When Counseling For Depression Is Necessary
Everybody gets the blues from time to time, whether as a result of some kind of setback - romantically, professionally, or personally - or apparently for no reason at all. This is normal, and quite different from what mental health professionals mean when they say "depression". So, you may be feeling down, but do you really need counseling for depression?
What Depression Really Is
Depression is not just an emotional state, but an illness that affects the emotions, mind and body simultaneously. The major effects are most noticeable emotionally, though, including persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fatigue and anxiety. If such a state of mind has persisted for two weeks of more, with little or no let-up, depression is a likely diagnosis. If this describes your current mental state, it is a very good idea to seek help - if left untreated, these feelings rarely go away on their own and can in fact persist for many years.
The Role of Counseling for Depression
While there are several medications available to treat the symptoms of depression - Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro and many others - it's worth remembering that these do not really address the disease itself, which may be caused by anything from a chemical imbalance in your brain to a recent life trauma.
Counseling by a qualified therapist or counselor is one effective treatment for depression. Talk therapy may be pursued in a number of ways, but all of these are effective at resolving emotional issues and helping the patient to face life head-on once again.
Finding a therapist who works well with you may be difficult: all the training in the world will be of little use if you cannot talk freely with your counselor. This is one of the advantages of using an online counseling service: that you have a large pool of licensed counselors to choose from, or switch between if the first one doesn't work out.
Other Depression Treatments
Since depression is an illness that affects the entire organism, not just the brain or feelings, improving your general physical health through proper diet and exercise often relieves or even cures depression. It is also strongly associated with other mental and physical health problems, such as anxiety or a cardiovascular system in poor shape, or even an underactive thyroid gland. Addressing one problem might be effective at alleviating the other.
Medication, despite its side effects, is certainly a useful tool in treating depression, at least as part of a broader strategy that includes depression counseling. However, there is no medication that can actually cure depression, so this should be seen as a short-term measure that supports other actions you take.
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Despite advances in public awareness, depression is still poorly understood even by many who suffer from it. If you've been experiencing the typical symptoms of this disease for longer than a few weeks, it will pay to learn as much about it as you can. The good news is that it is definitely a treatable condition, and seeking help in the form of professional counseling is often the first step on the road to regaining your wellness.