Do you sit awake at night fretting about what might go wrong? Perhaps you have worrisome thoughts you can’t turn off. Maybe it’s hard to leave the house without a pep talk. For you, crowded places like the grocery store might sometimes seem too bright or small.

Are you feeling hopeless, unmotivated, sad, or find yourself crying for no obvious reason? Do you feel like you no longer have control? If so, you might be experiencing depression or an anxiety disorder and might be ready to see a therapist. The good news is that you aren’t alone and there’s plenty of help to get you feeling back to your best self.

The truth is that times are tough for everyone right now. In the face of a global pandemic, many people are struggling with their mental health. Whether you’ve ever had any type of depression before, it’s not unusual that you might need help now. If you haven’t been feeling like yourself, have lost interest in the things you once enjoyed, or are struggling with turning off racing thoughts, it might be time to reach out to a therapist through

What is depression?

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Depression is more than a bad day, feeling sad over a breakup, or even being deflated over a specific circumstance. Some types of sadness or disappointment are perfectly appropriate reactions to a situation and will pass naturally in time. Depression is different. It’s a serious, real time, and often scary medical condition that’s more common than you might think. In fact, one in 14 adults experience clinical depression in their lifetime. The great news is that depression is easily treated and entirely curable, too.

Depression can cause changes in appetite, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and make it hard to concentrate or even sit still. It can cause you to think about suicide or fantasize about death. Risk factors for depression in the United States include genetics, life changes or traumas, and illness or medication. Depression can include physical symptoms like headaches, hair loss, pain, fatigue, and stomach issues.

How can therapy help?

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Therapy for people with major depression or symptoms of major depression can include a combination of talk therapy called psychotherapy and medications or just one or the other. Therapists use different types of therapy to help people work through their depression. Evidence based therapies can include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is more structured, and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). Therapists can teach you ways to manage symptoms of depression, skills for handling anxiety, and ways to take care of yourself to make things feel easier.

Some therapists take what’s called a narrative approach in which they help you to examine your life story and find ways to help you reach closure or a better outcome. Other therapists will work with you to give you weekly tasks or assignments to complete that will give you skills to control racing thoughts, take healthy chances, or reconnect with loved ones. They’ll help you to identify your natural support systems and find ways to lean on the people you love and trust most when times are difficult.

Because depression can lead to bad habits, therapists will help you end cycles or patterns that aren’t healthy for you to get you back on track. With the help of therapy, you will feel more understood, gain new healthy skills and habits, and feel less alone and reconnected with your future.

What about medications?

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Therapists don’t prescribe medications. Psychiatrists, general practitioners and medical doctors can write prescriptions for people with mental health disorders. However, they can work with your therapist to help you find a good medication for you. If you choose to get on medications in conjunction with talk therapy with a licensed therapist, be sure to ask about an RX discount that will help you afford your medications.

If you do have medications for depression, consider going up to the pharmacy counter at a place like Walgreens and asking a participating pharmacy for the best deal on any medication you’re taking. Or, make that call ahead. All you’ll need is the drug name and information on any insurance companies or assistance programs you’re working with. This can help reduce out-of-pocket costs tremendously and lower your overall stress. Regardless of whether you’re on Medicare, Medicaid, or have to cover your own prescription costs and copay, an RX coupon program could help.

At the end of the day, your mental health matters. Reaching out for a consultation and wanting to feel better are both great first steps towards feeling happier and less anxious again. You are never alone if you’re willing to pick up the phone. If you or someone is struggling, please reach out to a professional.

By Punit