Susan M. Isaacson, MA, CCC, LMSW, LCSW

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Your Feelings Matter Blog

Counseling for Depression

Approximately 33-35 million adults in the United States are likely to experience an episode of depression in their lifetime. Research indicates that women suffer from this debilitating disorder two times more than men.

Depression is linked to a chemical change in the brain involving serotonin and norepinephrine.

Major Depressive disorder (MDD) is also classified as depression. Those individuals diagnosed with MDD usually report a minimum of two weeks of depressed mood or loss of interest in activities that once were pleasurable (anhedonia).

Research confirms that the most effective intervention for MDD is a combination of psychopharmacology (medications/antidepressants) and psychotherapy. There are specific types of psychotherapy that prove to be beneficial. The following are three specific therapeutic techniques:

  • CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy). This therapeutic technique offers the individual perspectives that help to change and reverse negative beliefs, attitude and thought patterns.
  • IPT (Interpersonal therapy). This techniques provides problem solving techniques relevant to social and interpersonal issues that may develop into depression
  • SFT (Solution Focused Therapy) This technique focuses on the positive strengths of the client helping them become unstuck and allow a shift from negative to positive thinking thus empowering and offering clients the ability to explore and motivate them to explore and uncover solutions to problems rather than becoming bogged down in negativity that can lead to depression.

Exercise has also been proven to assist in reducing depression. Individuals should consult a doctor before starting any kind of exercise regimen.

Characteristics of Depression include but are not limited to:

  • Poor self esteem
  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Isolation
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor dietary habits (loss of weight or gaining weight)
  • Low energy – lethargy
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Feeling hopeless and/or helpless
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Poor hygiene
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities