What is Depression?

When people hear the term “depression” they probably think of sadness; a depressed person is a very sad person. But in reality, depression is a little more complex of an experience than that. Depression is defined as a state of low mood, and aversion to activity without a clear cause, which can feature symptoms like sadness, anhedonia, an intense fluctuation in appetite and time spent sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and feelings such as dejection, hopelessness, and in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts. While sadness is an important feature of depression, the more relevant symptom of depression is anhedonia, or a loss of interest/enjoyment in certain activities that usually bring joy. People suffering from depression can have their thoughts, feelings, sense of well-being, motivation and behavior affected by this state, and the lack of motivation or pleasure in basic activities can make day-to-day life pretty debilitating.

While most people will probably experience a mood state of depression at some point during their lives (after the loss of a loved one, during a huge life change, side effects of medication, etc.), some folks will suffer from a major depressive disorder throughout their lives. A major depressive disorder can be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors, and is characterized by intensive and consistent states of depression without any obvious underlying cause. These periods can last two weeks or longer, and some might experience years between these periods, while others might experience symptoms nearly all the time.

Counseling Sessions for Depression

For people suffering from depression, the feelings of hopelessness and dejection can make people feel even more hopeless and dejected when they don’t know why they are feeling that way, or how to fix it. Whether you are currently in a depressed state, or have been suffering from a major depressive order for years — you are not alone in your struggles, and all hope is not lost. Counseling therapy sessions, like the ones we offer at Accepting Therapy, can be a great space to get some professional counseling and advice, to help you understand your depression, learn how to cope with it, and make mental progress towards limiting the effects it has on your life.

The strategies our professional counselors will implement will vary by counselor, as well as by patient, as everyone’s experience and perspective on depression is different. Two of the more common types of therapy that could be useful in an individual counseling session for a depressive state would be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). CBT involves challenging and changing the cognitive distortions that our minds can create when we experience these aversive feelings and thoughts, in order to limit their reinforcing power on our future thoughts, behavior, and mental progress. IPT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on resolving interpersonal problems that may be inducing or prolonging a depressive state, as well as trying to improve interpersonal relations, which can consequently improve your mood state.

Individual Counseling Therapy from Accepting Therapy

Depression can be an extremely frustrating experience for anyone suffering from it, but you are not alone. Whether it’s a form of CBT or IPT, or a different therapeutic approach that aligns with how you want to confront your depression, our team of counselors at Accepting Therapy in Chicago want to help you. Give us a call and schedule an individual counseling session at Accepting Therapy today.