At Symmetry Counseling, we understand the profound impact that depression and bipolar disorder can have on an individual's life. These mental health challenges can significantly affect mood, energy levels, and overall well-being, making it difficult to lead a fulfilling life. However, you don't have to face these struggles alone. Our compassionate counselors specialize in providing support and guidance to individuals dealing with depression and bipolar disorder. Below, we will delve into the critical aspects of our approach to addressing depression and bipolar, offering a path toward emotional wellness and healing. Learn more and get in touch with our team of online counselors to find counseling for depression and bipolar today!

Understanding Depression and Its Effects

Depression is a mood disorder that goes beyond feeling sad. It can lead to persistent feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and even thoughts of self-harm. Our counselors work closely with individuals experiencing depression, providing a safe and non-judgmental space for them to express their emotions and explore the underlying causes of their distress.

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What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressive disorder is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.

There are times you may feel sad, lonely, or hopeless for a few days. But major depression — clinical depression — is disabling. It can prevent you from functioning normally. An episode of clinical depression may occur only once in a person’s lifetime. More often, though, it recurs throughout a person’s life.

In addition, with major depression, one of the symptoms must be either depressed mood or loss of interest. The symptoms should be present daily or for most of the day or nearly daily for at least two weeks. Also, the depressive symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning. The symptoms cannot be due to the direct effects of a substance — drug abuse, medications, a medical condition, or within two months of the loss of a loved one.

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, contact Symmetry Counseling today to learn about our depression counseling and treatment options.

What Is Chronic Depression or Dysthymia?

Chronic depression, or dysthymia, is characterized by a long-term (two years or more) depressed mood. Chronic depression is less severe than major depression and typically does not disable the person. If you have dysthymia or chronic depression, you may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during your lifetime.

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Causes of Depression

Have you ever wondered what causes clinical depression? Perhaps you have been diagnosed with major depression, and that’s made you question why some people get depressed while others don’t.

Depression is an extremely complex disease. It occurs for a variety of reasons. Some people experience depression during a serious medical illness. Others may have depression with life changes such as a move or the death of a loved one. Still others have a family history of depression. Those who do may experience depression and feel overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness for no known reason.

What Are the Main Causes of Depression?

There are a number of factors that may increase the chance of depression, including the following:

  • Abuse: Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can cause depression later in life.
  • Certain medications: For example, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure can increase your risk of depression.
  • Conflict: Depression may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.
  • Death or a loss: Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one, though natural, can also increase the risk of depression.
  • Genetics: A family history of depression may increase the risk. It’s thought that depression is passed genetically from one generation to the next. The exact way this happens, though, is not known.
  • Major events: Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting married can lead to depression. So can moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or retiring.
  • Other personal problems: Problems such as social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of a family or social group can lead to depression.
  • Serious illnesses: Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or is a reaction to the illness.
  • Substance abuse: Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.

How Is Seasonal Depression (SAD) Different From Other Types of Depression?

Seasonal depression, often called seasonal affective disorder or SAD, is a form of depression that occurs each year at the same time. It usually starts in the fall or winter and ends in spring or early summer. It is more than just “the winter blues” or “cabin fever.”

A rare form of SAD, known as “summer depression,” begins in late spring or early summer and ends in fall.

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What Is Bipolar Depression or Manic Depression

Bipolar disorder – sometimes referred to as manic depression — is a complex mood disorder that alternates between periods of clinical depression and times of extreme elation or mania. There are two subtypes of bipolar disorder: bipolar I and bipolar II.

With bipolar I disorder, patients have a history of at least one manic episode with or without major depressive episodes.

With bipolar II disorder, patients have a history of at least one episode of major depression and at least one hypomanic (mildly elated) episode.

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Navigating Bipolar Disorder's Highs and Lows

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings, including episodes of depression and periods of mania or hypomania. These mood shifts can be disruptive to daily life and relationships. Our specialized counseling services for bipolar disorder aim to help individuals manage these highs and lows, develop coping strategies, and maintain stability in their emotional well-being.

Signs of Depression and Bipolar

Some of the common signs of depression and bipolar disorder may include changes in sleep or appetite, feelings of sadness or guilt, difficulty focusing or making decisions, irritability or anger outbursts, low energy levels, suicidal thoughts, racing thoughts during manic episodes, and restlessness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

Tailored Treatment Plans

We recognize that each individual's experience with depression and bipolar disorder is unique. Our counselors create customized treatment plans that address the specific needs and challenges of each client. Through evidence-based therapies, medication management when appropriate, and psychoeducation, we empower individuals to gain insights into their conditions and equip them with the tools to cope with the emotional complexities they face.

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Trust Our Compassionate Team

Depression and bipolar disorder can be challenging to navigate, but you don't have to face them alone. At Symmetry Counseling, our dedicated team of counselors is here to support you on your journey to emotional wellness and healing. By understanding the complexities of depression and bipolar disorder, creating tailored treatment plans, and promoting self-care and support systems, we strive to empower individuals to reclaim control of their lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or bipolar disorder, don't hesitate to reach out to one of our online therapists today!