Depression Therapy in NYC

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness, emptiness, and loss of interest in everyday life. It can significantly impact work, family, relationships, and lead to social isolation and feelings of hopelessness.  Untreated depression, in some cases, can lead to self-harm and suicidal tendencies. 

The good news is that depression is a very treatable condition. It’s important that those affected seek treatment before symptoms become severe. Awareness is an important step of the process, as there are cases where a person may not realize they are clinically depressed.

Young woman looking very upset as she sits on a train, looking out of the window. She is holding her phone in her hand up to her mouth.

Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder

Low moods that significantly interfere with a person’s life for a period of two weeks or more, also known as clinical depression

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Mild to moderate depression that continues for two or more years

Postpartum Depression

A period of depression mothers can experience after giving birth, often caused by hormonal changes, stress, and lack of sleep

Seasonal Affective Disorder (Seasonal Depression)

A depression some experience in late fall and winter due to lack of sunlight

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

An instability of emotions characterized by extreme swings of emotional highs and lows

Psychotic Depression

Consists of symptoms of depression as well as symptoms of psychosis including hallucinations, paranoia, or delusions

therapy for depression

Depression Symptoms

Depression can manifest in many ways, with numerous symptoms that include:

  • Sadness or depressed mood  
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless 
  • Low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness 
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions  
  • Loss of interest in activities that are usually enjoyable 
  • Lack of energy, feeling fatigued or slowed down
  • Small tasks feel difficult to accomplish
  • Insomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Reduced appetite or overeating
  • Irritability and anger

Types of Therapy for Depression

There are several effective types of therapy for depression. If symptoms are impacting your daily life, it may be time to consider a treatment plan.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to help clients change unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors and to improve their mood and outlook. CBT is widely recognized as an effective evidenced-based treatment for depression supported by many research studies.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for depression is an action-based therapy that utilizes mindfulness and other techniques to help people manage their reactions to upsetting thoughts and feelings in healthier ways. Once ACT skills are mastered, people learn they don’t have to allow upsetting emotions control their actions and behaviors. As a result, they can live in ways consistent with their true values in life. Research supports ACT as an effective treatment for depression.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) focuses on a person’s interpersonal relationships and how it relates to their depression. Depression can arise from the avoidance of relationships (social isolation), being in a dysfunctional relationship, or grieving the loss of a loved one. The goal of IP is to improve a person’s interpersonal relationships and assist in healing from loss.

PE Therapy 4

What Causes Depression?

Common Risk Factors

Some factors leave an individual more predisposed to experiencing depression, such as:

  • Family history: Depression is heavily influenced by genetics. Stanford Medicine estimates the likelihood of a child inheriting their parent’s depression is 40–50%. Of course, other factors could contribute to intergenerational depression, such as poverty and trauma.
  • Neurodivergence: Individuals with different processing conditions, such as ADHD and autism, are more likely to experience depression as a result of isolation and lack of support. Those with autism are estimated to have a four times higher likelihood of developing depression during their lifetime and are nine times more likely to consider suicide.
  • History of trauma and addiction: Past or present trauma can contribute to depression and addiction is often a coping mechanism to try and escape negative emotions.

Common Triggers

The causes of depression can come in many forms. Various life events can trigger depression, including:

  • Relationship and job loss: The loss of something incredibly significant in one’s life brings intense emotions that can escalate into a depressive episode. These are very common causes of depression. 
  • Grief: The death of close friends, family members, or a significant other is one of life’s hardest misfortunes to endure. Many individuals find that life starts to feel empty without their loved one. 
  • Financial issues: Being in debt, financial devastation from a divorce, losing steady employment, or other forms of financial hardship are very stressful and can lead to depression.
  • Illness: Whether the illness is affecting the depressed person or their loved one, chronic pain and terminal illnesses are difficult to cope with and can cause feelings of depression and hopelessness.

Examples of Depression

Depression can be hard to detect in some cases, as many individuals put great effort into hiding their struggles. The following are examples of a person who is dealing with depressive symptoms and may need to seek therapy:

  • A person is unable to keep up with their household tasks and struggles to shower and brush their teeth. 
  • A person avoids their friends or family, refusing to answer messages.
  • A person has difficulty thinking about the future because they feel hopeless that things can get better. They have lost passion for life and shrug when asked about plans and dreams.

When to Seek Help

It may be time to seek therapy for depression or look into depression treatment if:

  • You have feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
  • You struggle to work, maintain friendships and relationships, parent, or engage in daily activities.
  • It is difficult for you to find enjoyment, and you don’t feel like an active participant in your own life.
  • You feel as though you are not capable of achieving change on your own.
  • Benefits of Depression Therapy

    Therapy for depression has many benefits such as the following:

    • Therapy can help you understand how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors relate to your depression. The therapist can help you diffuse cognitive distortions and engage in healthy behaviors to have a positive effect on how you view yourself and the world around you. 
    • Having regular therapy sessions reduces the likelihood of depression becoming worse and needing a higher level of care.
    • Depression therapy can teach a person self-compassion and how to be more gentle toward themselves rather than listening to their inner critic.
    Benefits of therapy

    Feel Better with BHNY

    If depression is affecting your life, our clinicians are here to help.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I Have Depression?

    There is no singular definitive test for depression, but if you’re experiencing major depressive symptoms, you should seek an evaluation by a psychologist.

    How Common Is Depression?

    Depression is quite common, with up to 10% of the adult population in the United States being affected. While it can be an isolating experience dealing with depression, it is important that those struggling know they are not alone.

    Can Depression Cause Physical Symptoms?

    Yes. Depression can cause physical symptoms such as body aches, headaches, and chronic fatigue.