Depression Counseling and Treatment
Depression is one of the common mental health conditions faced by people around the world. While depression has several causes, healing from depressive mood changes, sadness, as well as other challenges that arise and may impact your daily life is possible through seeking support. Professional help for depression may include online counseling as well as other positive interventions including support groups to connect with others going through similar experiences. 7 Cups is a global mental health support community that includes free features as well as therapeutic services.
Whether you are looking to understand how common depression is, what are the physical symptoms and their connection to depression, the different types and causes of depression, or information on how access to online therapy programs can help your recovery journey, 7 Cups is ready to offer mental health support.
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What Causes It?
Some common causes of depression include:
- Chronic Stress
- Traumatic experiences including early losses
- Medical conditions including nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and other conditions that impact mood
- Side effects of medications that disturb mood
- Substance abuse
- Biological causes including brain areas and neurotransmitters
- Other personal issues including conflicts or major life changes, which may be positive events.
You’re Not Alone. It’s More Common Than You Think.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), depression affects approximately 1 in every 15 adults per year. While depression can be experienced at any time, it is initially common during the adolescent developmental period. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that depression is a common mental health disorder amongst children and adolescents and that the prevalence of depression has increased over time. Moreover, studies show that depression diagnosis rates increase with increased age.
Women are more susceptible to depression as compared to men, with studies showing that one-third of women experience a major depressive episode during their lives. However, depressive symptoms amongst men are also being recognized. Men are less likely to use mental health services for their concerns. Men might turn to substance abuse to cope with depression instead of sharing their concerns with their families or friends. They might also have different symptoms such as increased anger, isolation, or other behavioral changes. Over time, this can lead to addiction problems or other negative behavioral problems.
Several research, as well as meta-analysis, has confirmed that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of mental health issues including depression has increased. This makes it important to seek help if you feel you are experiencing depression or any other mental illness concerns to maintain and care for your overall well-being.
If you face suicidal thoughts and find it difficult to cope with other symptoms of depression, you can reach out for emotional support via the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, also available on the internet for online chats.
Types of Depressive Disorders
There are several types of depressive disorders, including:
- Major Depressive Disorder or clinical depression includes depressed mood or loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, amongst other symptoms of depression, during a two-week time period.
- Postpartum depression or perinatal depression may be experienced as a major depressive episode during pregnancy or following childbirth. Although commonly attributed to women, men can also experience symptoms of postpartum depression.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder or dysthymia involves a depressed mood amongst other symptoms of depression over a longer duration of at least two years.
Other forms of depressive disorders or presentations of depression symptoms include seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is a form of major depressive disorder as a result of the days becoming shorter during seasonal changes towards winter, leading to alterations in the body.
Healing From Sadness
Depressed people can find daily life challenging. Depression can make concentrating in school or making productive progress during work hard. Relationships with peers and other loved ones may be affected too, causing concern.
Clinical depression causes feelings of intense sadness, which can make finding hope very difficult. Sadness can range from feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness that can diminish an individual's self-esteem. While depression may diminish our ability to find motivation, healing from the sadness and emotions that present alongside depression is possible.
7 Cups is an online platform available on the web and as a mobile app. The community at 7 Cups is here to help support you as you heal from the sadness and other challenges you may face during your depression experience. You can consider using the free features at 7 Cups including 1-on-1 live chats with trained active listeners, growth paths with interventions presented in small, easy-to-take steps, group chats where people share similar situations and their personal solutions, self-help guides with helpful techniques, online forums with discussions as well as icebreakers and other activities.
The Physical Symptoms
The symptoms of depression that are initially noticeable for clients are often physical in nature. When reported to a doctor, physical concerns like pain being reported make depression often difficult to diagnose. However, physical symptoms are highly connected to the presence of mood conditions, and can also predict morbidity. They also impact the severity of the depression experiences. Some questionnaires for depression include checking for physical complaints and signs of depression to ensure correct diagnosis, an effective treatment plan, as well as remission.
The physical symptoms include:
- Chronic Pain - including headaches, muscle/joint pain, or gastrointestinal pain
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation - noticed through changes in thought processes and physical movements.
- Fatigue - noticeable changes in energy and activity levels, finding it difficult to get out of bed.
- Changes in appetite
- Weight Loss or Gain
- Sleep difficulties or changes in sleep patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
Dealing With Depression Through Psychotherapy
Although medications such as antidepressants or others prescribed by medical doctors to treat medical conditions causing depressive symptoms may be considered as treatment options, they may be combined with other techniques and recommendations. Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is a therapeutic process wherein mental health professionals and individuals seeking support can discuss their mental health conditions in a safe space. While therapists may have different perspectives or approaches, they ensure that the therapy sessions support client concerns and goals.
One form of psychotherapy is that of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It is an evidence-based approach wherein an individual's thought processes and their relationship to behavior are analyzed. This includes the negative cognitive triad, a pattern of thinking common in depression that leads to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
7 Cups is an online platform available globally via a browser and mobile app. Apart from free resources such as live chats with trained active listeners, group support groups, and chatrooms, as well as intervention-based growth paths, 7 Cups offers therapy subscriptions at an affordable fee of $150/month. Therapy at 7 Cups works differently as compared to phone calls or scheduled appointments - once you subscribe, you can send your therapist messages throughout the week! These mental health support services are not limited to the United States but are accessible worldwide regardless of your location. Although the online therapy services do not support teen counseling, you can seek professional support as a parent of a teen struggling with depression
Scott Fantucchio, LMHC
Scott is a licensed mental health counselor with over 10 years of experience in the mental health field.
Jamie Rautenberg, LCSW
Jamie is a licensed clinical social worker and holistic life coach with 10 years of experience blending her background in the arts with her education to best meet her clients needs.
Lisa Meighan, MBPsS
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Haley Neidich, MSW, LCSW
Haley Neidich is a licensed psychotherapist and the Senior Director of Clinical Development for ThriveTalk.com.