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CBD Gummies for Anxiety and Depression

For those of us dealing with anxiety and depression, CBD edibles may hold the key to less worrying, better sleep, and an overall improved quality of life. But out of all the products that exist on the market, CBD gummies are probably the most popular edibles.

The CBD oil used to produce these edibles is extracted from carefully-selected types of cannabis, with low THC and a high concentration of cannabidiol. CBD-based products are part of a different category of medicinal marijuana, one that does not place emphasis on the psychoactive effects of the plant, but rather the curative properties of marijuana.

Click below to explore innovative CBD brands, lab tested by the experts of Farma Health.

CBD Gummies

Those who use these natural products as an alternative to medication or other treatments that may involve unpleasant side effects claim amazing results. From chronic pain and inflammation to sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression, CBD gummies seem to be the new “miracle cure.”

But there’s absolutely nothing mystical or magical about this chemical compound. In fact, people have been using it for thousands of years as a remedy for various conditions. Recently, scientists have begun to explore the physical and psychological effects CBD, with promising results.

Who knows? Maybe CBD gummies and other edibles may become the next breakthrough in mental health.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in marijuana or hemp. It can be made into edibles, tinctures, body oils, elixirs, balms, and other products. In fact, ever since marijuana has been legalized in most U.S. states, experts estimate this market will reach $ 1 billion a year by 2020. [1]

Cannabidiol is believed to be the second most crucial cannabinoid, after THC, and one of the 85 cannabinoids identified so far. The cannabis from which CBD oil is extracted contains only small traces of THC, cannabidiol being the compound that dominates the plant’s genetic profile.

After THC, CBD is the most studied natural cannabinoid. The reason behind scientists’ growing curiosity toward this compound may have something to do with the numerous positive effects it can have on our physical and mental health. On top of that, the absence of psychoactive effects has led some researchers to believe that CBD could be the most important cannabinoid ever discovered.

But all the groundbreaking studies that have changed our views of cannabis wouldn’t have been possible if not for the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the late 1980s. It appears this system regulates our body’s homeostasis (overall balance) and plays a significant role in appetite, mood, sleep, pain, and hormonal balance.

But to clear any trace of doubt and misconception, let’s take a closer look at the difference between CBD and THC.

CBD vs. THC

One of the reasons why some people avoid using cannabidiol-based products like CBD gummies or other edibles is that they don’t want to get high. Decades of misconceptions about cannabis have led many of us to believe that any compound derived from the marijuana plant is a “drug” that we should avoid at all costs.

Although both CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are the main compounds found in marijuana, there are notable differences between the two.

For starters, THC is responsible for the ‘high’ that you experience when you consume marijuana – either by smoking it or through edibles. In other words, THC represents the psychoactive part of weed, generating numerous effects such as hunger, reduced aggression, relaxation, altered senses, sleepiness, and so on.

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive component which can be found both in the cannabis plant and agricultural hemp. Unlike other cannabinoids, which can be found in numerous plants, CBD can only be extracted from the cannabis plant.

Another notable difference between the two compounds is that while THC is an illegal drug (with potential long-term adverse effects), CBD is harmless and perfectly legal in many countries around the world.

CBD Effects

As we mentioned before, the main reason why CBD products have gained such massive popularity is that they offer a natural alternative to medication and other treatment options that carry a certain amount of risk.

According to recent studies, cannabidiol is a potentially viable treatment option for anxiety disorders [2], can regulate emotions and emotional memory processing [3], and may also prove useful in solving the current opioid epidemic. [4]

If we are to ask the countless individuals who’ve used cannabidiol, in the form of CBD gummies, oils, balms, and all sorts of edibles, most of them would say this compound has helped them relax, sleep better, manage stress, and improve their overall quality of life.

Since the ‘CBD boom’ has only recently taken the world by surprise, imagine what exciting discoveries researchers might uncover in the coming years.

Does CBD Get You High?

The answer is definitely no. The only component in the cannabis plant that can get you high is THC. Although brands and companies that produce and sell CBD oil warn that various products may contain small traces of THC, the dose is too small to get you high.

In fact, a recent study revealed that even high doses of cannabidiol – be it in the form of edibles, elixirs, oils, balms, and so on – do not cause THC-like effects. [5]

Once again, CBD proves to be a perfectly safe and harmless compound which can alleviate various physical and psychological symptoms without giving you a ‘high’ that could prevent you from

CBD Products

Most CBD products fall under two main categories: oils and edibles. Let’s take a closer look at the two types of products and see which one fits your preferences best.

CBD Oil

CBD oil is part of a new product category that has received increasing popularity and also contributes to the development of cannabis cultivation for medical use, an industry firmly regulated in countries that have opted for legalization.

With an increasing demand for CBD oil (a base compound in many products) manufacturers have taken advantage of the opportunities the internet offers and have taken over the virgin online market. Nowadays, you can purchase CBD oil and other products and have them delivered directly to your home in over forty countries around the world.

CBD Edibles

As you’ve probably heard, CBD-based products come in many shapes and sizes. From oils, tinctures, elixirs, and balms, to CBD gummies, sweets, chocolate, and even CBD-infused honey.

