How Does Therapy Help Depression?

by Robyn Tamanaha, LMFT

What is it?

An individual experiencing depression experiences sadness and/or a lack of desire most of the time. The individual might also feel disconnected from others, experience low motivation or a lack of interest in people or activities, and feel bad about themselves or feel that they don’t have anything to offer. In some cases, an individual might experience thoughts of death.

The experience and its impact

Depression occurs along a continuum and can range from mild to severe. Some individuals experience sadness while also being able to function in some areas of their life. Individuals may experience sadness while also experiencing periods of regular happiness. Others may notice that their sadness is making major areas of their life difficult to manage. Below are some examples of what depression can impact:

  • Daily life: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping often. Trouble completing tasks and responsibilities. Periods of minimal hygiene, such as minimal showering, overeating, or barely eating. Difficulty completing tasks at work or school.
  • The body: Low energy or fatigue, physical movement might take a lot of effort, or the body feeling physically heavy.
  • The mind: Trouble concentrating or focusing, lack of desire, self-judgments or criticisms, hopelessness, or thoughts of death.
  • Social life: Distant from people, feeling disconnected from others, preferring to be alone.

 

Therapy can help

It’s easy to get stuck within the experience of depression because it can convince you to not do things, make it physically difficulty to do things, or make you feel so bad about yourself that you don’t have the motivation to do things. Therapy assists with working through difficult thoughts, processing your experience with depression, and identifying what has influenced it. Individuals who seek therapy for depression discover what they want their life to look like, work toward goals, and use strategies along the way when the depression arises so that it no longer has control over how they feel about themselves or prevents them from succeeding in major areas of their life.

Don’t wait to get the help you need. If you would like to take the next step towards finding a therapist, contact Ethera to get matched with a provider.

About the Author: Robyn Tamanaha is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, writer, and podcaster. She has a private practice in Orange County, CA and is the host of the podcast Books Between Sessions.