Trying to find out if you are suffering from depression or why you don’t feel good about yourself or life?
Do you feel it is difficult to get motivated in the mornings or you don’t enjoy the same things you once enjoyed?
Is it hard for you to make decisions because everything is overwhelming?
Do you experience irritability or defeat frequently?
Are you isolating a lot lately or for long periods of time?
The point is that depression is difficult to diagnose, unless extreme cases. Many people who suffer from depression can’t place exactly why they feel the way that they feel. There are many signs that you need to keep an eye out for, but depression isn’t necessarily a light switch that gets thrown on. It can be a gradual state one gets to slowly.
Depression is Serious:
According to the world Health Organization, depression is the fourth costliest disease in the world. According to NIMH 19 million American adults live with clinical depression and it is projected to be the number-one disease burden in high-income countries, surpassing HIV and heart disease. Depression breads depression. The earlier in life depression occurs, the more likely it will recur; the longer it goes untreated, the more difficult it is to treat; and children of depressed parents are significantly more likely to develop depression.
Depression debilitates people. If doesn’t only affect physically and mentally but affects jobs, relationships and entire families. Medication alone has been proven to not be long term effective. In combination with psychotherapy is the treatment recommended. Psychotherapy is helpful by providing people with new ways of thinking and expressing their feelings. Psychotherapy also provides a new way of looking at reality as well as coping skills to handle the same situation or life circumstance in a more effective and healthy way.
In more chronic cases, counseling psychotherapy helps to process and heal the underlying issues that are causing the symptoms, conducing to longer term relief. Most people that had some adverse situations in childhood are more prompt to chronic depression. See ACE study. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/acestudy/index.html
Depression is a common condition linked to complex PTSD or developmental trauma.
What to do if you suspect you have depression?
There are plenty of quizzes on the internet to determine if you are depressed. So, if you find that you are experiencing some or a lot of the symptoms of depression, the best plan of attack is to get help early. Treating the problem in the beginning stages can help prevent your symptoms from snowballing into more debilitating depression. According to research, one of the challenges of depression is the patient’s ability to get help since the very nature of depression can interfere with this. Symptoms like low energy and feelings of hopelessness can make the expectation of picking up the phone, scheduling an appointment, and talking to someone seems like insurmountable tasks. Take action now, it can become more difficult later. Do it for you and for the ones around you. When you’re going through a tough time it’s normal to feel down for a while, emotions like sadness and grief help make us human. But if you’re feeling sad or miserable most of the time over a long period of time, you might have depression.
Happiness isn’t always a Choice
Many people are under the mistaken impression that you can just choose to be happy, have positive thoughts if you try hard enough or get better on your own. Due to these prejudgments and societal stigma surrounding mental health, it can be embarrassing for someone suffering from depression to reach out for help. And when we see “perfect” social media posts from our friends—or articles being shared that misrepresent depression—it can increase feelings of guilt or shame and make it harder to seek outside help. It is especially difficult for people that supposedly “have everything,” to understand or accept depression. So, it is important to emphasize that depression can affect anybody (children, adults, men, women, seniors, etc,), regardless of status, education or personal circumstances. People who are suffering from depression, sometimes have probably been told to “just get over it” more times than they care to count and perhaps mostly by someone that they love or by themselves. And while it may seem like depression is something that you can shake yourself out of automatically, this way of thinking can actually be more harmful than helpful.
It is appropriate to seek support, even when good things are happening in your life. It’s always a good idea to look at therapy as prevention and be proactive, rather than waiting for symptoms to wreak havoc on your life before you get help.
Types of Depression
There are two main types of depression and they both need help:
Situational depression: When life hits hard (a loss, a traumatic event, big transition that overrides our system -even when perceived as positive, external circumstances that we cannot change…), it is normal to express big sadness and discomfort; but recovery tends to be faster and therapy is helpful by helping client get in touch with his/her inner or external resources.
Clinical depression: It is a very common psychological problem, and most people never seek proper treatment, or seek treatment but they are misdiagnosed with physical illness. This is extremely unfortunate because, with proper treatment, nearly 80% of those with depression can make significant improvement in their mood and life adjustment. Each person’s circumstances and depression is unique, and therefore, asking for professional help instead of trying to read general tips online or asking to friends or family members for advice is highly recommended.
Common Reasons People Don’t Seek Help
- For some, it may be a past event, such as trauma or loss, that is too painful to feel or upsetting to acknowledge.
- Depression often overlaps with anxiety, and the combination of racing thoughts and a feeling of helplessness makes it more difficult to define and address.
- Stigma and shame. A lot of people have grown up in environments where being vulnerable or less that ok was a sign of weakness or defectiveness.
- How talking to a stranger is going to help me. People don’t know that therapists are mostly people that have been in their shoes and therefore, familiar with their circumstances and experiences.
- Depression is genetic. Lately research in neuroscience proofs how the mind influences the brain and viceversa. Therefore, medication to address that piece in combination with psychotherapy to address the mind, is the recommended treatment. And as we tell clients, since we still don’t have a machine
- Price and length. Yes, it can be costly and long depending on the case. But most insurance cover depression treatment these days, in-network and out-of-network. Secondly, anything good for your life is going to require some time and effort so, therapy isn’t different from that.
Depression Therapy can Help you get back to normal or feel better for the first time in your life
There are different therapy modalities that we can customize according to your case. For people with more situational depression or less deep causes, approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, DBT or mindfulness practices would be helpful. For clinical depression or more long-term states, bottom up approaches such as EMDR, IFS, Somatic interventions, Attachment therapy, Brain spotting , memory reconsolidation among others, are mostly recommended. Usually in these cases, there is some complexity with developmental trauma and therefore, underlying issues need to be resolved for long-term relief to occur.
Here at DCVA, our therapists are trained in these types of modalities and will customize your treatment to what best fits you using one or more of them.
Therapists at DC VA Counseling have also dealt with many of the issues that many clients face both personally and professionally, so they can understand and help.
In your first session, a therapist will meet you where you are in your struggle with depression. You’ll explore how depression is affecting your life and discuss your goals for therapy. Since depression affects everyone in a different way, the surest path to healing starts with tailoring a treatment to your individual needs and goals. The pathway in therapy in never lineal, so if you don’t even know where to start, it is ok. We will help you clarify that as well. Once we discover what is going on, we can develop a plan to determine what steps need to be taken for you to feel better. We incorporate a variety of evidence-based skills and strategies to help you not only manage your depression symptoms, but also to take care of any other underlying issues or unchangeable external circumstances that might be feeding your depression as well.
Time to Take Action:
Are you interested in reaching out to a depression therapist, and think we might be a good fit? Just contact us for a consultation or to schedule your appointment. email@example.com or 703-231-7991. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Offering also online counseling for depression in VA and the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.