But out of all the options that today’s CBD market has to offer, nothing has gained more popularity than edibles. And who could blame us! Who wouldn’t want to take their ‘medicine’ in the form of a delicious piece of chocolate or a yummy gummy bear?

CBD Gummies

Considering the wide variety of culinary options that ‘weed brands’ can experiment with, you will, without a doubt, find a CBD edible for every taste.

CBD and Anxiety

Throughout our lives, each of us has probably faced the unpleasant symptoms associated with anxiety at least a couple of time. The constant worrying; the sleepless nights; the inability to get a handle on our anxious thoughts.

But when anxiety becomes a constant part of our lives, things can get quite overwhelming. When you can’t even muster the courage to get out of the house, you risk losing your job, which in turn gives rise to even more problems.

Fortunately, products such as CBD gummies and other edibles can have a significantly positive impact on anxiety. In fact, numerous anxiety sufferers have reported fewer anxious thoughts, better quality sleep, and a notable improvement in overall mood as a result of using various CBD-based products.

From oils and tinctures to gummies and other edibles, there’s an option for every taste, and all of them seem to have the same positive result.

CBD and Depression

Affecting nearly 322 million people worldwide, depression has recently become the #1 cause of disability. This mood disorder can turn your entire life upside down, causing emotional pain, low self-esteem, fatigue, sleep-related problems, feelings of helplessness, and even thoughts of suicide.

Although researchers and mental health professionals have spent decades studying this condition, there are times when ‘traditional’ treatments don’t seem to work.

Since therapy takes time and medication has numerous unpleasant side effects, perhaps a good alternative would be CBD-based products.

Many depression sufferers have discovered that this natural option proves to be quite useful in alleviating the troublesome effects of depression. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, edibles like CBD gummies prove to be highly effective in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and even pain.

Neurochemistry and CBD

Having a direct impact on the endocannabinoid system, CBD can give rise to significant changes in the neurochemistry of our brain.

Experts believe that through this system, cannabidiol can have a positive influence on the stress receptors in the hippocampus – part of your brain responsible for emotional processing.

The fact that human beings and animals have an internal system explicitly designed to process cannabinoids is truly fascinating. In a way, it seems that nature has already equipped our bodies with the means to benefit from this amazing compound.

CBD Oil Dosage

Considering this industry is relatively new, there aren’t any super strict regulations regarding the use of CBD. In fact, as one study quoted above revealed, even high doses of cannabidiol prove to be harmless.

Furthermore, the FDA has yet to issue a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for cannabidiol. The only recommendations come from brands that produce and sell CBD oil, and their estimations can range from 15 to 50 mg. [6]

As you can probably imagine, it’s somewhat difficult to zero-in on an exact dosage considering all the variables – weight, body chemistry, the severity of the condition, and so on – that scientists must consider.

Nevertheless, experts recommend you start slow and increase the dosage gradually. Also, make sure to consult your physician before considering this treatment option.

CBD Oil Side Effects

I know what you’re thinking, are there any harmful side effects associated with the constant use of CBD products?

First of all, it’s important to understand that CBD oil, and consequently any product that contains this compound, do not cause euphoric states. Since cannabidiol can be obtained from both marijuana plants and agricultural hemp, some of us might be living under the impression that it can get you ‘high.’

Although both hemp and marijuana are part of the cannabis family, CBD-based products do not contain THC – the psychoactive substance in marijuana.

Second, treatment plans that involve CBD oil have proven to be useful not just in fighting severe, often terminal, illnesses but also in minor conditions that can affect our overall sense of health and well-being.

After decades of studies, researchers have yet to identify any potentially harmful side effects associated with regular use of CBD products.

In short, this product is safe, natural, organic, and quite effective in treating various physical or psychological issues.

Whether you prefer the fruity taste of CBD gummies or the soothing effect CBD body balm, the positive effects of cannabidiol are guaranteed to turn any skeptic into a firm believer.

References

[1] K. Doheny, “As CBD Oil Flirts with Mainstream, Questions Mount,” WebMD, 05 June 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180605/as-cbd-oil-flirts-with-mainstream-questions-mount.

[2] E. M. Blessing, M. M. Steenkamp, J. Manzanares and C. R. Marmar, “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders,” Download PDF, vol. 12, no. 4, p. 825–836, 2015.

[3] J. L. C. Lee, L. J. Bertoglio, F. S. Guimarães and C. W. Stevenson, “Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety‐related and substance abuse disorders,” British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 174, no. 19, 2017.

[4] Y. L. Hurd, “Cannabidiol: Swinging the Marijuana Pendulum From ‘Weed’ to Medication to Treat the Opioid Epidemic,” Trends in Neurosciences, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 124-127, 2017.

[5] F. Grotenhermen, E. Russo and A. W. Zuardi, “Even High Doses of Oral Cannabidiol Do Not Cause THC-Like Effects in Humans,” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, vol. 2, no. 1, 2017.

[6] A. Cadena, “What’s the Best CBD Dosage?,” Medium, 25 February 2018. [Online]. Available: https://medium.com/cbd-origin/whats-the-best-cbd-dosage-81ec4f95503b.

