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From Fox River Grove and Woodstock, IL: How Psychological Counseling Eliminates Depression

Feb 10, 2008
Depression is all too real and results in relationship conflicts, family dysfunction and lost work productivity. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 17 million adults suffer from depression in the U.S. alone during any 1-year period. Yet, it is highly treatable using counseling techniques.

Is Depression Really Different from Occasional Sadness?

We all feel sad or "blue" from time to time. After all, it is normal to grieve over upsetting experiences, such as a death in the family, a life-threatening illness, job loss, or a divorce. But when these feelings are normal the grief and sadness lessen gradually with the passage of time.

However, if your feelings of sadness last longer than 2 weeks, and they interfere with the quality of your daily life, you may be experiencing a medical affliction known as clinical depression.

Depressed individuals often feel helpless and are saturated with feelings of futility. Not only that, but they often blame themselves for their listlessness and negativity. They also frequently become overwhelmed, spent and stop participating in routine activities. They may withdraw from others and may even have thoughts of suicide.

What is its Cause? Why does it Happen?

There are various answers and speculation on this question. Changes in the body's chemistry can effect mood and thought processes that result in an overwhelming pessimism. Also, depression can be the outcome of certain emotional aspects of your life that are out of whack because of the feelings of futility generated by certain situations. For example, the death of a spouse or child can bring about a depressive episode.

Can It Be Successfully Treated?

Absolutely. Your depression is highly treatable by receiving competent diagnosis and care. If you suspect that you, a friend or family member may be experiencing depression it is crucial that you encourage or seek treatment from a licensed mental health professional.

If you suffer from depression but do not seek help you end up suffering needlessly. Unexpressed worries which are accompanied by feelings of isolation often worsen depressive symptoms; therefore, its crucial to get professional help immediately.

How Does Psychotherapy or Counseling Help?

Several counseling approaches, including thought-management, relationship re-structuring and psychoanalytic can help you and others who are depressed recover and get their life back. Counseling provides the opportunity for you to identify factors that contribute to your symptoms and to deal effectively with them.

Skilled therapists will help you to:

Pinpoint the issues or situations that contribute to your symptoms and help you understand which aspects you may be able to improve.

A professional psychologist or counselor can help you identify options for your future. You will be assisted in setting realistic goals that will enable you to enhance the quality of your emotional well-being and to identify how you have successfully coped with similar feelings in the past.

Identify pessimistic or distorted thoughts that contribute to your feelings of depression. For example, those suffering from depression overgeneralize, that is, think of life in terms of "always" or "never." They also take events too personally. A psychological therapist can help the depressed patient modify and reduce these behaviors which worsen the symptoms.

Explore other learned thoughts and attitudes that contribute and worsen depression.

For example, psychologists can help you understand and improve any patterns of interacting with others that you may have which contribute to your depression.

Regain a sense of control and pleasure in your life.

Psychological counseling can help you see options and help you to gradually incorporate satisfying and rewarding activities back into your life.
Remember that experiencing an episode of depression once increases your risk of having another episode. However, ongoing psychotherapy or counseling may reduce the chance or seriousness of future episodes.

In What Other Ways Can Psychologists Help?

The support and involvement of your family and friends can be crucial. Individuals in your support system can help by encouraging you to stick with your treatment and practice the coping techniques you are learning through psychotherapy.

Living with a depressed person can be very difficult. The pain of watching a loved one suffer often generates feelings of helplessness and futility. Family or marital therapy may help in bringing together everyone affected by your depression and help them to learn effective ways to cope.

This type of therapy can also help those who have never experienced depression personally, to learn more about it and identify constructive ways of supporting a loved one who is experiencing it.

Are Medications Useful or are they just a Cover-Up?

Medications can be very helpful for reducing depressive symptoms in some people, particularly if you are suffering from a moderate to severe case. Recent studies demonstrate that often a combination of psychotherapy and medication is the most effective treatment.

Some depressed individuals prefer psychotherapy or counseling to the use of medications. After a thorough assessment, a licensed counseling professional can make recommendations about the most effective course of treatment for you.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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