According to recent research, about 18.8 million adults in America suffer from depression in a given year. Many of these adults do not realize that they are depressed or that they can seek treatment. Because they also do not understand what depression is, most people suffering from depression suffer silently on their own. Below is a comprehensive list of essential questions and answers that helps in understanding what depression is and what role psychotherapy plays in recovery.

Is Depression The Same As Sadness?

No. Depression isn’t just feeling extremely sad. Feeling sad is part and parcel of life, and not every upsetting occurrence in life will make you depressed. There is a difference between intense sadness and depression. However, the former is sometimes a symptom of the latter.

For a diagnosis of depression to be given, professionals rely on the presence of a variety of factors. How can we define a depressed person? That is one who seems numb, inconsolable, or extremely sad for a period of more than two weeks. Their extreme misery gets in the way of their normal lives. Over time, this state leads them to self-deprecate, feel hopeless, and entertain suicidal thoughts.

While battling depression, most individuals get overwhelmed. They are unable to perform simple everyday tasks like grooming, eating, and working. As a result, they cannot function well. They tend to withdraw from their loved ones because of the side effects of the condition.

What Causes Depression?

People suffering from depression are helpless because of circumstances they cannot control. They feel miserable about it, which leads them to lose more control. The feelings worsen, and they spin into a web of despair. There are two types of depression caused by different factors.

Biological Depression

Chemical imbalance and serious illnesses are the leading causes of biological depression. This type is hard to treat because the patient often has a comorbid physical illness that requires attention. Furthermore, there might be a separate chemical level problem that is untreatable.

Situational Depression

It is caused by a traumatic event that leaves the victim unable to cope. The event might lead to immense sadness that lasts for too long and interferes with one’s life. For this kind of depression to occur, there is typically a catalyst.

Does Depression Have a Cure?

Fortunately, yes. When a competent professional is involved, depression can be treated effectively, and the treatment will depend on the type of depression you have. The extreme symptoms are managed and eliminated through the following methods.

  1. Psychotherapy;
  2. Counseling;
  3. Family intervention;
  4. Communication

One of the most effective ways of treating depression is through psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is practiced by licensed mental health workers. Using methods that are customized to suit the unique needs of each patient, these professionals can alleviate and get rid of most symptoms. Some of the professionals who can treat depression include:

  • Psychologists;
  • Licensed clinical social workers;
  • Psychiatrists;
  • Counselors.

Unfortunately, despite living in modern and open-minded society, those who seek psychotherapy for depression often face a lot of stigmas. Many people attribute the common symptoms of depression to weakness and one’s inability to control their emotions. As a result, depressed individuals are advised to either “get over it” or “choose to be happy instead.”

The truth is, it isn’t that easy for a person suffering from depression. Because they do not understand the cause of the problem, they find it hard to solve it alone. That is why psychotherapy is so important; it helps to isolate and deal with the root cause. Psychotherapy helps people with depression overcome negative thoughts and regain their lives.

How Psychotherapy Works

There is more to psychotherapy than most people know. It is handled in a variety of ways. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal counseling, and psychodynamic are a few examples of therapy methods. Furthermore, depression is so multi-faceted that it has to be treated in stages from psychological to situational form.

One episode of depression increases the likelihood of reoccurrence; people with a history of the condition are more vulnerable. As such, effectively treating an episode when it happens can prevent the reoccurrence of another. The reason for this is psychotherapy does not just fix the symptoms – it helps the patient to point out coping mechanisms and use them in the future.

In addition to treating an episode, psychotherapists help their depressed patients to establish a good support system. The support system is often made of loved ones and friends who have also attended sessions that help them discover how they contributed to the situation. The knowledge they get from these sessions will help them know how to handle and care for the patient.

Loved ones find it challenging to deal with a depressed individual. This is because the depressive episodes may result from a traumatic event that the rest of the family is also struggling to come to terms with. Psychotherapists can explore the family dynamic to discover what went wrong. They can create structures that help everyone to cope with the situation and create a healthier environment.

Are There Any Medications To Treat Depression?

Yes, there are many drugs available for the treatment of this condition. They are called antidepressants, and they can help alleviate your symptoms. The prescription drugs can help patients whose depression is caused by an internal chemical imbalance. Whether you use drugs or not depends entirely on the diagnosis from a professional.

Your therapist will assess your specific situation to make a decision. They might prescribe medication, opt for a combination of drugs and therapy, or keep you from taking any drugs. Usually, a combination of medication and psychotherapy yields the best results.