Therapy for depression
Depression is like a fever: when you have a fever it is a sign your body is fighting infection. When you are fighting depression, your mind is struggling to cope with challenges in your life. Finding a therapist for depression symptoms is the first step to healing — Depth Counseling can help.
What is depression?
When we think of someone who is depressed, many of us would imagine a person plagued by a sense of sadness that permeates her daily life. While all of us go through periods of sadness, depressive feelings become a problem when they prolong and interfere with everyday functioning.
Depression is like a fever. When we have a fever, it is a sign that our body is fighting an infection. Similarly, when we feel depressed, it is a sign that there is something wrong going on. You have probably heard the theory that chemical imbalance in the brain is responsible for depression. But for most people, depression is more complex than merely a biological problem of hormones, chemical imbalance, or genes. The etiology of depression is complex and multifactorial. It involves social, emotional, and developmental factors in one’s environment – be it in one’s present life, past experiences, or anxiety about one’s future. Put simply, depression is more than a problem with one’s biology; it is a human experience resulting from lived experiences in the world.
Depression is a subjective experience, so what it looks like varies from person to person and day-to-day. There are many ways that depression can manifest itself. Common symptoms include the following:
- Changes in sleep, appetite, or energy level
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Decreased ability to feel pleasure
- Difficulty with concentration
- Moving or talking slowly
- Frequent crying
- Irritability or anger
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
What are the causes of depression?
There are times when we might be able to identify what went wrong that started the depression. Perhaps your depression can be traced to losing a loved one, an unsuccessful attempt in achieving a personal goal, experiencing a traumatic event, rejection, betrayal, or disappointment. Sometimes it is easy to pinpoint the cause of depression to a single event. Other times, depression develops over time as a result of the accumulation of unfavorable life circumstances that one was subjected to for a long time.
At some point, most of us have wondered why two people who went through the same upbringing, negative event, or loss can have such different reactions. Perhaps you feel depressed after a traumatic encounter, while a family member or friend seems to have moved on unscathed by what happened. The answer to this question lies in the fact that our differences are rooted in a complex interaction of innate temperament and individual development, starting in very early life, when our environment shapes our most basic ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world.
Factors in our environment such as our family upbringing, experiences in school, culture, community, and religion if applicable play a significant role in how we think, feel and behave. If you experienced a parent as harsh or critical, for example, or if you experienced them as absent, then you might re-experience that sense of harshness or abandonment when you encounter a setback in your present life. A caring and well-attuned psychotherapist can help you transform these painful moments in sources of deeper self-awareness and resilience in the present.
What are the different types of depression?
Taking a deeper look at depression, it can be helpful to consider two subtypes: anaclitic and introjective depression.
Anaclitic depression is characterized by feelings of helplessness, inadequacy and depletion. You might feel isolated or unloved and might struggle with fears of abandonment. Even worse, you might fear you have alienated the people who you want to love you.
Introjective depression, by contrast, is characterized by harsh self-criticism, feelings of worthlessness, guilt over real or perceived mistakes, and a sense of failure. You might feel you have fallen short of your own standards or expectations. You might believe that you have disappointed or will eventually disappoint significant others.
These two forms of depression might occur separately or together. In either case, you might experience of a loss of sexual desire, irritability, restlessness, headaches, back pain and constipation. You might also notice fatigue, low energy, weight loss or gain, and insomnia.
the temptation of temporary relief from symptoms of depression
Some people attempt to self-medicate or escape from depressive emotions through addictive behavior. Through alcohol and/or recreational drug use, you might find a temporary relief from painful feelings of self-doubt, confusion and isolation. Alternatively, you might try to boost your mood through shopping or gambling. Whatever passing relief you might experience, you will most likely find that, when the moment has passed, you are left again with the same gnawing feelings.
In addition to its impact on you, you might notice your depression taking a negative toll on your friendships and romantic relationships. People who suffer from anaclitic depression often describe insatiable feelings of neediness, which they fear burden their loved ones. Those with introjective depression are often hostile and rejecting towards others, out of their own negative self-regard, and so antagonize those upon whom they depend. When you address your depression in psychotherapy, you will find in either case that you become freer to express yourself and let other people support you more deeply.
How can Depth Counseling help?
If you are experiencing the symptoms of anaclitic or introjective depression, then you should consider psychodynamic psychotherapy. The psychodynamic approach used at our depression treatment centers in Chicago will help you to identify and trace your depressive feelings to their present-day origins. Our clinicians can help you go beyond coping, survival and escapism to a more fulfilling and creative way of living. Many people emerge from the depression counseling process with a deepened self-awareness and a new sense of vitality and direction in life.
As you work through your depression with one of the therapists at our depression clinic in Chicago, you will notice:
- Greater understanding of self and others
- Feelings of compassion and forgiveness
- Insight about patterns that perpetuate feelings of emptiness, depletion or self-criticism
- A greater understanding of your unique personality
- Greater capacity for emotional communication
- Improvements in social relationships
find a chicago therapist for depression at depth counseling
Our therapists who offer counseling for depression in Chicago are dedicated to providing a safe space where you can explore your psychological world. We are passionate about serving our community through thorough depression treatment and diagnosis, empathic understanding and client-centered care.
If you have difficulties with anger, anxiety, trauma or depression in Chicago, Depth Counseling can help. Do not just wait for things to get better. Seek out depression therapy in Chicago by contacting us today. We are pleased to offer phone and online therapy.
PDM Task Force. (2006). Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual. Silver Spring, MD: Alliance of Psychoanalytic Organizations, p. 96.
Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American psychologist, 65(2), 98.
Interested in Depth Counseling?
We would love to hear from you. Click here if you would like to learn more about our services or schedule to begin your first therapy session! Our team of compassionate providers is dedicated to providing you with the utmost quality of care for your mental health needs.
Some of our areas of specialty include:
- Stress management
- Life transitions
- Sexuality and gender
- Eating disorders
Our offices are located in Ravenswood (2650 & 2656 West Montrose Avenue, 60618), and the Loop (122 South Michigan Avenue, 60603) in Chicago, Illinois.
We serve adults and families from all over the Chicago area and beyond, such as Evanston, Cicero, Hammond, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, and Arlington Heights. If you have questions or concerns, or if you would like help finding our offices, please let us know!
Click here to learn more about our fantastic team of mental health clinicians. Our providers offer specialty services in both individual and couples counseling. In addition to psychotherapy, we also offer the chance to engage in Psychoanalysis—a specific long-term and intensive treatment model. Our practice draws heavily from Psychodynamic theory, which has been shown to be incredibly effective through multiple research efforts (see Shedler, 2010).
It’s not just in the name—Depth Counseling is about moving beyond basic counseling techniques to understand deeper parts of your psyche. Get more out of your treatment, and experience the healing power of Depth Counseling.