Depression Therapy

The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people, on a global level, are affected by depression, a mental health illness that is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability.

 

What Is Depression?

Depression, also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mood disorder. This disorder can cause severe symptoms in how you feel, think, and function on a day-to-day basis which can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems. When these feelings and thoughts are persistent almost every day and last at least two weeks, you may be diagnosed with depression. Depression is not an easy fix that you can snap out of and may require long-term treatment.

How Can Depression Affect You?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that  8.1 percent of people over the age of 20 have depression in any 2-week period, which indicates how substantial and prevalent depression is in the United States. While depression can present itself at any time, it generally appears during the late teens to mid-twenties. Depression seems to be more common in women than men and affects an estimated 1 in 15 adults in any given year. The causes of depression are likely to be a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychosocial factors.

Signs and Symptoms  of Depression

You may be suffering from depression if you have experienced some of the following signs and symptoms nearly every day for at least two weeks.

  • Persistent sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Decrease in energy; more fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Digestive problems
  • Difficulty in thinking or concentrating and making decisions

You may feel sad and unhappy without knowing the cause of it, but if symptoms are severe enough, you may notice problems in your day-to-day life.

Risk Factors

A few risk factors that appear to increase the risk of developing depression:

  • Personality traits such as low self-esteem or being a pessimist.
  • Traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the loss of a loved one, or financial problems.
  • History of other mental health disorders.
  • Abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs.
  • Severe or chronic diseases, such as cancer or stroke.
  • Certain medications that have depression as a side effect.

Causes of Depression

Depression can present itself at any time in your life. Research indicates that a combination of the following factors can play a role in depression:

  • Biochemistry: Changes in the way neurotransmitters function and how they interact with neurocircuits involving in maintaining mood stability are likely to play a role in depression.
  • Genetics: Depression is more common when it runs in the family. Researchers are trying to discover which genes may be causing depression
  • Hormones: Your body’s balance of hormones could cause or trigger depression. Pregnancy, thyroid problems, and menopause are a few conditions that can result in hormonal changes.
  • Personality factors, such as low self-esteem, have a higher chance of experiencing depression. And exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, or poverty are environmental factors that can make you vulnerable to depression.

Depression can also occur alongside other illnesses you may have, such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. The side effects of medicines taken for these illnesses may also contribute to the symptoms of depression.

Types of Depression

The two types of depression that most of us know of are major depression and persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia). Other forms of depression include perinatal depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and psychotic depression.

Major depression: having symptoms of depression nearly every day for at least two weeks that interfere with your daily functioning.

Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia): having symptoms of depression that last for at least two years along with the possibility of having episodes of major depression along.

Treatment

The good news is, depression is one of the most treatable mental disorders. Most people respond well to treatment, and almost all patients usually gain some relief from their symptoms. Several treatments are available:

  • Medication: Antidepressants might be prescribed to help your brain chemistry. Psychiatrists recommend taking your medicine for at least two to three months to see the full effects. To decrease the risk of future depressive episodes, psychiatrists recommend continuing your medication for six months or more after symptoms have improved.
  • Psychotherapy: Known as “talk therapy,” psychotherapy is sometimes used alone for mild cases of depression or in conjunction with antidepressant medications for moderate to severe cases. This type of therapy generally involves the individual (you) and may also include a spouse, family members, or friends. Treatment can usually take up to a few weeks or much longer, but on average, there are significant improvements within 10-15 sessions. Treatment could either be short-term or long-term, depending on your situation. Some people benefit from short-term therapy while others, who may have more intensive needs, benefit from long-term therapy.
  • Exercise and other therapies: Exercise, such as aerobics, can help against mild depression. It increases your endorphin levels and stimulates the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, which is related to mood. Brain stimulation therapies, on the other hand, are repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation that sends magnetic pulses to your brain and could be effective in major depressive disorders.

When To Get Emergency Help

If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. You can also:

  • Call your doctor or mental health professional.
  • Call a suicide hotline number, such as call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Reach out to a close friend or family member.

 

Managing Your Stress

 
There are no sure ways to prevent depression, but if you are aware that you may be showing signs or symptoms of depression, there are a few things you can do to reduce those symptoms.

  • Take steps to control your stress so you can increase your resilience and self-esteem.
  • Reach out to family and friends to help you get through the storm.
  • Try to get help from a counselor early on if you see symptoms of depression so you can prevent it from worsening.
  • Consider long-term treatment for maintenance purposes.

 

Therapy and Counseling

At the Behavioral Health Associates of Broward, we provide confidential counseling services, such as individual, group, and couples/family therapy. Individual therapy is one-on-one sessions with a personal therapist who can help you identify what may be causing your depressive moods and help you to develop new coping skills and alternative ways of looking at a situation. Group therapy provides individuals with social support, encouragement, and validation from other members who may be experiencing similar challenges. Couples and family therapy are also helpful in identifying behavioral and mental health issues within the family or a particularly stressful event. One of our kind, caring, and experienced mental health therapists can help you and your loved one(s) work through familial or relationship issues in a safe, controlled, and judge-free zone.

Your well-being matters to us. Our team of experienced and specialized clinicians can help you in your journey to be a healthier you. Contact Behavioral Health Associates of Broward at 954-909-0888 for more information about our Counseling Services, and we will be ready to help you or your loved one on their path to recovery.

Contact Us For More Information

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Behavioral Health Associates of Broward, Counseling Centers of Goodman JFS

Phone: 954-909-0888

Fax: 954-916-1252

Email: info@bhabroward.org


Our Offices

Coral Springs/Parkland:
11555 Heron Bay Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Coral Springs, FL 33076

Davie/Cooper City:
5890 South Pine Island Rd, Suite 201
Davie, FL 33328