For many, depression is more than just sadness and can often include feeling empty, overwhelmed, lacking motivation, changes in weight and sleep, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, and even thoughts of suicide. Unfortunately, depressed feelings are not necessarily something that we can just “snap out of” on our own and can often require counseling to help us get through this difficult time. Though not something we often openly talk about, depression is an experience commonly shared by many at some point in their lives.
Depression can seem crippling and feelings of hopelessness from escaping its grips are all too common. The team of professionals and Biltmore Psychology and Counseling help people overcome their feelings of depression, and help them gain the motivation, perspective, and joy that they once had. Life does not have to remain hopeless, and can again be fulfilling.
What Does It Feel Like to Have Depression?
In society, depression is often viewed as a state of mind in which a person makes choices to see themselves or their world in a negative way. And while we do have some degree of ability to choose an optimistic mindset, depression is not simply a choice. It is not something that a person can “snap out of” or learn to “shrug off.” Due to chemical changes or hard environmental changes or environments in which we grew up, depression becomes a dark cyclical trap. While depressed, people often view themselves and their “problems” as burdens to others. They may even been convinced that suicide would be the only way to provide relief to their families. Hopelessness can feel overwhelming and all consuming, leaving little room for tasks and responsibilities that were once viewed as simple.
How is Depression Treated?
Fortunately, depression is very treatable. Our clinicians often take an approach that is tailored to each person’s individual needs. For some, a combination of medication management and talk therapy is most appropriate. In these cases we can refer to some amazing specialists that provide excellent medication management care. For others, they take an approach to best understand how the depression started and what tools they will need to once again feel grounded, worthy and whole.
Depression can start in our family. Negative family dynamics that were abusive, neglectful or unsupportive can create shame and self doubt in the individual. If we don’t grow up knowing what we need and what we are worthy of, we may never ask or advocate for things that would make us happy or keep us from being depressed.
Depression can start in our thoughts. Self-critical views, hopeless outlooks on life, and fear can create a cycle of negative thoughts that can make us feel depressed. In therapy, we may look at how our thoughts influence our experiences and how our experiences influence our thoughts. From a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach, we can learn to identify these negative cycles of thinking and reframe to a more healthy and accurate view.
Depression can start in our emotions. Many bright, thoughtful, and insightful people can know how they are “supposed” to think, and yet they still feel sad, disappointed, and upset. Through an emotion focused therapy approach we can best understand how to changes our emotions even when they defy all rational thought.
Depression can start in our relationships. So often our mood is influenced by the quality of our intimate relationships. When our marriages, relationships, and friendships are on the rocks, it becomes increasingly more difficult to view ourselves, our future, and our world in a positive light. When appropriate, our therapists can do both individual and couples therapy to help treat symptoms of depression.
Depression Counseling FAQs
While times of feeling down and dysphoric are a very normal part of the human experience, feelings of depression can deepen to the point that individuals can feel helpless or hopeless. While this hopelessness is very common, depression is very treatable and the treatment journey can lead to feelings of hope and inspiration. The focus of depression counseling it to help increase insight into depression triggers, develop adaptive coping strategies to help decrease depressive symptoms, and find ways to make life changes to avoid unhealthy circumstances. Our psychologist and counselors use a variety of techniques to treat depression including cognitive behavioral therapy, relationship counseling, and life coaching.
In depression counseling, our counselors help the individual identify the triggers for their depression and help them begin to see the steps they can take to find healing and hope. Together, we seek to determine the source of the depression and then create a personalized treatment plan for each individual. For example, if the source of the depression is due to a medical condition, we coordinate care with a medical provider, or if the source of the depression is due to a history of trauma or distressing life events, we process through these events to decrease feelings of shame and self-doubt.
Depression can develop for many different sources. Some depression can present from chemical changes that occur after a pregnancy or due to a neurological condition such as Parkinson’s disease. Other forms of depression can start from a history of trauma or negative relationships. While others can begin from a negative view of the self and hopelessness for the future. While there are many different etiologies for depression, our counselors create individualized treatment plans for each person they are seeing.
Depression usually includes at least 5 of the following symptoms:
- Depressed mood most of the day and nearly every day
- Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Physically feeling agitated, slowed down, difficulty “getting going”
- Intense feelings of worthlessness and inappropriate guilt
- Decreased ability to think or concentrate
- Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (sleeping a great deal)
- Fatigue and loss of energy
Depression can often come after major life difficulties such as a loss of job or end of a relationship. Yet, depression can also put great strain on our relationships and responsibilities. While many are able to maintain their job, relationships and daily functioning, they do so with great snuggle and effort. Depression can often cause relationship difficulties as people tend to be more apathetic, frustrated, agitated, less empathetic and less flexible when depressed. Depression can also cause physical difficulties leaving people feeling sick, tired, and more prone to infection. Lastly, it can impact life satisfaction leading to feelings of worthlessness and lack of hope.
The treatments for depression include talk therapy and medication management. Talk therapy will focus on the specific type of depression and will help the individual deepen their insight into their distress, identify the triggers for their depression, develop adaptive coping skills for these circumstances and look at overall life circumstances and how these may be adjusted to avoid feelings of depression in the future.
Many people choose to seek treatment for depression when they feel that their efforts to control their depression are no longer working. Yet, treatment for depression can also be very helpful when done before the depression becomes severe. When people are in a hopeful place, they may be in the best position to proactively make life choices to avoid thought patterns, relationships, and life choices that can lead to depressive symptoms. So either during increasing depression or before increasing depression, treatment can be very helpful.
Our psychologists and counselors are passionate about finding a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to each individual’s needs and circumstances. While in depression therapy, counseling will focus on helping the individual deepen insight into depression triggers, develop adaptive coping strategies to help decrease depressive symptoms, and find ways to make life changes to help avoid unhealthy circumstances.
Should medication management be desired, our psychologists and counselors will coordinate care with treating physicians to provide the best continuity of care.
Meet our Team
Doctorate and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relationship Counseling, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Grief, Spiritual Integration, Medical Counseling, Immigration Evaluation Services
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, Arizona State University
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), marriage/relationship therapy, individual therapy, trauma, faith-based counseling, grief and loss, parenting/coparenting issues, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, work/life stressors
M.S. Counseling and Human Services,
University of Toledo
Bowling Green State University
Practice Areas: Relationship / marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, parenting, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, career decisions, caring for aging relatives, life changes, work/life stressors
M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy,
Arizona State University
B.S. Family and Human Development,
Arizona State University
Practice Areas: Marriage/relationship therapy, pre-marital counseling, grief and loss, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, life changes, work/life stressors
We’re here for you.
Our depression counselors apply professional expertise and understanding to provide the best holistic counseling services in the Phoenix, AZ.
A 10-min consultation can help you determine whether our services would be the right fit for you. Call us today for a free phone consultation.