Individual Counseling | Columbia, Mo
Depression as an epidemic?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH <- very well-funded and they do lots of national research) found that, in the past 12 months, approximately 7% of U.S. adults (over 18) struggled with depression.
While this may not seem like many, that number exceeds 3 million people. THREE MILLION. And while that might not be considered something of 'epidemic' proportions, anybody who has experienced depression knows the unwanted and occasionally debilitating effects.
Signs and Symptoms
The ironic thing about depression (mild forms, typically) is that sometimes people don't even know they're experiencing it. There is such a thing as high-functioning depression, where a person will get the tasks they need done for the day, but then they won't talk to friends, make food, do laundry - basically, they do what needs to be done for their 'job,' but nothing personal. That aside, there's also people who know when it flairs up, how it feels, and how it impacts them in daily life. For these people, depression might also get in the way of any work-related performance. The signs and symptoms of depression include:
- apathy, indifference, or ambivalence
- feeling numb
- changes in sleep patterns (way too much or not enough)
- loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable
- irritability, more 'sensitive' than typical, excessive crying
- social isolation
This is not an exhaustive list. Other things can pop up, but these are very common. If you have some, but not others, that doesn't mean you don't have depression or aren't struggling with it.
How does counseling help?
Counseling is shown to be effective in helping people work through depression. Part of depression is chemical/biological. In other words, there are chemicals in your brain that aren't functioning right. Another part of depression, however, is cognitive/mental. This is where counselors come in. There are certain styles of thinking that can, quite literally, create depression for people. The Counseling Hub counselors are trained to recognize these styles of thinking and help you to incorporate new ways of thinking, in order to alleviate symptoms of depression, as well as prevent it from coming back full force.
The Counseling Hub recognizes that there is a lot of research out there that supports different approaches to depression, outside of talk therapy. For example, exercise, food, sunlight, and social support (to name a few). Part of the work we do is to assess each of these domains to see where you're lacking. We know that all of these things together can really impact depression (i.e. fight it off), and we're not so entrenched in our field of study that we don't incorporate life changes for our clients in the work that we do. That sounds confusing. What I mean is this - we're not above bringing in conversations about exercise, social support, etc. It's really important to us, actually, that we incorporate all of the things we know to make a difference. In a nutshell, talk therapy is effective and we combine that with a holistic approach to treating depression.
One exception of counseling being effective for those with depression might be for people who are in a severe state of depression (i.e. not functioning in life). In that case, counseling in combination with another form of therapy (usually some form of pharmaceutical) has shown to be the most effective.*
*Please note that The Counseling Hub is not pro or anti medication. We respect that people have the right to choose whether or not they want to take medication, and we surely do not sway people in one direction over another. Additionally, in no way can we prescribe any medication.
This sounds like what I need, now what?
Perfect. Now all you have to do is contact us for an initial phone consult, as well as to ask any questions you might have about counseling, depression, or what you can expect. You can also peruse the website to get a feel for us.