When the body has enough of these building blocks, it can improve the production of neurotransmitters.
Increase B vitamins
B vitamins play a vital role in the brain's production of neurotransmitters. Therefore, low B vitamins, such as B-6, B-12, and folate, may be linked to depressive symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating nutritious foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants can help boost mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Avoid refined sugars and processed foods
These types of food can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, leading to increased fatigue and irritability. It can also cause inflammation, which is linked to depression.
Drink plenty of water
Water helps the body flush out toxins that may contribute to depression. Staying hydrated also keeps the brain functioning correctly to regulate moods better.
Many people suffering from depression may self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. However, this can worsen the problem. Alcohol and drug use can be a dangerous attempt to cope with depression, often leading to more severe mental health issues. Quitting or reducing substance use is essential in managing depressive symptoms and improving overall well-being.
Psychoeducation is an essential component of treating depression because it allows individuals to gain a better understanding of the condition they are facing. In addition, psychoeducation helps to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by providing accurate information about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Through knowledge and understanding, individuals can learn to recognize signs of relapse and take action to prevent further episodes of depression.
Many studies show a positive correlation between mental health and exercise frequency. For example, regular exercise can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also boost self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment. In addition, exercise is a natural mood enhancer that releases endorphins into the bloodstream, improving overall well-being.
Developing Healthy Coping Skills
Having healthy coping skills is essential for managing depression. Developing healthy coping skills includes learning to identify and productively express emotions, managing stress more effectively, and developing problem-solving skills. In addition, learning relaxation techniques such as mindful meditation or yoga can provide an outlet for managing difficult emotions without relying on substances or other unhealthy behaviors.
Overall, many self-help strategies can help to reduce symptoms of depression. First, individuals must find what works best for them to manage the condition effectively. Then, with proper treatment and support, individuals can lead healthy, happy lives free from the burdens of depression.
By taking these steps, you can start toward better emotional health. However, if your depressive symptoms are persistent or severe, it may be time to seek professional help from a mental health provider. A therapist or psychiatrist can provide personalized advice and guidance tailored to your needs. With proper care and treatment, recovery from depression is possible.
Choosing a Therapist
The type of therapist you choose can make a big difference in your recovery. It’s essential to find someone who is qualified and experienced in treating depression and makes you feel comfortable and understood. Look for a therapist specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other evidence-based therapies that are effective for treating depression. Additionally, consider whether your therapist has any specializations or certifications that could benefit you, such as being certified in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or trauma-informed.
Wellness Road Psychology for Depression Treatment
Wellness Road Psychology offers comprehensive and evidence-based depression treatment for individuals of all ages. Our team of experienced psychologists provides individualized psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to address the needs of each client. We also offer medication management, couples counseling, family therapy, and other services as needed. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our mental health professionals.