If you’re one of the more than 264 million people worldwide who suffer from depression, you’ve most likely at least thought about getting help. (Or if you’re just starting to think about it, we happen to know that’s an excellent idea.) But taking that first step to achieving mental health can be challenging, especially when you don’t know what to expect.
You probably have many questions about how counseling for depression works.
“Can talking really help my depression?”
“Am I going to have to lay on a couch and spill my innermost secrets?”
“Is my therapist going to judge me?”
“Are my problems big enough for me to need therapy?”
Or one of the biggest concerns people have about going to therapy,
“Are people going to see me as weak for going to therapy?”
Having questions about counseling for depression is perfectly normal. Letting those questions stand in your way of getting the help you need is the problem. So let’s see if we can provide a better understanding of how counseling can help depression.
Psychotherapy vs. Counseling for Depression
Both terms are often used interchangeably, but they are slightly different from one another. Both help treat depression, and both positions receive a higher-education degree or degrees to treat you.
Whether you choose psychotherapy for depression or depression counseling, you’ll be seeing a trained, experienced professional.
- Counseling for depression: Generally speaking, depression counseling typically refers to a shorter-term type of therapy. Your mental health counselor will address specific issues with you and teach you specific techniques to cope with what troubles you.
- Psychotherapy for depression: Psychotherapists can do the same thing for you as counselors do but typically focus on a broader range of mental health issues and dig deeper to determine the “why” behind how you feel.
Psychotherapy for depression gives you the tools and strategies you need to face your challenges today and equips you for the future.
When to Seek Depression Counseling
There’s really no “right” time to seek help for depression because getting help is always a good idea. Feeling down from time to time is entirely normal. But if you’re feeling the below symptoms for longer than a couple of weeks, it’s an excellent time to find a mental health professional.
It’s common for people to shrug off depression symptoms, chalking them up to just being a little sad. Left untreated, symptoms of depression can lead to clinical depression, which can be dangerous.
The following are the most common symptoms of depression you should keep an eye on:
- feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
- feelings of emptiness and prolonged sadness
- trouble concentrating
- changes in your sleeping patterns
- loss of interest in things you typically enjoy
- thoughts of death or suicide
- changes in appetite
- isolating yourself from friends and family
One of the most important things to remember about depression is that it doesn’t discriminate. Everyone is at risk of developing depression. With that said, some risk factors could make depression more likely for you.
- Genetics – Just like any other illness, you’re more likely to do the same if mental illness runs in your family.
- Hormones – Everyone’s hormones continually fluctuate, and some people are sensitive to these changes. You may be more susceptible to mental illnesses like depression if that’s you.
- Environmental factors – Situations in life can often lead to depression. If you’ve experienced trauma, the loss of a loved one, or a big life change, you’re at risk of developing depression.
- Medication conditions – Some medical conditions like chronic pain, ADHD, or anxiety can contribute to your likelihood of depression.
- Brain chemistry – If your brain’s neurotransmitters tend to function improperly, you could develop depression.
The Benefits of Psychotherapy and Counseling for Depression
There’s no downside to getting depression counseling or psychotherapy. Whether you end up meeting with your therapist for a few weeks or see them for years, one of the most beneficial things about the therapeutic relationship is that you know you aren’t alone.
Getting a third-party perspective from someone uninvolved in your everyday life is highly beneficial. And the fact that they’ve gone to school and obtained degrees, accreditations, and knowledge to help you is one benefit you can’t overlook. In other words, your therapist is trained to help you overcome depression.
Psychotherapy and counseling for depression can help you:
- pinpoint your negative thinking and behavior patterns that lead to you feeling hopeless and worthless
- identify events in your life that have contributed to your depression
- learn healthier skills and strategies to cope with and combat your current and potential future depression symptoms
- set realistic goals for yourself to enable you to enhance your mental and emotional wellbeing
- regain a sense of control over your life so you can enjoy it again
- incorporate enjoyable activities back into your life
- strengthen your relationship with yourself and those around you
Getting psychotherapy and counseling for depression is not only beneficial to you, but it’s also beneficial to your friends and family. Choosing to strengthen your relationship with yourself and others is a big step in your journey to feeling better.
Finding the Best Depression Treatment in San Diego
Choosing the practitioner best suited for working with you in depression treatment in San Diego can be daunting. Whether you’re looking for counseling for depression or psychotherapy, here at BOLD Health, we have you covered.
Because our highly-experienced team of clinicians includes therapists, licensed social workers, and psychiatrists, we cover many areas in the mental health field. Our beautiful facility is also home to another level of psychotherapy, our intensive outpatient program (IOP) in San Diego.
If you and your clinician think another level of support and work is needed to help you, our depression IOP in San Diego could be the right fit. Unlike traditional therapy, our IOP is designed to be a more rigorous and disciplined treatment.
Over ten weeks, you’ll get depression help in:
When you suffer from depression, your relationships, job and work performance, and even physical health are negatively impacted. At BOLD Health, we understand you deal with depression challenges every day. Our extensive experience gives us deep insight into diagnosing and helping you through your struggles.
You deserve to live a happier, more fulfilling life. And we can help.