How do I know if I have depression?
Depression is more than sadness. It can be caused by circumstance or genetic/biological factors– often a combination of the two. Depression includes feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt, affecting your ability to function and enjoy life. We know how crushing depression can be, and we provide a gentle, non-judgemental environment where we can assess your symptoms and plan for your healing.
What is the best treatment for depression?
Thankfully, there are many types of therapy that have proven to be effective in decreasing depressive symptoms. These include, but are not limited to:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)- CBT was originally created for the treatment of depression. It focuses on beliefs and thoughts, and how they fuel emotions and behavior. Collaborating with a therapist, many clients are able to identify automatic thoughts and correct thinking errors that fuel the fire of their depressive symptoms.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – While similar to CBT, DBT also incorporates mindfulness, acceptance, and emotional regulation skills. It manages the tension of two opposites, acceptance and change, making the approach equally validating and motivating.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR is well-suited to depression because of its focus on negative cognitions: thoughts related to self-defectiveness, responsibility, control, and safety. EMDR targets these cognitions to help replace them with positive views, easing overall symptoms.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – ACT utilizes mindfulness skills to help clients develop psychological flexibility (especially helpful for adapting to difficult circumstances and changes) and live in accordance with their values to promote lasting well-being.
- Family Therapy – It may be helpful to involve key family members in therapy, especially considering how circumstances create or impact depressive symptoms. Family therapy is particularly appropriate for adolescents experiencing depression, as parents provide continual support after therapy is complete.
- Couple Therapy – Couple therapy can be helpful for the treatment of depression to assist with partner support or adjust partner dynamics that may be contributing to depression. For example, research shows that marital conflict is often associated with depressive symptoms.
Each of our therapists at Lakewood Family Therapy has training in many of the above models. At the end of the day, it’s about what works best for you and your situation.
Is it depression, or something else?
Depressive symptoms are common with many issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, sexual dysfunction, and eating disorders. It is also common to experience depressive symptoms with various transitions or situations such as miscarriage or infertility, postpartum recovery, death of a loved one, chronic physical illness or injury, divorce or break up, betrayal, addiction, the estrangement of a loved one, job loss or failure to complete/achieve something. If one thing in life is certain, it’s that it rarely goes according to plan. Some changes are especially difficult to process, leaving us feeling stuck or hopeless. There is always hope. We look forward to helping you find it.