Depression

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What is depression?

Depression is a mental health condition that entails persistent sadness, apathy, hopelessness, and/or lack of interest in life.  

Mild versions of these feelings are normal parts of day-to-day life. It’s common, and even healthy, to feel sad or hopeless in reaction to a difficult life event, the state of the world around you, or just to go through a period of time where things feel off.

But when these feelings become especially frequent, intense, or long-lasting, they can interfere with the daily life activities.

Prevalence of depression

The most commonly diagnosed form of depression, major depressive disorder, affects around 16 million adults in the United States each year. That’s roughly 6.7% of all the adults in the United States. Some sources estimate that up to 15% of the adult population worldwide will experience depression at some point in their lives.

The ADAA notes that women are more likely to suffer from depression than men.

If you’re struggling with depression, you may find it difficult to seek help. One survey from the NCHS indicates that only 29% of all individuals with depression reported contacting a mental health professional in the past year.

Symptoms of depression

The symptoms of depression can vary, and may sometimes seem to contradict each other. Some of the most common symptoms include:

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Different types of depression

Several different diagnoses fall under the umbrella of depression. The most common forms are:

What to do if you’re experiencing depression

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, you might consider the following courses of action:

Additionally, studies have revealed the benefits of getting enough sleep, performing routine exercise, and maintaining a well-balanced diet in managing depression.

What to look for in a therapist for depression

Prioritize an approach that appeals to you

Most therapists are equipped to treat depression, but their approaches will differ. Use some of the links below to learn more about treatment types for depression, or ask the therapist on your initial call what a typical session for depression with them looks like.

Know what questions to ask potential therapists

These questions may prove helpful when interviewing potential therapists:

Assess personal fit

While personality fit is a nuanced factor, it is critical to your success in therapy. Multiple studies have revealed the importance of this factor, often referred to as “therapeutic alliance.”

On your initial phone call with the therapist, ask yourself:

Additionally, consider these factors:

Consider cost, location, and scheduling

Therapy will only work if it works for you. Before making an appointment, ask yourself honestly:

Find therapists who specialize in depression near you

Find therapists who treat depression on Zencare, below. Search by insurance, fees, and location; watch therapist introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find the right therapist for you!

New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.