We treat depressive disorders at Collier Counseling, LLC. Depression can be a symptom or disorder. People often casually describe their mood as “depressed” when it may be mild sadness that quickly goes away or just being in a “funk” that also quickly subsides. Many of us experience an occasional bad day, when for no apparent reason we feel glum, irritable, or out of sorts. However, diagnosable or clinical depression lasts for more than a day or two and you do not just bounce back from a glum mood. There is often significant impairment in one’s life as a result of a depressed mood relating to sleep, appetite, thoughts, school or employment, and relationships.
Common depressive disorders we see in our practice include Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia). We also see individuals with depression caused by a medical condition. It is sometimes difficult to describe a depressed mood as individuals may just report not feeling like themselves or just feeling “blah”. Some of the common symptoms or complaints of depression include:
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
• Fatigue and/or loss of energy
• Inability to concentrate or think
• Loss of pleasure in activities that were once pleasurable
• Persistent sadness or depressed mood
• Isolating or withdrawing
• Negative thoughts and low self esteem
• Loss of appetite or overeating
• Insomnia (little sleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
• Recurrent thoughts of death, or suicidal thoughts
We look at the overall health of a client when treating them. We focus on your physical health through collaboration with your physician to rule out any medical issues including vitamin deficiencies. We promote adopting a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. Commonly used treatment modalities for depression include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. We incorporate mindfulness and yoga-psychotherapy during treatment as well.
We work to process the underlying cause of the depressed mood and develop coping skills to alleviate the discomfort. Treatment is a process and is certainly not always comfortable. Many thoughts, wounds, and realities are exposed during treatment which can make you feel vulnerable and uneasy. However, this part of the process will pass, and you are not alone on this journey of healing. We therapist often use the metaphor of a flesh wound to describe the therapeutic process. Imagine a gash on your arm that was not properly treated and did not fully heal. When you go to the doctor, they now need to reopen the wound, properly clean it, stitch the wound, and allow it time to heal. Once fully healed, there may be a slight scar, but no pain and you are able to fully use your arm without restriction. This is comparable to the therapy process. We will explore strong feelings or reopen wounds, and this may be painful. We will process thoughts and behaviors around these feelings or wounds and begin to clean and stitch the wound by replacing unhealthy patterns of thinking and coping with healthy coping skills. You will begin to feel relief from the painful wound now that it is being properly treated and healing and can return to normal functioning.
Treatment is a commitment and while relief from symptoms does not happen overnight, it can happen. Remember, depression is time-limited and does not have to last always. While we cannot always control or avoid life’s painful circumstances, we can choose not to suffer.
If you would like to begin your journey towards a life of hope and contentment, give us a call at 404-618-1040 and let one of our skilled clinicians join you on the journey towards wellness. If you are experiencing feelings of self-harm or thoughts of suicide please seek emergency care by calling 911, go to your nearest hospital emergency room, or call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.