Depression During Pregnancy: You Don’t Have To Deal With It Alone!

While pregnancy can be an exciting time, many women experience fear and confusion during this period of their life. Hormonal changes and stress are some of the triggers for this mood disorder. If you’re suffering from depression during pregnancy, it’s advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Depression During Pregnancy: What Is It?

Depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, is a mood disorder which is characterized by intense negative emotions over an extended period. People who are suffering from depression may have persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, which has a negative impact on their quality of life. This mood disorder is accompanied by alterations to your brain chemistry. Expectant mothers are at risk for developing mood disorders because of the hormone changes that take place during pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms

It’s important to know what the symptoms of depression during pregnancy are. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult with a mental health professional so that you can get the support that you need. Expectant mothers, who are faced with persistent sadness for more than two weeks, may be suffering from depression. Anxiety and feelings of worthlessness are also possible signs of a mood disorder. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it’s important that you get help immediately. Other possible indicators of depression during pregnancy are insomnia or sleeping too much as well as the inability to concentrate. Feelings of apathy towards the activities that usually bring you joy is another symptom to look out for.

Statistics

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists asserts that 14% to 23% of women will struggle with aspects of depression before they give birth. Also, one in 4 women struggle with this mood disorder at some stage of their life. Despite the pervasiveness of depression, many pregnant women are incorrectly diagnosed because their symptoms are attributed to hormonal imbalances. It’s important for expectant mothers to be properly diagnosed so that they can get the necessary support.

Risk Factors for Depression During Pregnancy

Expectant mothers, who have a history of anxiety and depression, are at an increased risk for suffering from mood disorders during pregnancy. Stress can also trigger the onset of symptoms that are associated with depression. Lack of social support and unintended pregnancy can increase the chances of an expectant mother for experiencing depression. Intimate partner violence is another trigger. If you are suffering from intimate partner violence it is vital for you to get help so that you can be certain of your own safety and get protection for your baby.

Complications of Antepartum Depression

It’s essential to get treatment if you’re suffering from antepartum depression as it can have negative consequences for your own well-being and that of your baby. This mood disorder may interfere with your prenatal care as well as your ability to care for yourself properly. If you suffer from a mood disorder during your pregnancy, there’s also a greater chance that you’ll struggle with postpartum depression. Feelings of persistent sadness after you give birth (the postpartum period) can make it very challenging for you to bond with your baby.

First Line Treatments

If you suspect that you’re suffering from depression during pregnancy, consult with your mental health professional to determine which treatment option is the best for you. Therapy and support groups are the preferred option for many women who are suffering from a mood disorder.

Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective in finding relief from the symptoms of mood disorders. Interpersonal psychotherapy has also had good results in the treatment of depression.

Medication

Expectant mothers, who are considering taking medication, need to work closely with their healthcare professional. Make sure that you know the advantages and risks of the medicine before you take it. Research each option with the help of a medical professional to determine which medication poses the lowest risk of harm to your baby.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy involves passing a low-level electrical current through the brain. ECT comes with the risk of side effects such as nausea and pain. It is used only as a last resort for women who are suffering from severe depression.

Support Groups

Lack of support is a risk factor for depression during pregnancy. Joining a group of women who are also struggling with this mood disorder can help you to feel supported during this difficult time.

Depression During Pregnancy

Additional Treatment Options

Less intense treatment options are generally preferred for treating depression during pregnancy. With guidance from your mental health professional, you can try other strategies to find relief from the symptoms of this mood disorder.

Regular Physical Activity

Exercise helps to give your brain a boost of serotonin, which can elevate your mood. Not only does getting your body moving promote happiness, but it also reduces stress.

Good Quality Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived, you may find it more difficult to cope with challenging situations. Getting a good night’s sleep supports your mind and body so that it’s easier to handle stress in your daily life.

Diet and Nutrition

Eating healthy food is essential as many junk foods can have a negative impact on your mood. Avoiding caffeine as well as sugar can be beneficial for your emotional and physical well-being. Other foods to eliminate from your diet include processed carbohydrates as well as artificial additives.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Studies show that Omega 3 can help to promote health. Not only can Omega 3 boost your overall health, but it may also help to offer you relief from low moods. As with any supplements, check with your health care provider before taking it.

Mindfulness Practices

Meditation is used to promote relaxation and decrease stress. This technique can be used to alleviate the symptoms of mood disorders. Yoga can also play a role in the treatment of depression.

The Risks of Not Getting Help

If you don’t get help, depression can have negative consequences for you and your baby. Untreated depression can result in self-medicating with alcohol or cigarettes, which puts your baby at risk for developmental challenges. Moreover, smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in preterm birth. Another risk of untreated depression is suicidal behavior, which can put both you and your baby in harm’s way. Untreated depression during pregnancy may also result in babies who are less active and more agitated.

Find a Therapist Now!

If you’re struggling with depression during pregnancy, find a therapist now! At Thrivetalk, our fully accredited mental health practitioners are available to help you through the unique struggles you may be facing during pregnancy.

