Depression is one of the many issues that our holistic team of psychotherapists work with here at
The Holding Space. To find out more about we approach treatment for depression, read below
What is depression?
Depression is a complex condition influenced by biological, interpersonal, and experiential factors. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health concerns in the U.S., with
prevalence rates increasing in recent years. Awareness of depression, its signs/symptoms, and its treatments also seems to be increasing; however, there are still many individuals who experience some form of depression and don’t know it, or don’t seek treatment for it. While this may happen
for any number of reasons, one common reason is that people minimize their symptoms, telling themselves and/or others things like, “I’m just sad, down, blue, etc.,” or, “I’ll be able to manage it myself.” This is not to say that just because we are sad or our mood is low, we should assume that we are depressed. On the contrary, it is simply to say that depression involves a wide variety of symptoms that individuals can look out for when considering whether or not to seek treatment.
As with most things in the human condition, depression can be experienced in several ways and on a spectrum of severity. Common amongst presentations is altered affect—these alterations must last at least 2 weeks, but they could go on for months or even years. While most people assume that depression always involves sad affect, this is not the case; depression can also be experienced as anhedonia, or a lack of interest or pleasure. Beyond changes in affect, depression
also involves behavioral and cognitive changes, including changes in how one views themselves and the world. It is important to note that similar changes can occur in individuals during the grief process or as a result of substance use or a medical condition, so context should also be considered when evaluating whether or not one is experiencing/should seek treatment for depression.
What does depression look like?
As mentioned, depression can present in a variety of ways. In terms of affect, you may experience persistent (i.e., for most of the day, nearly every day) sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, or tearfulness, or a persistent lack of interest in not just enjoyable activities, but all (or almost all) activities. For example, you may feel like you have nothing to look forward to, or like you could start crying at the slightest inconvenience. In terms of behaviors, you may experience fatigue or loss of energy, and/or either increases or decreases in weight, appetite, sleep, or motor speed. For example, you may find yourself eating more than usual, or taking longer to do things than usual. In terms of cognition, you may experience feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and/or thoughts of death or suicide. For example, you may start to think things like, “there’s no way out of this,” or, “everything would be easier if I weren’t alive.” Regardless of your specific presentation, the changes you experience will cause distress not just within you, but also in important areas of your life, like relationships, work, etc.
If you start to notice these experiences, particularly over a 2 week period, you may want to consider seeking therapy for depression
What does therapy for depression look like?
While depression often does have a biological component, it also often has roots in our early history and/or family dynamics. Based on this knowledge, therapy for depression often aims to identify, understand, and heal the underlying issues from our past, while also alleviating symptoms in the present.
Here at The Holding Space, we help you identify past and present the issues that are specific to you, and we offer an individualized, holistic approach to address them. This starts with welcoming our clients into a warm and accepting environment, which we believe is necessary for creating the trust and safety needed for any therapeutic work. Once these minimum requirements for the therapeutic relationship have been established, your therapist will work with you to
explore not only how your depressive symptoms are impacting you in the present, but also how they developed and are maintained. Your therapist may integrate different treatment modalities into this exploration, with the goals of developing more empathy, understanding, and love for yourself and, through this, creating more space for change.
Who does therapy for depression work for?
If you recognize the experiences described above, or are concerned they might be developing,therapy for depression could be appropriate for you. To find out if The Holding Space might be afit for you and your unique needs, contact us for a consultation today!