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    Therapy for Depression

    Depression can take many different forms. For some, an episode of depression seems to come out of the blue. For others, depression symptoms can begin after a stressful event such as the loss of a loved one, onset of a serious illness, work or parenting stress, or experiencing trauma or abuse.

    Some examples of depression symptoms include:

    • Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt
    • Feeling sluggish, like it is hard to get going
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
    • Irritability
    • Having a hard time making decisions, even regarding simple choices
    • Feeling sad, blue, or even tearful more often than is usual for you
    • Changes to your sleep – some people with depression find that they sleep more than usual, others struggle with difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
    • Wishing you weren’t here or having thoughts of harming yourself

    Although it can be normal to experience these symptoms for a short period of time after a stressful event, you may be experiencing depression if the symptoms last for weeks, months, or years. If depression runs in your family, you may be at greater risk for experiencing depression in response to stressful events. Individuals who have a personal history of depression (i.e., if you’ve been depressed earlier on in life) may be at risk for worse episodes of depression in the future if left untreated.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy addresses depression by helping you learn about the behaviors (e.g., staying in bed, isolating from friends and family) and thinking patterns (e.g., telling yourself No one cares about me, I’m a screw up) that maintain depression. You can think of these behaviors and thoughts as fueling a fire. Your psychologist helps you recognize and change these patterns, with the goal of reducing your symptoms and helping you be less vulnerable to depression in the future.