Almost everyone has felt "depressed" or "blue" at some point in their lifetime. It would be unusual to come across someone who has never experienced this type of "down" feeling. Feeling this way from time to time is normal and, as funny as it sounds, can be quite adaptive. For instance, feeling "depressed" or "blue" can inform us that something is missing from our lives and that we should consider making changes.
Occasionally feeling "depressed" is very different, though, from being really Depressed, otherwise know as Clinical Depression. When people are Depressed, as opposed to feeling "depressed" or "blue" they experience far more intense negative emotions that last for at least 2 weeks but usually much longer. They also experience some of the following symptoms: loss of energy, loss of interest in previous pleasurable activities or in life, sadness, increased or decreased appetite, weight gain or loss, feelings of hopelessness, physical complaints, social withdrawal, irritability, difficulty making decisions, and suicidal thinking. Depression is by far the most common type of mental health struggle in our country. Close to 19 million people suffer from it every year.
Depression is usually very draining and tends to interfere with people's ability to function normally. We offer two types of therapies for Depression. Each serves a different purpose and both have been shown to be highly effective. Either can potentially be combined with other types of therapies, including medications. Indeed, for many people anti-depressant medication prescribed by a physician can be an essential part of treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression, is intended for those who are currently in the midst of suffering from Depression which has not responded adequately to treatment by medication alone or who choose to try an alternative to medication. It is a relatively short-term treatment, usually around 20 weeks, and has been shown to be highly effective.
Another, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, is intended for those who suffer from a mild but recurrent Depression or who have already been able to significantly reduce Depression. A main feature of Depression is that it has a strong tendency to eventually return after it has been reduced or eliminated. The purpose of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is to teach specific skills in an effort to prevent a future recurrence of Depression. It is also a relatively short-term therapy, usually around 20 weeks, and has been shown to be highly effective for those with recurrent Depressive episodes.