Clinical depression is a serious mental illness that can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, or economic status. It can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, and a lack of interest in participating in activities.
These feelings can last for weeks, months, or even years, and people can be left feeling like they’re going through life walking in darkness – but it is actually due to clinical depression. Fortunately, there is effective treatment available that helps individuals control these symptoms and enjoy their life again.
Let’s discuss what clinical depression is, the symptoms associated with it, treatments that work, and where you can go in the Atlanta area to receive the highest-quality counseling for clinical depression.
What Is Clinical Depression?
Clinical depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder, is characterized by ongoing feelings of sadness and emptiness. When symptoms are particularly bad, it is known as a depressive episode.
Symptoms can include:
- Feeling down most of the time, and unable to “snap out of it”
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having trouble sleeping or eating
- Feeling tired all the time
- Having thoughts of suicide
Who Can Be Affected by Depression?
While it can occur at any age, clinical depression is most commonly seen in adults aged 18-25, and women are more likely to experience it than men. As of 2020, the National Institute of Mental Health – a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) – estimates that 21 million adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one significant depressive episode in their lives.
How Is Clinical Depression Treated?
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for clinical depression, but there are some methods that are frequently implemented to help keep the symptoms under control successfully. These include counseling and medication, and usually a combination of these works best.
Counseling can help you understand your disorder by receiving individualized feedback from a professional counselor. The counselor will also help you learn how to develop healthy coping mechanisms, so you can tamp down future depressive episodes.
During counseling sessions, your therapist may use helpful techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This method is designed to help you become aware of how your negative thoughts can influence how you view and handle challenging situations and also to help you develop coping mechanisms to respond to these situations in a positive and effective way.
Medication can also be used to manage your symptoms of clinical depression, and to help improve the effectiveness of counseling in a complementary way. It is thought that certain medications can help to correct brain chemistry that is disrupted in individuals experiencing depression. Medication must be prescribed by a psychiatric health professional, such as an advanced practice psychiatric nurse.
Professional Treatment for Clinical Depression in Atlanta
If you think that you or a loved one may have clinical depression, the first step is to seek help from a licensed professional counselor.
At Atlanta Specialized Care, our licensed professional counselors are here to help you every step of the way. We offer a variety of treatment options, such as one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and medication prescribed by our on-staff advanced practice psychiatric nurse.
You don’t have to continue enduring bouts of clinical depression. To make an appointment with us, call us today at (770) 815-6853, or request an appointment here via our simple online form. We look forward to helping you get back into life!