When the symptoms of depression are so significant that they undermine your quality of life, it is time to seek professional help. Depression is a serious mental health condition that may lead to impairment in managing even the most basic daily functions. Finding relief through the expertise of a depression therapist Long Beach is essential to reclaiming your life, and then living it to the fullest.
How Do I Know if I Have Clinical Depression?
While we all experience setbacks or losses in life that can result in temporary sadness or despair, clinically diagnosed depressive disorder is persistent, with a group of symptoms that last two weeks or longer. These symptoms include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or despair
- Loss of interest in those activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite, leading to weight loss or gain
- Sleep disruptions, either insomnia or hypersomnia
- Pervasive fatigue
- Slowed movements or cognitive functioning
- Feeling inappropriate shame or guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of death, dying, or suicide
A psychiatrist or psychotherapist is able to evaluate the patient’s physical health history, mental health history, and the results from any assessment tools used in the initial interview to arrive at a diagnosis. The specific diagnosis will then drive the treatment plan.
A depression therapist Long Beach plays an important role in the overall protocol for treating depressive disorders. These professionals are psychiatrists or psychotherapists who provide essential therapies that can substantially improve functioning by assisting the individual in exploring potential underlying factors. This involves one-on-one psychotherapy sessions, as well as group therapy, during which the depression therapist Long Beach guides the patient in processing current distressing events, or those from the past.
To accomplish this the therapist will access one or more psychotherapy modalities, selected based on the unique features of the patient’s particular depression diagnosis. There are several different types of depression, including:
- Major depressive disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Post-menopausal depressive disorder
- Bipolar depression
To best address the effects of the emotional issues, past traumas, or distressing life events that underpin depression in some patients, the depression therapist will select the appropriate type of psychotherapy. Some of these therapy modalities include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Psychodynamic therapy.
- Solutions-focused brief therapy.
- Interpersonal therapy.
Antidepressant Drug Therapy
A psychiatrist is also able to prescribe antidepressant drug therapy to compliment the psychotherapy. These drugs, which are available as SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, and tricyclic antidepressants, attempt to rebalance brain chemistry, particularly the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The most prescribed antidepressants include:
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
Each antidepressant varies in the specific action it elicits on brain chemistry. Antidepressants are helpful in reducing the symptoms of depression in about 50% of those who trial them. Effects begin to be evident in 4-6 weeks, and dosing adjustments or switching to a different antidepressant is common practice in the early phase of treatment.
Alternative Treatments for Depression
The depression therapist Long Beach can also access alternative methods for treating depression if conventional methods are not providing effective results. This may include utilizing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy, which is a brain stimulation technique that helps to normalize neurotransmitters. TMS therapy can be used as a stand-alone treatment method or as a complimentary method that helps enhance the effects of the traditional treatment methods.
Stress management is also a complimentary technique for treating depression. Many who struggle with depression report feelings of being out of control, or of being unable to keep up with demands in life, which may have brought on the depression. There are some excellent lifestyle changes that the depression therapist Long Beach can coach you toward. By incorporating some of these into daily routines it can help in managing stress, which in turn leads to improved mood. These might include:
- Regular cardio exercise.
- Keeping a journal
- Adopting organizational methods
- Listening to soothing music
- Improving sleep quality
- Taking up a hobby
Partnering with a depression therapist Long Beach provides the psychological support needed to help overcome the symptoms of depression and improve the quality of life.
Anew Era Psychiatry Expert Depression Therapists Long Beach
Anew Era Psychiatry is a psychiatric group serving Orange County and south L.A. County. Our dedicated team of psychiatrists and psychologists provide the most effective methods for treating individuals who struggle with depression. Treating depression involves much more than handing a patient a prescription for an antidepressant. Depression treatment should be holistic, addressing all aspects of the person for the best treatment results. Be selective with who you trust your mental health and wellbeing to. Contact Anew Era Psychiatry today at (949) 577-6853.