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Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses in the world. Depression can greatly interfere with day-to-day life. It can affect how you think, feel, interact with people, and handle daily life. It can cause feelings of sadness and a loss of interest or pleasure in things you once enjoyed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 264 million people experience depression. Louisiana has seen the second-largest increase in diagnosed cases of depression in the nation.

Depression includes a variety of symptoms, and counseling is proven to help. It is important to first note that many people feel sad, lonely, or depressed from time-to-time. After all, these are common emotions and typical reactions to difficult times in life. Those who benefit most from counseling suffer from the symptoms of depression for weeks at a time. Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with this mental illness, or you suspect you are depressed, you’re likely already aware of the major symptoms, which include:

  • A depressed or low mood that lasts for at least two weeks
  • Trouble concentrating and making decisions
  • Fatigue and sleep issues, such as insomnia
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and guilt
  • Being irritable or restless
  • Changes in your appetite, whether it be a suppressed or increased appetite
  • Not finding enjoyment in the activities that you used to enjoy
  • Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning

While depression is a difficult diagnosis to live with, the good news is that many who suffer from depression find help and relief by meeting regularly with a counselor. Depression is highly treatable, with reports of 80% to 90% of people eventually responding well to treatment. One of the reasons depression responds so well to treatment is that improvements can be found in supplements, medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of these.

The length and severity of the symptoms and episodes of depression often determine the type of therapy. Many experts will try therapy prior to trying medication. Counseling can be effective at helping a patient overcome depression and alleviate his or her symptoms and takes place under a professional, often yielding great results. Both the patient and therapist collaborate to understand triggers and practice coping techniques that alleviate symptoms.

Depression Counseling

Talk therapy involves discussing your problems and how you feel with a trained therapist. Your therapist can help you detect patterns of thought or behavior that contribute to your depression, helping you to understand and work through the issues that are impacting your life in negative ways. Therapists listen, provide feedback, and work with you to develop strategies to cope. They will evaluate your progress and adjust the sessions accordingly. You may be asked to do homework that extends your learning from the counseling sessions. Often, this is in the form of tracking moods and feelings.

Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to determine the negative thoughts and emotions that exacerbate depression. CBT helps identify and manage the various factors that contribute to depression. This type of therapy is used to learn effective coping techniques that alleviate the symptoms of depression in order to change moods and behaviors. It’s based on the idea that negative actions or feelings are the result of current distorted beliefs or thoughts, not unconscious forces from the past.

Behavioral therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors. It functions on the idea that all behaviors are learned and that unhealthy behaviors can be changed. The focus of treatment is often on current problems and how to change them. This type of therapy usually focuses on helping patients engage in activities that will enhance their feelings of well-being.

Sticking to your treatment plan is one of the most important things you can do. All types of treatment may take some time before you notice a difference. Finding the right treatment is often a trial-and-error process. It is important to note that some respond to treatment immediately, while others take weeks, months, or years to see full treatment benefits. Never stop treatment without consulting your doctor first.

Depression can be one of the greatest challenges in life, but there are many effective treatments available that can help you manage your depression symptoms. When it comes to counseling for depression, the relationship between patient and counselor is key to the success of the therapy. It’s important to be patient and open to the process. You may find that you need to see a few people before finding someone you can develop the best working alliance with.

When you’re feeling depressed, it’s not your fault. We know that each case of depression is unique, and that’s why we have a variety of counselors available to you, each of whom has their own unique experience. When you contact us for depression help, we listen to your individual situation and match you with the best counselor for your case.

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