Santa Barbara Psychotherapy for Depression

Depression is likely to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, health problems of the 21st Century.
- Dr. Ciaran Muholland

Psychotherapy for Depression in Santa Barbara

What is Depression?

Depressions if more than just being sad
Depression is more
than just being sad

Most people feel sadness in their lives. As we all know life can be challenging. We are constantly adjusting to the challenges that life brings to us. These challenges can be at work, at home, with friendships, at school, anywhere where we come in contact with the realities of daily life.

In modern life the challenges can often be overwhelming. There are so many pressures to "be successful" which can mean having a high paying job, excellent health, higher education, a fulfilling primary relationship, a stable family, satisfying hobbies, et al. In trying to become a successful person we can often lose sight of what provides real meaning and purpose in our lives.

Not all depression is the same, however it results from negative thoughts about ourselves and others as well as deep feelings of sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, and excessive guilt.

When we are depressed we lose interest in life and are unable to experience joy or happiness. Depression can lead to the inability to make decisions or think or concentrate on important matters.

A client once advised that depression is often misunderstand by others, often by those that love and care about us the most. It isn't just that "I feel bad today", it's "sadness and despair that permeates my body, my mind, my emotions, all aspects of my everyday life. It's depression with a big "D".

Grief can turn into Depression
Grief can turn into Depression

Other causes of depression include a history of depression in one's family or feelings resulting from a traumatic or painful event (i.e., death of a loved one) that started out as grief but turned into deeper feelings of loss and sadness that won't go away.

Abuse of substances, prescribed medications, and several medical conditions (cancer, heart attack, diabetes, stroke, hypothyroidism, HIV, multiple sclerosis) can result in serious depressive symptoms.

It is always recommended that clients have a primary care physician and an annual medical checkup. When the client requests and signs a release of information form, the therapist can coordinate treatment with primary care physician/and or psychiatrist to assure a holistic approach to treatment.

What is the Prevalence of Depression?

That's the thing about depression: A human being can almost survive almost anything, as long as they see the end in sight. But depression is insidious, and it compunds daily, and it's impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.
-Elizabeth Wurtzel

Depression is serious and can lead to high risk behavior and suicidal thoughts
Depression is serious and can lead to high risk behavior and suicidal thoughts

Major Depression is very prevalent in our culture. Major Depression affects around 15 million people and about 7 percent of the population in a given year.

Major Depression can develop at any age. It is diagnosed most often during the mid 30's. It is clearly under diagnosed with the elderly. It is a leading cause of suicide in adolescents.

Although Major depression is more prevalent in women than men (2:1), there is no gender difference in symptoms, course, or treatment responses.

The statistics of major depression related to medical illnesses provided by the National Institute of Mental Health are astounding: 25% of cancer patients, 33% heart attack survivors, 27% substance abusers (alcohol and other drugs), 10-27% stroke victims, 33% HIV survivors, 50% Parkinson disease patients, 8-27% diabetic patients, and 50-75% eating disorder patients.

Serious Medical Issues can lead to Depression
Serious Medical Issues can lead to Depression

People with depression are also four times at risk for a heart attack than those without a history of the disease. After a heart attack untreated depression can increase the risk of death or a second heart attack.

Depression can also have an economic impact in our lives. Depression is a leading cause of disability in adolescents and adults. The Employee Assistance Professional Association reports that depression ranks among the top three workplace issues, following family crisis and stress.

The Wall Street Journal reports that depression costs U.S. businesses $70 billion in medical expenses, lost productivity, and other workplace costs.

Is Treatment for Depression Effective?

There's nothing, repeat nothing to be ashamed of when your're going through a depression. If you get help, the chances of licking it are really good. But, you have to put yourself on a safe path.
- Mike Wallace

HOPE is where your success begins
HOPE is where
your success begins
Psychotherapy Can Bring New Life After Depression
Psychotherapy Can Bring New Life After Depression

Despite the fact that treatment works, only two out of three people who suffer from depression seek treatment.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 80% of people who seek treatment receive some symptom relief in four to six weeks of mental health treatment. The treatment of depression can also include both psychotherapy and medication. If the client decides on a medication regime, the therapist, with the written approval of the client, can coordinate treatment with the prescribing physician.

Therapist has experience with many treatments that have shown efficacy with depression. These include but are not limited to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic, Jungian-oriented, Rogerian, Existential/Humanistic, and Brief Oriented Solution Focused approaches. Therapist also works with depression when treating Couples and Families.

The key is to seek treatment as soon as the symptoms described above become prevalent in a person's life. It is important to understand that depression is a serious physical and mental health issue that can be treated. There is no need to suffer in isolation and silence.  

When we find meaning, sufferring ends.
- Victor Frankl

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
Mary Englebreit

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