Where to Get Help For Depression
I’m so glad you’re reading this blog post today, because many people with depression symptoms simply don’t get help for depression. Sometimes they feel embarrassed and wonder if it’s really a weakness on their part, and sometimes people think help for depression may not change things for them. But in reality, not only are there many effective treatment options for depression, there are also different types of depressions and causes of depression. So you see, it’s definitely not “one size fits all”.
Treatment for Depression
Treatment for depression generally falls in one of three categories: psychotherapy for depression (or “talk therapy”), medication, or a combination of psychotherapy and medication for depression. All of these approaches can be effective depending on the type of depression you have, but I would caution against a “medication alone” approach. That’s because, in spite of the pharmaceutical company ads that imply otherwise, science has actually not been able to prove a biological cause for depression. Depression certainly has what we call “biological correlates” which means there are biological or physical factors that are involved in the process of depression (for example, hormones and neurotransmitters), but we can not say for sure that they are the cause of depression. So, a “medication alone” approach can certainly help you feel better in the short-term (for some people medication works great, for some people it doesn’t seem to work well), but in the long run it will not treat the underlying cause of your depression.
Psychotherapy, on the other hand, seeks to identify and treat the underlying cause of depression. For some people, depression is the result of a life-long style of negative thinking, in which case Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would be a good treatment choice. Another person might have developed depression after being raped for example. In this case, Narrative Therapy for Trauma might be more effective in helping the depression symptoms diminish.
What Kind of Depression Treatment Do You Need?
That is a great question, and if a therapist gives you an answer without thoroughly evaluating you and your particular situation, run the other way! In my experience, it is very difficult for patients to know what kind of treatment they need (or even what type of depression they have). Plus, there are so many psychotherapy treatment approaches now (just look at this list from GoodTherapy.org!), how can you know what’s going to work for you?! That’s why it’s so important that you choose a psychotherapist that you feel you can trust, and that is trained and experienced in several counseling treatment approaches. Then, after some period of time working with that therapist, you should begin to feel better, so you will know something is working! Now, this won’t take just 2 or 3 visits, but it certainly shouldn’t take 2 or 3 years either.
Where to Get Help for Depression
Interestingly, most people get help for depression from someone who has no in-depth training at all in treating depression: their primary care doctor. Now, I love my family doctor and think she’s a brilliant physician. I refer patients to her all the time. But she’d be the first to tell you that understanding and treating depression is simply not part of medical training. Plus, the only thing an internal medicine or family doctor can offer is medication, and what’s more, they also have very little in-depth training in the management of psychiatric medications, so to some extent they’re guessing at which medication will help you.
You could see a psychiatrist, and that may be a pretty good option because psychiatrists are specialists in mental health and in managing psychiatric medications. However, most of the time when you see a psychiatrist, you will get medication because most psychiatrists have stop practicing psychotherapy and treat only with medication.
Another option is to see a psychotherapist first who can give you an evaluation, begin psychotherapy treatment with you, and refer you to a psychiatrist if you need medication. Some psychotherapists are opposed to the use medication for depression. Good people can disagree on this topic, but my personal preference is a therapist who doesn’t not take a hard stance on that, and is able to explore whichever option will be most helpful to the patient.
You could also get help for depression from a community mental health center which typically offers a range of services including psychiatrists and psychotherapists. This can be a really good option for people who don’t have insurance or the ability to pay for services. However, most of my clients prefer the privacy and comfort of a private practice office.
Help for Depression – Plantation FL
Dr. Gagnon offers help for depression (depression therapy) in her Plantation FL office. Dr. Gagnon’s Plantation FL Counseling Office is located just minutes away from Weston, Davie, Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Cooper City, Tamarac, Hollywood, and Dania Beach.
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Dr. Chantal Gagnon
Dr. Chantal Marie Gagnon, Ph.D., LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, relationship counselor, and life coach in Plantation, Florida. Dr. Gagnon provides individual therapy, family counseling services, and couples therapy in her Plantation, FL office. Coaching services are available nationwide.
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