When Should You See A Professional For Depression? – An Article by A Berkeley Psychologist

Depression Therapy, Depression Counseling

For those who may fear they are experiencing depression, finding help from a trained professional can be beneficial. However, many are unsure of how to find help from a specialist, and others may hesitate if they believe that their depression symptoms don’t warrant professional help.

Far too many people wait too long to seek the help they need to treat their depression. Whether your feelings of depression have just emerged, or have been ongoing for some time, seeking help can be the first step toward true and lasting healing.

This article will break down how to know when it may be necessary to see a professional therapist for help treating depression. Whether you or someone you know is struggling with depression, knowing the steps to take to find help and healing can help save lives.

What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?

Depression can take various forms, and can appear across a spectrum of diagnosable types. The severity of depression can be consistent or varied depending on the type, however many of the symptoms are common across all kinds. Knowing the basic signs of depression and how to identify them can help you know when it may be time to see a professional psychologist in the Berkeley area for help.

At its core, depression is a mental illness that can potentially interfere with one’s ability to live and enjoy their lives. Not only can depression impact how you see yourself and your situation, but ongoing depression can lead to a deterioration of your physical, mental, and emotional health. This is why seeking the help of a psychologist Berkeley is so essential when you begin to notice the symptoms of depression appearing in your life or the life of a loved one.

While the symptoms of depression can vary in appearance and severity, there are several common signs that you will want to take note of should they appear suddenly, or continue for time without relenting:

  • A new and unusual sense of sadness
  • A depressed mood that lingers for longer than two weeks
  • New or continuing loss of interest or pleasure in everyday life and activities
  • A increase or decrease in appetite that remains over time
  • Rapid weight gain or loss that is unexpected
  • Inability to fall asleep or wanting to sleep too much
  • A sudden sense of increased fatigue and decreased energy to engage with individuals
  • An ongoing sense of shame, guilt, and hopeless
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks and finishing projects
  • Sudden or ongoing ruminating on death or contemplating suicide

Building a working understanding of the signs and symptoms of depression can help individuals suffering from depression know when they should seek help. If you are not feeling these symptoms but have begun to notice these symptoms in a loved one or friend, you may wish to step in and help offer aid in seeking the help of a psychologist Berkeley.

When Should You See A Licensed Therapist Berkeley For Depression?

Before you can begin meeting with a professional for help treating depression, you may need to take note of the signs that you need help. With depression having a variety of manifestations in symptoms, you may feel a certain way one day – only to feel a bit better the next. To help you know when to speak to a professional about your depression, take careful note of any of the following symptoms that occur consistently:

1. A Loss In Interest In Life’s Activities & Relationships
Those struggling with depression often struggle with sudden feelings of hopelessness that take the joy out of relationships and activities that once filled their days. If you begin to notice a lack of interest in activities or find that you are withdrawing from loved ones, you will want to meet with a professional to find help for your potential depression.

2. Ongoing Feelings Of Emptiness or Hopelessness
Not only will you begin to withdraw from parts of life that you once enjoyed, you may also find yourself struggling with intense feelings of hopelessness and sadness. These hallmark symptoms of depression can be detrimental to your physical and mental health and can quickly deteriorate over time. Also take note of any ongoing irritability and anger that cannot be easily explained by life circumstances.

3. Fluctuations In Your Weight & Appetite
Depression will often manifest in sudden fluctuations of your appetite and weight. If you are not currently dieting and find that your appetite swings wildly, or you lose interest in eating, you may be suffering from symptoms common with depression. While some changes are normal with different seasons of life, unexplained weight changes and appetite differences can be a sign of depression.

4. Struggles With Sleep
Similar to weight and appetite changes, depression can also disrupt your sleep. Some experiencing depression can find it hard to fall asleep as their mind ruminates on depressive thoughts. Others lack the energy to stay awake, and find themselves desiring to stay in bed more than normal.

5. A Lack Of Energy
Mental health has a direct connection to your physical health. If you are suffering from depression, you will often find that you lack the energy to continue engaging with life. Feeling overtired and struggling to focus can accompany depression and often leads to other negative impacts on life.

This lack of energy may find you struggling to maintain your work and home demands. You can also find it hard to engage with your loved ones and children, as your lack of energy saps you of any motivation and interest in relationships.

While not exhaustive, this list can give you a starting point for when it may be necessary to speak with a professional about your depression. If you or someone you love has begun to show one or more of these symptoms of depression that is interfering with their ability to live a thriving life, it may be necessary to speak with a professional to find help.

