When persistent feelings of hopelessness and despair begin to impact all facets of life, it is time to seek out a professional depression treatment and therapy. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious mental health condition that affects approximately 16 million American adults each year, according to statistics reported by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Without professional help, individuals suffering from the debilitating effects of MDD can face serious life challenges in the realms of work, relationships, and family, as well as an increased risk of suicidal behaviors. In addition, some may have acquired a co-occurring substance use disorder as a result of using drugs or alcohol to cope with depression or related mood disorders, further compounding the urgency for obtaining professional help.
Types of Depression Treatment & Therapy
Psychotherapy, also referred to as talk therapy, is the mainstay of treating depression and mood disorders, usually prescribed in combination with antidepressant drug therapy. Masters and doctoral level clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists are the professionals who can help the client in distress using both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.
During the psychotherapy sessions, the therapist allows the client to freely express their fears and emotions, to discuss past traumas that may be contributing to the diagnosis, and to change maladaptive behavior patterns using new coping techniques and tools. Over the treatment period the client will learn how to avoid or manage the situations or people that trigger depressive symptoms by practicing these techniques in their regular daily activities.
There are various types of depression therapy that the clinician may utilize depending on the unique factors of each client’s case. Some of these treatment modalities include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT is a widely used form of behavioral therapy that focuses on the cognitive, or thought processes, that may be negatively impacting how an individual responds to certain situations or people in their lives. Distorted or irrational thought patterns are identified and, over a period of about twelve weeks, slowly adjusted and replaced with healthier thoughts and behavior patterns. The therapist commonly assigns homework to augment the effects of the therapy sessions.
- Psychodynamic Therapy: Psychodynamic therapy involves an in-depth journey into examining the client’s personal psyche, psychological history, beliefs, and current emotional state. The goal-oriented therapy leads to insights to the possible root of the depressive disorder, as well as identifying certain dysfunctional patterns the client may have adopted as coping mechanisms. Psychodynamic therapy is personal and raw, so the trust bond between client and therapist is critical.
- Interpersonal Therapy: IPT is a short-term therapy that focuses attention on the here and now versus the patient’s past. Instead of emphasizing past events, IPT assists the client in making fundamental changes that will improve their current state of mind and overall quality of life. IPT explores social relationships and roles and guides the client to make social adjustments that will help alleviate depressive symptoms related to grief and loss, lack of social skills, a significant life change in work, marital status, or moving, or interpersonal conflicts.
When suffering from the crippling effects of depression or a serious mood disorder, do not hesitate to seek the help of a qualified therapist who can help walk you through the illness, help you process the contributing factors in your life, and overcome your past traumas. A professionally trained psychologist can guide you toward your therapeutic goals, helping you improve your relationships, overcome your fears, and bring joy back into your life.
Phaite Behavioral Health Care Services
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