What is Depression?

It might not be what you think. We often see media representations of depression involving an individual who is dysfunctional and can’t get out of bed. While this is certainly true in some cases, this depiction doesn’t cover the wide range of symptoms and experiences typical of those who struggle with this condition.

Are you feeling more negative than positive these days? Are your thoughts muddied by self-criticism, doubt, and uncertainty? Are you struggling with motivation or finding it difficult to enjoy things you know you used to like? Have your sleeping or eating habits changed? These can all be symptoms of depression.

Depression Versus Bipolar Disorder:

The depression we typically talk about is the unipolar type. Some individuals struggle with additional symptoms, potentially meeting criteria for Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar Disorder is typified by periods of heightened energy, which can take the form of elevated or irritable mood. Sometimes, individuals will struggle with symptoms of depression and mania concurrently, in what is classified as a “Mixed State.” It’s important to determine whether a unipolar or bipolar process is at play, as treatment recommendations, particularly any medications, can differ.

Treatment of Depression:

With proper treatment, those who struggle with depression may experience a significant reduction in symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is typically a first-line defense, including interventions such as cognitive restructuring and behavioral activation.  Changing the way you think and act can have a significant, positive impact on the way you feel. Your therapy might help you understand how certain childhood or familial experiences affect how you think and feel today. Our therapists might also use certain interventions from Dialectical-Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to target specific symptoms and your overall mindset. In some cases, psychopharmacological interventions (i.e., medication) might be indicated.

Our therapists work collaboratively and respectfully to help you return to your previous level of functioning. Your feedback about how you are feeling and how certain interventions are working – or not – are critical in the work we do together.