San Diego Depression Therapy & Counseling

Depression is more than feeling “under the weather” or having “the blues”. We all are upset and saddened by different life events, such as a break-up or the loss of a loved one. Depression is more than just feeling sad. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain, causing you to experience these normal feelings of sadness more intensely and for a longer period of time. It is often accompanied by feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness. You lose your ability to enjoy activities you once enjoyed, causing strain on your friendships with others. You have very little or no energy to complete your daily routine, causing your health, hygiene, and well-being to disintegrate. As you can imagine, symptoms of depression cause relationship, familial, and friendship problems as well as affect your daily functioning, your ability to go to school or work, and your overall satisfaction with your life.

There are three major types of depression: 1. Major Depressive Disorder – feelings of hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness for a period of at least two weeks,
2. Dysthymia – chronic, low-grade depression lasting at least two years, and 3. Bipolar Depression – symptoms of depression and mania are both occurring.

Fortunately however, symptoms of depression are usually very responsive to treatment. Since the definition and experience of depression varies from individual to individual, the course of treatment may also vary. Generally however, a psychodynamic approach, combining components of different therapies, is beneficial for most depression sufferers. Together we will explore the best treatment option for you and your specific symptoms.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a time-limited treatment option that focuses on the present problems at hand. IPT will help you examine your interpersonal relationships at a deeper level and focus on relieving the debilitating symptoms of depression as a medical illness. Jan Rakoff also provides relation

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) has also been empirically proven to lessen symptoms of depression, since its primary focus is the interconnectedness between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We will try to identify the reasoning behind your depression and target the negative automatic thoughts and behaviors that go along with this illness. Once we have identified the automatic thoughts that are contributing to your depression, we can work together on cognitively re-framing these thoughts by evaluating their purpose. CBT is more structured than IPT, but because of this it is also more demanding of you. You will be required to complete homework and practice techniques and coping mechanisms outside of our visits so that the progress we make in the office can be generalized to your activities of daily living.

For more severe depressive symptoms, such as suicidal ideation and self-harming behaviors, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be recommended by your doctor.

The treatment mode is up to you, as it has to be something you are comfortable in pursuing. Whatever the approach you choose to take, I will support you through the process of healing and overcoming depression by listening, respecting, and understanding your experiences in a safe and secure environment.

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