Do I Need Therapy for My Depression?

Depression is a challenging condition that impacts millions of individuals every year. If you are struggling with depression, it is important to know that you are not alone. You may have a plethora of reasons for delaying seeking treatment, such as fear of being stigmatized or thinking that you can solve your depression without professional assistance. However, it is essential to understand that there are a variety of therapeutic options available that can help you treat and manage your depressive symptoms effectively. 

Therapy can provide endless benefits for your depression. Becoming familiar with warning signs that may indicate your need for therapy can help encourage you to seek out and utilize professional treatment. Additionally, learning about the benefits of therapy, as well as what therapeutic options are available, can be instrumental in achieving lasting recovery from depression. 

Feeling Depressed vs. Having Depression

Perhaps you are not diagnosed with a depression-related condition but feel sad, lethargic, or disconnected often. In this case, you may wonder whether you meet the criteria for a diagnosis of depression. 

There are several different types of depression. Understanding these different types can help you reflect on your symptoms to better identify the nature of your condition and encourage you to seek out a professional diagnosis. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) identifies the following five types of depression:

  • Major depression: Characterized by feelings of sadness or hopelessness that last at least two weeks and interfere with your ability to function in daily life
  • Persistent depressive disorder: Characterized by less severe symptoms of depression that last at least two years
  • Perinatal depression: Characterized by symptoms of depression that develop during pregnancy or following childbirth (postpartum depression)
  • Seasonal affective disorder: Characterized by depression that comes and goes with the changes in seasons
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis: Characterized by severe symptoms of depression with additional symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions

Warning Signs and Symptoms

The most common form of depression is major depression. Major depression includes a few main factors that differ from general feelings of sadness. These symptoms are persistent and interfere with your ability to perform at work or school or tend to personal responsibilities throughout the day. If you are still questioning the severity of your symptoms, here are some warning signs that may indicate a depression-related diagnosis:

  • Persistent sadness 
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities once found pleasurable
  • Changes in eating habits, such as overeating 
  • Changes in sleeping habits, such as difficulties with falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Difficulties with concentration or memory
  • Unexplained aches or pains
  • Suicidal ideation

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms for more than two weeks, consider finding professional treatment. Further, if you experience suicidal ideation, such as contemplating taking your own life, it is imperative to reach out for help immediately. Things can get better. Professional treatment offers the support and guidance you need to heal. 

Therapeutic Options for Depression

There are a variety of therapeutic options available for treating depression and its effects. It is recommended for individuals with depression to utilize a combination of behavioral therapy and medication to ensure the lasting management of depressive symptoms. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common and well-researched forms of psychotherapy. It combines the approaches of both cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy to address problematic patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

In CBT sessions, you will be empowered to view your situation differently by adopting various perspectives. A therapist will help you create newer and more realistic patterns of thinking so that your symptoms will no longer dictate your behaviors. 

Interpersonal Therapy

Another great treatment option for depression is interpersonal therapy. According to World Psychiatry, interpersonal therapy regards depression as a treatable medical illness. Likewise, it sheds light on the powerful role that relationships can play in treatment and recovery. Interpersonal therapy is most effective when used as a short-term intervention. It can be utilized in combination with CBT. 

Antidepressant Medication

Another therapeutic option for depression is antidepressant medications. Medications work to address dysregulated brain areas that contribute to depressive symptoms. In other words, these medications can address your neurological imbalances. Antidepressant medications are most effective when used in tandem with other therapeutic approaches, such as psychotherapy. They can help reduce symptoms so you can reap the benefits of psychotherapy sessions. 

The Benefits of Therapy for Depression

Regardless of whether you have a depression diagnosis or not, therapy can have a variety of benefits on your symptoms. For example, therapy can help you to understand the inevitable links that lie between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. By increasing your awareness of these connections, you can feel more in control of your reactions to problematic symptoms. 

Additionally, therapy can increase your confidence and ability to make sound decisions. As depression can undoubtedly affect your self-esteem, therapy can strengthen your problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills. Participating in therapy can also increase your ability to manage stress effectively as it provides effective coping mechanisms to inform lasting recovery. 

Depression can interfere with your ability to function in your daily life. It is important to recognize your need for professional treatment and utilize therapy for lasting recovery. At Alter Behavioral Health, we can provide you with the support and therapeutic interventions that you need to achieve lasting healing from depression. We offer a wide variety of therapeutic interventions, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, medication, and more, to individualize our client care. Do not let your symptoms control the direction of your future. Let us help you begin your healing and recovery journey. To learn more about our treatment programs and services, give us a call today at (866) 691-4386.