Understanding depression is the first step towards finding the right treatment. Once you’ve identified that you’re struggling with the symptoms of this mood disorder, you can get the support that you need to recover your emotional well-being.

Ketamine Therapy for Treating Depression 

Depression is the most common mental illness. Over 300 million people worldwide and over 6% of the adult population in the US, have suffered from depression over the past year. Treatment rates of this mental health problem have gone up but, nonetheless, there is no one universal treatment. Different treatments work for different patients while a small minority of patients don’t seem to respond to treatment at all. That is why people are searching for alternative treatments like ketamine therapy.

For decades, antidepressants have been used to treat the chemical aspect of depression. Even though great strides have been made in the development of antidepressant medications, it is still somewhat “hit-and-miss.” Doctors cannot be certain which antidepressants, if any, each individual will respond to. What makes this even more difficult is that it takes two to four weeks before the effects of an antidepressant can be assessed.

It is in this context that ketamine therapy has been trialed. Ketamine therapy is one of the most promising developments in chemical depression treatment in decades, especially for patients for whom no other treatment has worked.

This is everything you need to know about ketamine therapy.

Ketamine Therapy: What Is It?

Ketamine therapy is a treatment that uses the substance ketamine to eliminate depressive thoughts. While ketamine has traditionally been used as an anesthetic and to treat chronic pain, recent research has earmarked it as a remarkably effective and fast-acting treatment for major depression and suicidal ideation.

Ketamine is administered via IV drips in doses that are much smaller than those used for anesthesia and it only stays in the body for a limited period of time.

Some may recognize ketamine as a party drug, known by some as “Special K”, which is used to simulate an out-of-body experience. Some have even used it to commit “date-rape.” Nonetheless, it was used in a medical context long before it became popular in illegal settings.

Clinical Depression Explained

Clinical depression refers to a mental illness in which patients feel persistent sadness and numbness. They may also have difficulty feeling pleasure. These feelings are accompanied by thoughts about death and suicide as well as meaninglessness and isolation. It is a state of mind and not just an emotion or even a severe form of sadness.

Symptoms of Severe Depression

Symptoms of severe depression include:

  • Low affect
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Being unable to feel pleasure
  • Absence of motivation
  • Hopelessness and despair
  • Extreme emotional pain

While individuals suffering from mild or moderate depression may, nonetheless, continue to function normally; patients with severe depression are generally unable to continue taking care of themselves. The intensity of the emotional pain along with the sense of hopelessness and absence of motivation, preclude the potential to carry on as normal.

Ketamine Therapy

Traditional Treatments For Depression

Traditionally, depression has been treated in a number of ways. Talk therapy has been the most popular starting point for patients suffering from depression. This involves discussing your feelings and thoughts with a therapist. In an effort to come to a deeper understanding of the underlying cause of the depression as well as finding a way to move forward.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an increasingly common form of therapy that focuses on challenging distorted thinking. By rationally analyzing disturbing thoughts, individuals can become better equipped to manage their emotions without getting caught up in them.

Antidepressants are prescribed by a psychiatrist for those who may be suffering from a chemical imbalance. These medications are generally used in conjunction with other forms of therapy although they can have a major impact when taken in isolation.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic imaging to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It is rarely used as a primary intervention. Rather, patients who have treatment-resistant depression may find it helpful.

Ketamine For Clinical Depression

Ketamine therapy is a more recent, non-traditional treatment option for clinical depression. While it has shown incredible promise, it is still not widely available. Therefore, is not yet used as a primary treatment.

How Does It Work?

It is not entirely clear how ketamine infusion therapy works. Researchers have hypothesized that ketamine changes the way brain cells communicate with each other. This is in contrast to traditional antidepressants, which change the balance of chemicals in the brain. It also blocks the NMDA receptor which is thought to play a role in depression, among other functions.

Is Ketamine Therapy Effective?

Research, thus far, has been very promising. Some clinicians report that 60% to 75% of their treatment-resistant patients have responded to ketamine therapy. Individuals receiving this treatment report that the effect is almost immediate. Suicidal thoughts fade and they start to feel better as soon as the treatment is administered, rather than two weeks later.

The treatment itself is effective for around one week, after which further treatments need to be administered.

Recipients of ketamine generally report feeling more connected to others and to the universe itself. This is in strong contrast to the common symptom of isolation that individuals with depression experience.

Ketamine Side-Effects

Directly after being administered infusion treatments, patients may experience dissociation which wears off after an hour or so. Ketamine briefly causes spikes in blood pressure and heart rate, but not nearly enough to be dangerous to anyone who doesn’t already suffer from heart disease.

Since ketamine therapy is still relatively new, the long-term effects have not been studied. Individuals using ketamine as a party drug have experienced an adverse event like memory issues. However, researchers believe that this is unlikely in the much smaller doses used to treat depression. Neither does it seem likely that these doses will lead patients towards using the drug recreationally.

Which Other Kinds of Concerns is Ketamine Therapy Best For?

Ketamine therapy may also be useful for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and as an option for pain relief in chronic pain syndromes. Researchers are conducting clinical trials to assess its efficacy in treating these illnesses in addition to depression.

