Video: The Science of Depression
Depression Symptoms: When Everything Feels Overwhelming
Do you find yourself struggling to enjoy life, even in a beautiful city like Austin? Are you unable to get enough sleep, feeling exhausted and in pain? Are you constantly angry and sad, wondering why you can’t be happy? Do you feel like giving up on life, afraid of dragging those around you down?
Depression can make everything feel difficult as if you’re living under a dark cloud that won’t go away. It can even make it hard to motivate yourself to try to feel better, but seeking counseling sooner rather than later can prevent depression from gaining too much momentum.
Remember, not all depression is the same. It can be a symptom of experiences like grief and trauma and left untreated, it may progress into major depression. However, treatment is highly effective, and sometimes, all you need is a little help to get started on helpful behaviors.
Living with depression can be extra isolating in a vibrant city like Austin, where there’s so much to do and see. But taking action now can help you reclaim your life.
Physical Symptoms: What Your Body Feels and Does
- Craving carbohydrates like sugar, bread, pasta, and cereal
- Eating too much or too little, or forgetting to eat
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Headaches, stomach aches, and body pain, especially in the back, shoulders, and neck
- Poor posture and slouching
Cognitive Symptoms: What Your Mind Thinks, Feels, and Does
- Pervasive sadness
- Irritability and lashing out
- Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Low motivation to do what you know would help
- Loss of enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy
- Withdrawal from friends and family, leading to isolation
- Anxiety and worry
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Schedule an appointment today and take the first step towards feeling better.
Overcoming Depression: Don’t Suffer Alone – Find Help and Relief Today
If you’re struggling with depression, you’re not alone. It’s a common mental health condition that affects millions of adults in the US every year. You may be experiencing symptoms such as insomnia, hypersomnia, appetite changes, irritability, and anxiety that are taking a toll on your daily life. But the good news is that there is help available to get you feeling better.
At Gate Healing, PLLC, our experienced counselors can help you navigate through depression and develop personalized strategies that work for you. Don’t let the stress of living in a big city like Austin overwhelm you. Instead, take advantage of the resources around you and find the support you need.
Common Fears About Depression and Why You Don’t Need to Worry
Depression can be a scary and overwhelming experience, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your struggles. Here are some common fears associated with depression and why you don’t need to worry:
- Depression will never go away – With the right treatment and support, most people experience relief from depression symptoms. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and goals.
- I’m going to drag the people I care about down into depression with me – Depression can feel isolating, but reaching out for help can actually strengthen your relationships with loved ones. We can help you communicate your needs and feelings to those around you.
- Nobody wants to be around somebody who is depressed – Depression is an illness, not a character flaw. It’s important to remember that you are not defined by your depression, and you deserve support and care just like anyone else.
Don’t let fear hold you back from getting the help you need. We believe that talk therapy is a powerful tool in managing depression, and medication is not always necessary. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards healing.
Depression Treatment: How Mindfulness Can Help You Feel Better
Dealing with depression can be physically and mentally exhausting. It’s a common mental health condition that often leads to negative self-talk, guilt, and even thoughts of suicide. But there’s hope: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can help you manage depression and find healthier ways of thinking.
As your therapist, I will guide you in cultivating a mindfulness practice that can help you beat depression. We’ll work together to overcome the lethargy and lack of motivation that often come with depression and identify specific skills to help you change the biochemistry of depression.
You’ll also learn about the science of depression and how to prevent or minimize it. Our approach focuses on helping you identify how your thoughts can reinforce, manage, or even prevent depression.
At our practice in Austin, we offer a range of tools and techniques to help you combat depression. Rather than immediately turning to medication, we’ll customize a plan that fits your unique personality and situation. Consistency and follow-through are key for success.
- Counseling: Our depression counseling services can help you recognize symptoms and develop skills to feel better.
- Exercise: We encourage you to explore Austin’s many parks, like Zilker Park, or join a gym to boost your physical and mental well-being.
- Meditation: With 20 years of experience teaching meditation, we’ve worked with renowned spiritual and meditation teachers like Ram Dass to help you achieve mindfulness.
- Healthy eating: Austin is home to numerous healthy food options, and we’ll show you how to eat healthily without breaking the bank.
- Proper hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial for keeping your brain functioning smoothly, and we’ll help you develop habits to ensure you’re getting enough water.
- Hobbies: Engaging in activities you enjoy, such as playing a musical instrument, building models, or exercising, can have a positive impact on your mental health.
- Socializing: We understand that everyone has different social needs, and we’ll work with you to find the right balance of socialization that helps you feel connected without overwhelming you.
If you’re struggling with depression, we’re here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we can support you on your journey to better mental health.
Frequently Asked Questions About Depression
Do mood fluctuations mean that I have bipolar depression?
Not necessarily. Everyone experiences normal mood fluctuations, but bipolar disorder involves extreme ups (manic phases) and downs (depressive phases) that significantly impair daily life. Other types, like Bipolar II, have hypomanic phases that are less drastic but still more intense than normal mood shifts. If you’re unsure, contact a professional to discuss your concerns. Milder versions of mood swings can occur with cyclothymia.
Can depression lead to drug and alcohol use?
While depression doesn’t directly cause drug and alcohol use, the pain it causes is a common reason for self-medication. However, drugs and alcohol can be addictive and often worsen depression. A better approach is counseling, exercise, a healthy diet, meditation, and sometimes medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.
What causes depression?
The causes of depression are diverse. Genetics, neurotransmitter imbalances (like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine), trauma, grief, injury, and major stress can all contribute to depression.
Is depression curable?
Depression is manageable and doesn’t need to be cured like a disease. Exercise, healthy nutrition, hydration, meditation, medication, and even massage therapy can help manage depression. The more consistently these activities are practiced, the better the results. Counseling and non-medical methods are typically 2-3 times more effective than medication alone.
How long does depression last?
Depression can be a temporary symptom of something like grief or stress, or it can be a diagnosable condition like Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder. Diagnosable depression can be episodic or chronic.
National Institute of Mental Health – Publication about specifics of depression
NIMH – Overview of depression facts
National Alliance on Mental Health – Useful information regarding symptoms, treatment and support of depression
University of Texas – Austin – Counseling and Mental Health Center information about depression and treating it
National Suicide Prevention LifeLine Live Chat – 1-800-273-8255 is the 24/7 hotline
(512) 472-HELP – 24/7 Texas Crisis Line
Learn about dealing with depression: Depression Articles
Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.