Depression Counseling: The Best In Clarkston & Waterford
Depression is a health condition that has become prevalent in today’s world. Generally characterized by persistently low mood, the condition affects people of all ages, right from children as young as 6 years through to people in their 50’s, 60’s and even more.
What is even more surprising is that up to 60 percent of people living with depression don’t have access to or have never considered mental health counseling services.
The truth of the matter is, consulting a licensed professional counselor when depressed can help you walk through the process of healing from depression, perhaps faster and more effectively than you thought.
Before delving into how counseling can help mental health patients, let’s first look at a few aspects about depression.
Understanding the Triggers of Depression
Depression can be triggered by many aspects including but not limited to, emotional, romantic, financial and personal setbacks. One may experience depression due to loss of pet or loved one, unending marital or relationship conflicts, eating disorders and even body image issues.
Other common triggers of depression are:
- Stress at home, work or school
- Addiction to drugs, porn, gaming etc.
- Loss of job
- Break up from a relationship
- Abuse, either present or past
- Postpartum experience
Deciphering the Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression may vary depending on the severity of the problem one is facing and/or how long it lasts.
Other factors like gender, culture and age may also define the symptoms one will experience. But generally, any kind of depression can greatly affect one’s emotions, thinking patterns and even physical health.
Some of the common symptoms of depression that you may need to watch out for include the following:
- Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Frequent bouts of crying
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Headaches, fatigue and general malaise
- Decreased or increased desire to eat and/or need to sleep
- Feelings of anxiety, anger and irritability
- Withdrawal from friends and loved ones
- Nagging thoughts of suicide
Do All Types Of Depressions Require Counseling?
Well, people experience different levels of depression, depending on what they are currently going through or struggling with. The specific symptoms and how long they persist basically dictate the kind of treatment that will be recommended to the patient.
Roughly, there are three major kinds of depressions: mild, moderate and severe depression. Each of them is treated differently.
This is depression whose symptoms feel like just regular emotional responses. It can be treated on a personal level by exercising, eating and drinking healthy as well as staying in touch with friends or loved ones.
Moderate depression, on the other hand, may be characterized by long periods of gloominess and sleeplessness, frequent irritation and occasional bouts of anxiety. When you feel mild depression has graduated to moderate depression, you need to see a counselor.
Severe or major depression carries symptoms that are highly noticeable to others. These may include insomnia or excessive sleeping, thoughts of suicide, inability to care of oneself and in extreme cases, hallucinations and delusions. Treatment of this kind of depression may require the use of antidepressants coupled with counseling.
How Depression Counseling Works For Patients – What one Clarkston depression therapist had to say
A mental health counselor can help a patient overcome depression and anxiety using different methods. These may include talking to the patients and helping them express what they feel, engaging them in certain exercises or activities and/or initiating emotional or behavior change.
The blend of methods a counselor basically aims at helping a patient achieve the following:
Depression is in most cases brought about the pain and/or guilt of losing something or experiencing a situation that seems somewhat insurmountable. The obsession with asking oneself, “WHY…did I do this or did this happen”, is what often makes an already depressed patient get worse.
Here, counselor focuses on bringing patients “back to their bodies” and resetting their mindset. This can be achieved through teaching patients such techniques as visualization, tree meditation, driving meditation and/or deep breathing. The technique recommended may depend on the severity of your depression.
Balancing the Brain
This type of counseling, commonly known as neuro-counseling, combines traditional counseling with the study of the structure and function of the brain and how it affects one’s behavior and emotions. The therapy administered in such as case is meant to change the neurons of the brain.
Neurocounseling may involve a bio feedback, exercise or a combination of both. But first, the counselor will have to do a complete assessment of the patient, including tracking their medical history back to birth, if need be. This may be important in revealing sources of alteration in brain activity or dysregulation.
During neurocounseling, the counselor may seek to help the patient learn important skills such as controlling their breathing, heart rate, and skin temperature. Emphasis on diet, exercise and sleep may also be given as part of the depression therapy.
Get a Good Dose of Brain-Based Psycho Education
When we experience loss or something bad happens to us, we are wired as human beings to feel hurt and harbor negative emotions. But the more we dwell on those emotions, the more we feel depression and anxious.
A counselor understands very well that when the body is tense and the brain continues to think wrong, depression will find a ground on which to thrive. So he/she will focus on helping you understand that feeling depressed is normal and that overcoming it is not as hard as you may have thought.
Deep breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation may come in handy in this case. The counselor will also get to talk to the patient about the meaning and purpose of life; something will no doubt inspire hope in the patient.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a treatment method often used in depression therapy. Your counselor will help you identify and change the thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that are negatively impacting how you feel. He/she will also help you modify the behaviors that are reinforcing the symptoms of depression.
Treating depression as early as possible is very critical as it can help you avoid a further decline in your emotional and physical health. Getting counseling can also make it easier for you to continue working, engaging with friends and loved ones in a healthy manner and pursuing all the normal activities with ease despite the hurt or disappointments.
If you’re feeling depressed right now, just find or contact a licensed professional counselor in your area to get help. You can be sure things will never be the same again.
About the author
James Wickersham – Psychotherapist – Social Worker
Based in Clarkston, Michigan, James is a licensed master’s social worker, having graduated from Wayne State University. In addition to helping patients with depression, he also holds advanced certification as an alcohol and drug counselor. James helps patients all over Oakland County, including Clarkston and Waterford.