What is Depression?
Depression is a serious mental health issue that affects millions of people every year. It can take many different forms, and it often goes undiagnosed or untreated. Those diagnosed with depression can experience chronic feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt.
It has been estimated that over 17 million people in the United States experience depression every year with around half of these cases going untreated. Depressive disorders can be debilitating and life-threatening, but fortunately, there are treatments available for those who suffer from them.
For many people, the idea of depression is something they don’t understand. It’s a complicated mental health disorder that can make it difficult to lead a normal life. Depression affects every area of someone’s life including their mood, energy level, appetite, concentration, and even physical health.
Counseling for depression is available at HWP in Alpharetta, GA to help you overcome depression symptoms. We provide counseling for depression where clients will be able to learn about their condition and get treatment from professionals who specialize in this area of psychology.
Our counseling center is here to help — Our whole person approach and compassionate therapists are focused on getting you back on your feet after a depressive episode.
Types of Depressive Disorders
Depression can occur at any age, and there are many types of depression disorders.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America report that many people with a depressive disorder also suffer from co-occurring disorders or physical illnesses, such as substance abuse or sleep disorders, which can contribute to depression symptoms worse and make recovery more difficult.
The type you have will depend on how severe your symptoms are and what causes them to come about. Some people may feel better with professional treatment while others might need to take medication for their condition to find relief from their symptoms while suffering from depression.
Major depressive disorder (MDD): The presence of severe or overpowering symptoms that endure longer than two weeks is the most common form of major depression (clinical depression).
Bipolar depression: Many people with bipolar disorder experience extremely high-energy (manic) periods and low moods. During the lows, they may experience symptoms like feeling sad or hopeless as well other aspects of depression such as being tired all day.
Perinatal and postpartum depression: Prenatal and postpartum depression is different from the “baby blues” in that they can develop during pregnancy as well up to one year after giving birth. Symptoms may include feelings of worry or stress, sadness which doesn’t go away with time as typical mood swings do.
Persistent depressive disorder (PDD): The symptoms of PDD, also known as dysthymia, are less severe than major depression. However, people experience them long-term. Generally for two years or longer and it can lead to a decrease in mental functioning if left untreated.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. It affects around 3-8% of all females primarily in their reproductive years with symptoms usually emerging during a woman’s twenties.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): This common mood disorder is characterized by depressed feelings during autumn and winter due to a lack of Vitamin D from the sun. It usually goes away in springtime when the days grow longer again.
Symptoms of Depression
Do you find yourself feeling down more often than not? Are you struggling with your appetite or sleep? Are you losing interest in activities you used to enjoy? If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing symptoms of depression.
The following are some symptoms of depression according to the American Psychiatric Association:
- A mood that is persistent, sad, or “vacant”
- Feelings of despair, or hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or inadequacy
- Interest or pleasure in hobbies and actions is lost
- Tiredness or less energy
- Moving or speaking more slowly
- Feelings of restlessness and difficulty sitting still
- Memory, attention, and decision-making difficulties
- Sleep difficulties, waking too early or sleeping too late
- Appetite and/or weight fluctuations
- Thoughts of dying or taking one’s own life, or attempts to do so
- Feelings of malaise or general tiredness, as well as pains, headaches, cramps, and digestive problems without a clear physical cause that continue despite treatment
Recognizing the symptoms of depression and taking action is the first step in getting better.
Treating Depression with Talk Therapy
When most people think of treating depression, they think of medication. But did you know that talk therapy is actually a very effective way to treat depression for many people? There are many types of therapy that are used during the treatment of depression, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and more.
Therapy can help you understand the thoughts and feelings that are contributing to your depression. It can also teach you coping skills to deal with difficult emotions and situations. In addition, therapy can help improve your relationships with others, which can be beneficial for people with depression.
Major Depressive Episodes in U.S. Adults: A Closer Look
Navigating the complexities of mental disorders uncovers some startling insights. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 21.0 million American adults experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2021, making up 8.3% of the adult population.
Breaking this down:
- Gender Differences: Adult females exhibit a prevalence of 10.3%, notably higher than their male counterparts at 6.2%.
- Age Dynamics: Younger adults, specifically those between 18-25 years, face the highest impact with a rate of 18.6%.
- Racial Insights: Those identifying with multiple races experience the highest prevalence, at 13.9%.
- Severity Matters: 2021 revealed that of the adults confronting a major depressive episode, 14.5 million were severely impaired, constituting 5.7% of the U.S. adult population.
- Embracing Treatment: Here’s where hope shines through. 61.0% of U.S. adults with a major depressive episode sought treatment in the said year. Remarkably, this percentage escalates to 74.8% for those experiencing severe impairment.
With major depressive episodes touching countless lives, the importance of finding a therapist and participating in counseling sessions is paramount. For those seeking immediate assistance with mental health concerns, the SAMHSA National Helpline offers invaluable support.
Behind every number is a human story, a compelling reason to extend understanding, compassion, and assistance. Our specialized team is equipped to manage a range of health conditions, whether they are short-term challenges or more enduring mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Reach out to us for a no-obligation consultation to see if our expertise aligns with your unique needs.
A Holistic Approach to Counseling for Depression in Alpharetta, GA
Many people seek the guidance of a counselor for advice, diagnosis, and treatment for depression. HWP is a counseling center in Alpharetta, GA that specializes in helping people with depression.
We offer individual therapy sessions for adults and teens who are struggling with this condition. If you would like more information about our services, please reach out to our team of professionals today to learn more about how we can help you.