Ketamine Therapy Critique

Ketamine therapy is incredibly promising as far as major depressive disorder is concerned. Unfortunately, not enough research has been done to conclusively prove its efficacy. Most trials so far have administered ketamine to small sample sizes. However; the FDA is fast-tracking further research, considering it’s promising effects and the huge number of people it could possibly benefit.

Ketamine therapy is not a practical option for most patients at the moment, as it is only available in certain states and there are only around two dozen clinics throughout the whole country. It is also very expensive (around $400 to $800 per treatment) and insurance is unlikely to cover it, as it is not yet FDA-approved as a treatment for depression.

Also, while it is fast-acting, its effects do not last all that long and it needs to be administered repeatedly. Which few people can afford.

Ketamine for Depression: A Promising Development

Ketamine therapy is one of the most promising developments in the treatment of clinical depression. It is an entirely new class of depression medication and, in addition to making an immediate difference, it may also be more effective for treating major depression.

More research is necessary before it becomes FDA-approved. For now, it is an excellent option if nothing else has worked and you can afford to cover the costs.

How Do I Find A Depression Therapist Near Me?

Major depression affects over 16 million American adults every year. It leads to hundreds of suicides every single day. Yet it often goes untreated. Although anyone is at risk of depression, no matter their race, age, or socioeconomic status, there is still a stigma associated with it. For this reason, it is misunderstood and not generally spoken about.

“Is there a depression therapist near me?” Chances are you don’t know where to begin. The information available is unclear and confusing.

But the good news is that there are now more options available than ever. We’re here to help you find the best therapist for your unique situation. Let’s take a quick look at what clinical depression is, as well as the different types of therapists available near you.

What Is Clinical Depression?

Clinical depression is a serious mood disorder that affects how you feel, think and behave. Contrary to popular belief, depression is not a feeling or even a severe form of sadness; although it often brings on such feelings. Rather, it is a state in which people often experience numbness. It becomes difficult or impossible to feel pleasure and one gets caught up in thoughts of hopelessness, suicide and death. It can be triggered by unmanageable feelings, but often the cause is chemical and unconnected to a person’s circumstances.

Depression Symptoms

Depression symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness, anxiousness or emptiness that don’t go away
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Feeling guilty, worthless or helpless
  • The loss of pleasure in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Decreased energy levels or fatigue
  • Finding it difficult to remember things, concentrate or make decisions
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Constant thoughts of death or suicide
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Physical symptoms that cannot be explained and don’t respond to treatment like headaches or digestive issues

If you have any of these symptoms, it is highly advisable that you seek help. If you have five or more, you are probably suffering from depression.

Depressive Episode

A depressive episode is a period of depression that lasts for at least two weeks. During that time, an individual will suffer from the symptoms described above. Even though depressive episodes vary in severity, they should always be taken seriously. Some people experience mild depression for a long time, with occasional major depressive episodes. This often forces the person to finally seek help. Ideally, you should get help no matter the severity of your depression.

“How do I start looking for depression therapist near me?” What follows are some guidelines to help you get started.

What Kind of Therapist Should I Look For?

When finding a depression therapist near you, you will need to decide which kind of professional is best suited to helping you. There are different kinds of doctors and therapists, each serving a different purpose.

Psychiatrists

A psychiatrist is a medical professional who diagnoses mental illnesses and prescribes a course of treatment. They are qualified to assess you and prescribe the appropriate medications to help you. They can also assist you in deciding which kind of therapy you need and even refer you to a particular therapist. Psychiatrists are trained in talk therapy, although most use those skills for assessment rather than to provide counseling.

Psychologists

A psychologist is a trained expert who has a doctoral degree in psychology. They have studied the human mind through the lenses of a variety of theoretical frameworks. Generally, they are trained in counseling, psychotherapy and psychological testing.

Psychologists use various tools to help you deal with depression and other problems. These include talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness and more. Each psychologist has their own approach to helping clients. All of them will listen to you and help you find a way to work through your problems.

Social Workers

Social workers work with individuals to help them function on a psychological, social and occupational level. They provide tools and help build skills that the person needs to live a fulfilling life with a stable career and social circle. They also teach clients to manage difficult emotions more effectively.

Licensed Counselors

A licensed counselor holds a master’s degree in counseling and has completed at least 3,000 hours of post-master’s counseling. They can diagnose your depression and counsel you as part of your treatment. They may refer you to a psychiatrist and psychologist as well as other professionals they believe are necessary as part of your treatment.

Depression Therapist Near Me

How Do I Start Looking?

Choosing to seek treatment is the first step in finding a “depression therapist near me.” There are a range of approaches to find the right therapist.

Collect Names

Start by collecting the names of therapists you find through online searches, local mental health organizations and word of mouth. Once you have a few potential therapists, do as much research on them as you can. Try to find out what kind of therapy they offer from their websites or testimonials and start deciding if you will be able to build a rapport with them.

Get Recommendations

If you have friends or family members who are open to talking about seeing a therapist. Ask them for recommendations. They might have a lot of insight into how their therapist works and what they can assist you with. They may be very enthusiastic about their therapist and they may also share how they were helped personally.

