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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!