How Can I Help Someone Else Connect With a Psychologist?

Not only is struggling with depression difficult, but helping someone else who is suffering find hope to move forward can be hard. However, when it comes to depression there is incredible power in companionship and support. This means that when you notice a friend or loved one struggling with depression, you may be one of their best hopes for finding hope and help.

Those suffering from the symptoms of depression may find it difficult to take the steps necessary to get help from a professional. With the right support and prompting, you can help someone take the first steps toward recovery.

Suggest that they visit their primary care physician or healthcare provider for a checkup.

Often, the thought of meeting with a therapist or counselor can be met with hostility. However, someone struggling with depression may be more likely to speak with a professional for depression treatment if they are referred by their healthcare provider.

Offer to join them for their first appointment.

There is power in numbers. By offering to join someone for their first therapy appointment, you can take away some of the fearful unknown and give them the strength they need to attend their first visit. Once they feel comfortable, they will be more likely to continue their therapy on their own.

Discuss their symptoms with them.

A listening ear is often more valuable than a helping hand. Take the time early on to sit down in a safe and comfortable place, and allow your friend or loved one to discuss their symptoms of depression with you. There is a greater chance that they will be willing to meet with a professional for depression if they have already opened up to someone they trust about their struggles.

Set reasonable expectations for treatment.

Nobody journeys through depression the same. As you help your loved one work through their process to meet with a professional, set realistic expectations for yourself and your loved one. Their progress may move at various speeds and you may see varying results along the way. Take your time and allow them to work through their experience at their own pace.

Encourage engagement and help where possible.

Along the way, ask your friend or loved one how their treatment is going. They may be willing to discuss how they are working through their depression and also mention any assignments they are completing along the way. Don’t be afraid to jump in and offer encouragement as they open up to you about their experience, and encourage them to step out and engage with others and activities they once loved.

By taking the time to invest in the life of your friend or loved one experiencing depression, you can offer a lifeline during a difficult time. If you begin to notice someone struggling to the point of contemplating death or suicide, it is essential that you act on their behalf to contact a healthcare professional.

What To Expect When Meeting With A Professional For Depression

When you meet with a professional psychologist in Berkeley for help with depression, you may feel uncertain about what to expect. For many, the thought of opening up to a counselor or therapist about their struggles can be overwhelming. However, with a bit of preparation you can prepare yourself for what to expect, and quickly experience the benefits of speaking with a professional about depression.

In most sessions, your therapist will sit down with you to get to know you. Without expectations, your therapist will spend time hearing from you and your personal experience with depression. They may ask you various questions about your experiences with depression, as well as ask about the struggles you are facing each day. The more clear and concise you can be with your therapist about your depression, the better able they will be to help create a treatment plan.

Your therapist will not be the only one with the opportunity to ask questions. In most cases, you will have the chance to ask them various questions that you may have. If you don’t know of the types of questions that you could potentially ask, consider the following:

  • What approach do you use to treat depression?
  • Do you treat all kinds of depression, or are you experienced in a particular type
  • What expectations do you have of me throughout the therapy process?
  • Will you ask me to complete any assignments or homework between meetings?
  • How often will we meet, and will we always meet in person?
  • Do you collaborate with doctors during the process of treatment?
  • How much do you charge for therapy sessions?
  • Do you have a policy for missed or canceled therapy sessions?

With the right set of questions in hand, you can enter your professional therapy session with confidence. Your therapist will be able to answer most or all of your questions and help guide you through the process of developing a plan for your treatment.

Speak With A Professional Psychologist In Berkeley Today

Are you interested in learning how you can meet with a trained and experienced therapist for depression? Contact your local depression psychologist Berkeley to learn how a professional can help you find hope and healing.

At my practice, I utilize leading therapy treatment methods that can help those suffering from depression to find the hope and healing they need to get back to their fulfilling lives. Treatment that moves at a patient’s unique speed and is tailored to their circumstances, working with a professional for depression can be a key way to heal.

Working with a professional to treat depression can help those suffering treat their symptoms and work through the underlying issues that may be related to or leading to their depression. Together, we will find the best methods that fit your circumstances and needs and encourage you and your loved ones to come together to find healing from depression.

Want to learn more? Contact me today to learn how a psychologist Berkeley can equip you to find hope from depression. You are not alone. Call me today to set up an initial consultation conversation where we can start the process.

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