However, not everyone is willing to share that they are in therapy. While many friends and family members may be seeing a therapist, chances are they have not told you.

Professional Referrals

A professional is in the best position to recommend a particular therapist. This may be your GP, a psychiatrist or another therapist who is not taking on new patients. They will give you the therapist’s contact details and inform the therapist that you will be in touch. Their professional instincts, as well as their personal relationship with you, will help them decide who is best suited to your particular situation.

Online Listings

Another way to find a depression therapist near you is to look through online directories. They have extensive listings of therapists according to their location. You can search through the directories for someone who specializes in treating depression. Many therapists have write-ups, describing how they work and what they can offer you. This may help you decide on the person most likely to meet your needs. Popular listings include the APA and Psychology Today directories.

Traditional Therapy

Traditionally, therapy has been done face-to-face. You go to a therapist’s office and interact with them in person. They may use a number of different therapy techniques. The most common and universal is talk therapy. You tell them about your history, as well as your current circumstances, and they help you assess problematic patterns in your life. These are often defense mechanisms that you use through force of habit and which can be more harmful than helpful. Simply opening up is a huge relief for most people who enter therapy. You then work with your therapist to adjust the way you live to be more effective and fulfilling.

One of the most common therapy approaches today is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In CBT, your therapist helps you challenge distorted thinking that is leading to overwhelming emotions and preventing you from living life to the full. Some therapists specialize in CBT, but many others use CBT tools within a combination of other approaches. CBT has helped many people suffering from depression and anxiety.

People suffering from depression, for whom no other techniques have been effective, may try transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is a noninvasive procedure in which magnetic fields are used to stimulate nerves in the brain, activating regions that have decreased activity in depression.

Antidepressants have also proven hugely beneficial to millions of people suffering from depression. They work by increasing certain brain chemicals, including serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for pleasure and joy. Your therapist may refer you to a psychiatrist if they believe that medication will help you.

Online Therapy

Online therapy is a relatively new innovation. It is essentially the same as traditional therapy, except you do not have to be in the same room as the therapist. This is incredibly helpful for people who live busy lives and have a very limited amount of time for attending sessions. There is no driving or waiting time. It also gives you the opportunity to find a therapist that suits you, rather than the one who happens to be closest.

Some people are concerned about the stigma of seeing a therapist and avoid going in case they are seen. With online therapy, there is no chance of that happening.  “How do I find a Depression therapist near me?” The answer: Online therapy may very well be the exact solution you need!

How Do I Set Up The First Session?

Depending on the kind of therapy you choose to pursue, the process of setting up the first session differs. You’ll have to call or email a traditional therapist and they will discuss the day and time that suits you. They will ask you a few questions about what you are looking for and you can ask them some questions about the services they have to offer.

With online therapy, the process is somewhat different. You use an online platform to set up an appointment with the therapist of your choice and you are given an opportunity to have a consultation with them first.

What Happens in The First Session?

In the first session, your therapist will ask questions about you and your history. They will attempt to get an idea of who you are and what you are looking for in therapy. They will also begin building a rapport with you. You will begin to see how they work, and you will work together towards setting up a treatment plan.

Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist

It is a good idea to ask a potential therapist a few questions before making a definitive choice. This is in part a chance to get to see if you click with them, as well as a chance to better understand what they can offer you.

Ask some of the following questions:

  • Do you have a specialty?
  • Which approaches do you use in therapy?
  • How much time should I expect to commit to therapy?
  • Do you believe you’re the right therapist to help me?

Find a Therapist Now!

Find a “depression therapist near me” now with ThriveTalk! Our team of specialist therapists are available in just a few clicks. Set up a consultation with a ThriveTalk specialist to see if they’re the right person for you.

Depression should never go untreated. Start online therapy now from the comfort of your home or office!

Who Am I? The Role Of Depression In My Queer Identity

Ten years ago, I was well on my way to becoming a rabbi.

I had been studying in a yeshiva, a religious institution for young Jewish men, for three years. In just another four years, I could officially become Rabbi Joshua Marcus. After that, I’d either teach at a school or lead a congregation or both. I would get married somewhere along the way, and have two or three children, who I would raise in the faith.

But in my fourth year, I slowly came to accept what I’d suspected all along. My life was never going to be that straightforward. I could never be a rabbi or teach Torah. I could never marry a religious woman and raise Jewish children. There was something fundamentally wrong with me.

The problem was that as hard as I tried, I could never condemn the bad guy. The sinners, the enemies of the Jewish people, all were just doing what they knew to do. They believed they were right, just as we believed we were right. That was my logic.

The emotional impetus, however, came from someplace else. I couldn’t condemn the bad guy because I was the bad guy. I was the pervert attracted to some of my peers. I was the asshole who planned to marry a woman just to keep up appearances. I was the sinner, pretending to be a saint.

Gradually, over the next couple of years, the vision I had for my life fell to pieces.

Queer Depression

My story, while intensely personal, is far from unique. I came out when I was twenty-five. A few years earlier, I had assumed there was zero chance it would ever happen. Coming out was affirming in many ways, but it didn’t stave off the threat of depression.

