It is very normal for people to feel sad, blue, down or unhappy during specific periods and times in their life. The loss of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship, an unwelcome change at a job or any other number of factors can cause us to experience sadness, grief or bereavement.
However, when feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and not being worthy in life become pervasive or last for a significant amount of time you may be experiencing depression. Depression is a set of symptoms that have both a physical and mental health impact. These symptoms of depression can impair a person’s ability to lead their normal life, further creating conditions that can worsen the depression.
The Medical And Psychotherapy Issue
While there is a mental health component to depression, it is also caused by a biological change in the brain. The use of specific types of medications to address the chemical imbalance in the brain is often very helpful for those diagnosed with depression. Antidepressants can be used during the time needed and then slowly stopped when no longer required.
In conjunction with the medications, a psychotherapist can help the patient to work through thoughts and coping mechanisms they may have used in the past that are unhealthy and replace them with healthier options.
Psychotherapy, which typically includes “talk therapy” or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, helps those diagnosed with depression to learn to identify unhealthy or depressive thought patterns and make a positive change. This is highly effective for people to be able to manage their depression once they have completed the therapy. Some patients, even with significant depression, may be able to stop taking medications without any recurrence of the condition.
There are several other types of treatment options besides CBT. A psychotherapist will often use different techniques from different therapeutic options to develop a treatment plan to address the needs of the patient.
In some cases, patients may also experience depression because of related issues. This could include low self-esteem, past traumas, anxiety issues or interpersonal relationship problems. Within the psychotherapy for depression, these issues can also be addressed, helping to eliminate possible triggers or concurrent conditions that may make depression worse.
For some individuals, therapy is also very helpful if there are addictions or addictive behaviors related to the depression. Looking at the condition from a holistic perspective allows the psychotherapist to address the necessary issues to provide the patient with a complete treatment plan uniquely designed to fit their specific needs.