Some people describe depression as a condition where your mind lies to you: sending you cruel messages that you are worthless, undeserving of love, and without hope.
If you identify with those messages, know that there is nothing wrong with you. Depression is an incredibly common experience, affecting roughly 1 in 10 people during their lifetime.
Depression can be a debilitating condition to cope with, as it infiltrates and impacts many different areas of your life and personal well-being. Although the term “depressed” has connotations of sadness or feeling down, there are many more depression symptoms and signs of depression that may surprise you.
Fortunately, depression and other mood disorders are very treatable through several different evidence-based therapies and other treatments. Depression treatment is available through many mental health providers and other specialists.
If you’re experiencing depression symptoms that are negatively impacting your life, know that you’re not alone and there is help available to you. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it. When you’re ready to reach out, we’re here for you.
What Are Depression Symptoms?
Depression symptoms can range from the obvious to those that are much harder to notice. Here are some signs of depression to look out for in yourself and others:
Feelings of sadness
Irritability or being excessively critical
Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
Withdrawing from others
Excessing crying or mood swings
Changes in sleep (insomnia or excessive sleeping)
Changes in appetite and/or weight (gain or loss)
Having no energy
Increased drug and alcohol usage
Thoughts of suicide
It’s not uncommon for depression and anxiety to co-occur together, meaning that one person might experience both at the same time. Experts estimate that over 50% of people with depression also experience anxiety.
Is Depression the same as Mood Disorder?
If you’ve read about depression, you may have heard the term “mood disorder” as well. But what exactly is a mood disorder?
A mood disorder is a type of mental health condition that negatively impacts a person's mood and functioning across multiple areas. The most common type of mood disorder is major depressive disorder:
Major Depressive Disorder: A person with major depression would have many of the depression symptoms above, with depression symptoms lasting for a period of 2 weeks or more. To meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression, the person must have either a depressed mood or loss of interest in doing things for most days within a 2 week period.
Whether someone meets the diagnostic criteria for major depression or not, there are still many useful depression treatment options that are available, which we will outline in more detail below.
Besides major depressive disorder, other common mood disorders include:
Dysthymia: Dysthymia, which is also known as persistent depressive disorder, is a type of mood disorder that is similar to major depression, but more long-lasting and less severe. People with dysthymia typically experience a depressed mood for more days than not for at least 2 years. Symptoms may lessen over time, but without depression treatment, depression symptoms typically re-emerge within a few weeks or months. Fortunately, as with major depression, there are many depression treatment options available for people with dysthymia.
Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder that involves fluctuations between periods of depression and periods of mania. During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder are more likely to engage in risky or dangerous behaviors. To learn more about bipolar disorder and how our specialists can help treat it, read our guide here.
Mood disorders related to a health condition or substance use: Sometimes, a person might experience an episode of depression as a result of an underlying medical condition or substance use. If you believe that you may have depression that’s caused by an underlying illness or substance use, reach out to your doctor.
Getting Depression Treatment
One of the most challenging aspects of getting depression treatment is that depression symptoms make you feel hopeless and alone. Asking for help can be one of the most difficult and bravest things that a person with depression can do.
There are several evidence-based depression treatment therapies that researchers have confirmed can help reduce and manage depression symptoms.
Some of the best depression treatment therapies include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of talk therapy that helps you consciously change your thinking patterns as a means to change your mood and behavior. CBT has been used to treat both depression and anxiety for many years, and has been proven to be an effective depression treatment. CBT can help you re-frame distorted thinking patterns, like negative self-talk or taking things too personally. CBT can also help you build new skills to cope with stress and life’s challenges.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT is another depression treatment that falls under the umbrella of talk therapy. DBT was originally developed to help treat people with borderline personality disorder, but has since been found to be a highly effective depression treatment as well. Much like CBT, DBT can help you change the way you think about yourself and others in ways that can improve your mood and reduce depression symptoms. DBT can also help you increase your ability to handle stressful situations and to navigate interpersonal situations with confidence.
How We Can Help
You don’t have to manage depression on your own. There is hope outside of the cloud that depression puts on your mind.
Our therapists have a vast wealth of experience using CBT and DBT to treat depression, and when necessary, we are comfortable working with you and your doctor to coordinate care if medication is something that may be also helpful.
We’re here to support you in managing depression. Contact us today to get started.
Our Depression Specialists
Mary Lynn Hammond
As a Licensed Social Worker with 27+ years of experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families. I have specialized training In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solutions Focused Therapy and Family Systems Therapy.
ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, High Functioning Autism, Self Esteem, Anger Management, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30+ years of experience, I have specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy, and Family Focused Therapy.
I work with children, teens and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety. As a clinician, I worked for 20 years in the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Clinic at Western Psychiatric Hospital. As such, I have expert knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in children, adolescents, and young adults.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Family Focused Therapy, and Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy, Teens, Depression, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has experience working with individuals, couples, and families, especially those who have a history of traumatic experiences. I ground my work in a strengths-based framework as I believe that my role is to assist my clients in identifying, refining, and highlighting the strengths they already have within themselves.
Anxiety, Grief Counseling, Family Therapy, Depression, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Trauma
Licensed Professional Counselor, EMDR Therapist
As a licensed professional counselor and EMDR therapist, I’ve worked in the fields of addiction, hospice, family therapy, group and individual therapy. My goal is co-create a safe and accepting space to process these experiences, develop effective skills to enhance your mental well-being, and empower you to find lasting liberation and mental healing from your traumas.
Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Family of Origin Concerns , Shame and Vulnerability, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Psychiatric Nurse, MSN, RN, PMHCNS, BC
Humans are physical, mental and spiritual beings with each facet being interdependent on the other. Together, we will explore the many influences of your life on each aspect of your being and determine the best plan for you…
Chronic Illness, Grief, Life Coaching, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
PhD, RN, LCSW, LISW
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Nurse for more than 35 years. I have experience working with teens and adults experiencing stress, trauma, and other forms of adversity.
Anxiety, Chronic Illness and Mood, Grief and Loss, Stress Management, and Life Transitions, Depression, Trauma
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, BCD
We all have times when we feel like we’re on repeat, stuck, overwhelmed or stressed. I offer a safe and supportive environment to help you make positive changes in your life.
Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Teens
Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC, BC-TMH, ACS
My goal as a therapist is to create an environment in which my clients can safely work though the complexities of their thoughts, feelings, and personal experience.
Anxiety, LGBTQ+, Relationship Issues, Depression, Trauma, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC
Struggle is something that I believe every single living thing experiences. It is a concept that can bring us into some of our hardest moments in life, but it also presents the opportunity to connect, grow, and learn. I believe that confronting our struggles and working through them is one of the most valuable journeys that life brings.
Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, Grief Counseling, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Teens
PhD, PMHCNS-BC, RN Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist/Therapist
As a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, I offer a holistic approach to clients. You bring into therapy your physical self, feelings, thoughts and spirituality needs, all of which are accepted and supported in my practice.
Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Chronic Illness & Mood, Stress Management, Life Transitions
Founder & Owner/Therapist, MSW, LCSW, BCD
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30+ years of experience, I have specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and EMDR.
Trauma and PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, LGBTQ, EMDR, Stress Management, Life Transitions