Research consistently shows that LGBTQ people suffer from depression at a far higher rate than our heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. Honestly, it shouldn’t be surprising. Nor should it be surprising that the more discrimination, bullying, or familial conflict a queer person faces, the more likely they are to struggle with depression.

Queer youths are four times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexual youths. It’s a tragic, all-too-common reality in our communities. There are many reasons for this, beyond the reality that society makes it difficult to be gay. My depression is strongly connected to my struggle with a sense of self. When I realized I was gay, I had to reassess the way I had always expected my life to go. Narratives of identity, shame, and existential crises, are common among LGBT people, and all play a part in queer depression.

Yet depression, and mental illness, in general, does not come up very often in LGBTQ discourse. Inclusivity, representation, pride, and many other (worthy) subjects are far more familiar talking points. And so, while the letters in the LGBTQ acronym itself keep evolving in the hopes that no one is left out – and that can indeed make a palpable difference to the way we view ourselves – most would agree that a disease that is literally killing millions is a more pressing issue.

There are understandable reasons we’re reluctant to talk about mental illness in the queer community. For starters, there’s the pesky fact that homosexuality itself used to be listed as a mental illness in official diagnostic manuals (DSM I – III). It remained there for decades, and although the last vestiges were removed in 1987, we still feel uncomfortable mentioning homosexuality and mental illness in the same sentence. Furthermore, transsexualism remained in the DSM in some form until much more recently.

Moreover, there is still a significant stigma surrounding mental illness in general. Many people, especially people suffering from it, see it as a weakness, rather than a bona fide illness.

So despite homosexuality being far more accepted and understood today, there are still many politicians, religious leaders, communities, and individuals, who speak of it as something maladaptive. They view being gay as a condition that needs to be treated, not something that should simply be accepted.

Queer people are just as likely to see mental illness as a weakness or a fundamental wrongness. Even today, it is way easier for me to tell people I’m gay than that I suffer from depression. Admitting to suffering from depression can feel like a capitulation to the perception of homosexuality as maladaptive. It certainly doesn’t help in our battle against homophobic attitudes.

Unfortunately, rates of mental illness, and depression, in particular, will continue to correlate with homosexuality et al. as long as homophobia exists. And we can’t expect homophobia to disappear entirely in the foreseeable future. What we can do is try to change the perception of mental illness as a weakness or wrongness. Because LGBT people, even those with relatively straightforward coming out stories, inevitably go through a lot.

Who The Hell Am I?!

Some people know from a very young age that they’re gay. My husband had some sort of recognition of it from the age of three. I had no idea until much later on. I remember realizing I was attracted to a guy for the first time at age fifteen, on the school bus on the way to play a hockey match. My reaction to Matty and his abs came as quite a shock to me.

But it was much longer before I finally accepted that I was never going to feel that sort of attraction towards a girl. I was in denial for a very long time, and didn’t dare mention it to anyone until the age of twenty-three. Yes, I always knew there was something “wrong” with me, something which made me different to other boys, but that came through as a general wrongness for most of my life.

In the end, acknowledging to myself that I was gay was the final piece of the puzzle that forced me to change my entire perception of who I was. More than that – it forced me to recognize that I had no idea who I was. The life I had envisioned for myself, as a rabbi with a wife and kids, could no longer take the place of an actual identity.

LGBTQ Depression

And that is a terrifying place to be. The despair of feeling like I was no one, and that I never would be anyone, and that it did not matter how hard I tried or how long I tried for, has always been the major theme of my depression narrative. When you have a strong sense of self, life is manageable. If something terrible happens, you can go on with your life. It doesn’t have to make sense, but it doesn’t leave you wondering why you even bother.

But if you don’t have a sense of self, the painful things only hammer home the nail of meaninglessness. Your life right now is pain, and you have no reason to believe it will be anything but. “Good” things are temporary reprieves at best. You hope that one day you’ll be okay, but you can’t even picture how that might look.

Between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-five, I couldn’t envision a future for myself. All I knew was that it wouldn’t be what I had expected, and what the people in my life had expected for me. These days, I still can’t envision my future, but that is because I see too many possibilities. Back then, there were zero possibilities that made any sense at all.

Diversity of Experience

Just as LGBTQ people are very diverse, our experiences are diverse too. My story is only one of many queer depression narratives. For others, depression stems from years of oppression. They’ve been beaten down by the world, allowed no opportunities for a better life, driven to despair. Their world looks bleak because it is bleak.

Still others feel a crippling loneliness and isolation that comes from hiding who they are, denying themselves romantic possibilities, and feeling different in general.

For transgender people, the disconnect between their physiologies and identities is incredibly painful and confusing.

My life has not been immune from some of these experiences, and they have contributed to my depression to some degree. Ultimately, queer depression is attributable to many factors. And so, while there is a lot of variation in our developmental stories, many routes lead to the same outcome.

Narrative vs. Reality

Narratives tend to simplify complex realities, and the above certainly doesn’t describe my entire experience. While my homosexuality has played a major role in my mental illness, so has my genetic propensity towards depression. My mother, grandmother, and many more individuals on both sides of my family have suffered from depression. Mental illness is also physical, which is why antidepressants have made such a big difference in my life.

Death anxiety and financial stress, among other things, have also been contributors.

However, these factors are much more manageable when there’s not a secret tearing at your very self-perception. They can be handled when you have a sense of self which you can fall back on. A sense of self which sighs and says, “Ok, this sucks but I’ve got this.”

Acceptance

I see mental illness as being as big a part of my queer experience as my sexuality. It’s still the part I find hardest to talk about, that’s harder to just accept as normal. These days, it’s far easier to tell people I’m gay than to tell them I take antidepressants. Few of my friends know about the couple of months I spent in a psychiatric institution a few years back. It still feels important for me to paint pretty pictures about living as a gay man.

But it’s an essential part of my story, without which my life doesn’t make sense. It led me to a sense of self far deeper than my old religious identity. It led me to a life of fulfillment based on sensitivity, meaning, and profound personal experience.

Maybe one day mental illness will no longer correlate with queerness. But that’s not the world I grew up in. My responsibility, to myself and my peers, is to remember that there’s nothing wrong with me, that mental illness is a symptom of humanity rather than a weakness, and that, most of the time, self-care is more important than idealism.

Is Depression Genetic?

Depression is a mental health disorder than impacts a large number of people to varying degrees. If you have ever witnessed a family member or friend going through depression, you may have seen how debilitating this condition can be. With the big impact depression can make on a person’s life, it is easy to worry about the risk of developing this mental health condition. Like many medical conditions, there is also thought to be a genetic or hereditary component to depression.

Is It Genetic? Kind Of…

A common concern for those with family members who have suffered from depression is that they will also be affected by the same condition. And the answer is…unclear.

Recent Gene Studies

There has been extensive research done by many different practitioners and organizations trying to identify a genetic link to depression. Research has found an increased risk of depression among family members of those who have experienced depression, but it has been hard to pinpoint a specific gene that causes it. However, a few recent studies have found a few potential links between recurrent depression and certain genes; specifically, some studies have identified a portion of chromosome 3 may play a role in recurrent, severe depression.

Family Studies and Stats

Depression is thought to occur in about 10% of people in the United States. But as mental health providers continued to see and diagnose depression, they began to recognize a trend among those who had a relative who had also suffered from depression. Research has found that those with a first-degree relative who had experienced depression were two to three times more likely to develop depression than others. There have also been studies done on twins who experience depression, and these studies confirm there is some relation between depression and genetics.

That being said, genes are not the only things shared among family members. Sometimes the environment you are raised in or the experiences you have growing up can contribute to future depression.  In addition, a small child who grows up witnessing behaviors of another family member with depression may “learn” these behaviors during their development. Poor family dynamics can also contribute to the development of depression. For example, child neglect or abuse has been shown to increase the risk of depression for the children who suffer from these experiences.

Other Potential Causes of Depression

While researchers have spent time looking for a genetic cause or link to depression, they have also discovered many other factors that play an important role in depression.

Environmental Factors

Influences from the environment play a crucial role in the presentation of depression. There are so many factors that are outside of our control that can influence our behaviors and future mindset. Specifically, events that cause major stress, such as the loss of a loved one or extreme financial stress, can cause periods of grief or sadness that lead to depression. There are also some chronic or serious medical problems that can make people feel hopeless or sad and contribute to depression; these include conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, or diabetes. Experiencing abuse or other trauma has been associated with the development of depression. Substance abuse can also contribute to or make depression symptoms worse.

Is Depression Genetic?

Serotonin Link

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that has been linked to depression. This chemical is released in the brain as a “feel good” signal. When this signal is out of balance in the brain, it can contribute to depression. This theory is strengthened by the successful use of medications for depression that impact the balance of serotonin in the brain. That being said, it is not clear what might cause the imbalance of serotonin for some individuals. Researchers are currently considering the possibility that there is a genetic component to this theory as well.

Other Possible Factors

There have been some researchers working to evaluate the theory that genetics may be related to some people’s ability to handle stress better than others. This research is also looking at how these factors relate to depression. Finding an answer to these questions would help explain why some individuals who experience a certain trauma might develop depression while others are able to cope and move on without the same outcome.

Another potential link to depression that has been identified is gender. Research has found an increased risk of developing depression for females. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. Some research has shown they have a higher genetic-related risk of hereditary depression than men as well.

Should You Be Worried? Not Necessarily…

You might be feeling worried if your sibling or parent has been diagnosed with depression that it is only a matter of time before you experience similar feelings. However, it is important to remember that while your chances of having depression might be increased, the majority of these people do not end up having depression at all. There are also people who are diagnosed with depression that have no family history of depression, meaning other factors also play a role in the development of depression than just genetics.

Depression can be scary, and it can be extremely hard to watch those you love go through it. In addition, you might be worried about your own risk of experiencing depression when a close family member has suffered with it before. While genetics have been found to play a role in depression, there are many other factors that contribute to its development. Having a family member with depression does not guarantee you will also experience this condition. However, if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, do not be afraid to reach out to your medical or mental health provider about resources available to help you manage depression.

References

 

 

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