Depression Therapy in Louisville, KY

Are you feeling depressed and might need depression therapy?

  • Do you find it difficult to get up every morning?
  • Have you contemplated suicide or hurting yourself?
  • Do you feel like life is not worth living anymore?
  • Are you depressed more than 50 percent of the time?
  • Have your sleep patterns been disturbed as a result of feeling down?
  • Do you find that you have less energy than in the past?
  • Are you having trouble going out?
  • Has there been a sudden change in your relationships?
  • Do you find less pleasure in doing things that you used to enjoy?
  • Have your eating habits changed? Do you eat more or less than usual?
  • Are you feeling hopeless?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then a depression therapist in Louisville, KY can help. Read below to find out how we can help you with depression treatment.

What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)?

Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is very different from normal feelings of sadness that everyone experiences from time to time. Normal sadness is expected when human beings suffer through the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a major life change such as divorce or job loss.

However, if feelings of sadness are persistent, intense, and last for long periods of times, individuals may be struggling with a mood disorder known as MDD. This medical condition does not only affect mood and behavior but also things like sleep and appetite. According to the World Health Organization, 280 million people worldwide suffer from MDD.

While there isn’t necessarily a single cause of MDD, many factors can increase an individual’s risk of becoming clinically depressed. Some people are genetically predisposed to MDD and have more difficulty handling stress, both of which can change the chemistry in the brain. This may lead to a reduced ability to stabilize moods.

Hormonal imbalance, certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or cancer, specific types of medications, drug or alcohol use, and childhood abuse can also contribute to the development of clinical depression in individuals.

Typical symptoms of MDD include:

  • A significant change in functioning compared with past behavior
  • Depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in normal life activities
  • Five or more of the following symptoms must persist for at least a two-week period:
    • Feeling sad or irritable nearly every day for most of the time.
    • Being less interested in previously enjoyable activities.
    • Losing or gaining weight suddenly or an appetite change.
    • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping excessively.
    • Feeling restless.
    • Being very tired and lacking energy.
    • Experiencing feelings of being worthless or guilty after minor things.
    • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
    • Contemplating harming yourself or suicide.
  • Symptoms that teenagers often experience include:
    • Starting or increasing alcohol abuse or smoking.
    • Decreasing academic performance.
    • Difficulties with friends and classmates.
    • Increasing social isolation or withdrawal from activities.

What is Persistent Depressive Disorder?

Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is a chronic form of depression. Although it is not as serious as MDD, its long-term nature can make normal life activities difficult. Individuals suffering from persistent depressive disorder may be seen as a downer or compared with the Pooh character, Eeyore.

Individuals may feel hopeless, be unproductive, and experience low self-esteem for years, which can significantly interfere with relationships, school, work and other daily activities. They  may find it difficult to be happy during normally joyous occasions. The current mood of a person with dysthymia may be mild, moderate or severe and vary day-to-day. Symptoms do not go away for longer than two months at a time and can be bookended by MDD, which can lead to double depression.

Like MDD, persistent depressive disorder can result from a combination of biological, brain chemistry, genetic, and life events. Persistent depressive disorder frequently has its roots in childhood or teenage years, and risks increase if individuals:

  • Have a first-degree relative with depressive disorders
  • Experience traumatic life events
  • Carry negative personality traits like low self-esteem, dependency, or pessimism
  • Have a history of other mental health disorders

Depression Counseling CBT Grace Psychological Services Louisville KentuckyWhat is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and How It Can Help

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based depression therapy that modifies thought patterns to change both moods and behavior. Therapists teach patients balanced and constructive ways to handle stressful triggers, which will ideally help them to better cope or recover from depression.

Patients can take the skills they learn and use them as part of their daily life. For example, CBT helps individuals become more aware of negative patterns and learn to change thinking patterns during those moments of depression. CBT often suggests coping tools such as journaling or mindfulness as well.

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and How It Can Help

Originally developed with a focus on emotional regulation, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) teaches individuals how to regulate and tolerate mood as well as change ineffective behaviors to decrease crisis situations through individual and group therapy.  DBT is now considered a depression therapy backed by research. It is made up of four components that can play a role in depression treatment:

  • Mindfulness. Individuals learn how to live in the present moment, which helps them focus on the current situation alone. This can help people suffering with depression better control states of mind and regulate mood.
  • Distress Tolerance. By learning self-soothing techniques as well as how to use the body’s parasympathetic nervous system to reduce distress, patients can alleviate some of their symptoms. Distress tolerance also helps individuals avoid actions that can make the situation worse.
  • Emotion Regulation. These skills help patients better control emotions so they are not overwhelming. Besides learning to understand strong emotions and take control when possible, these skills also help patients accept emotions that cannot be controlled.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness. By learning how to better communicate with others while holding personal boundaries, individuals can improve interpersonal relationships, making them less likely to contribute to depression.

What is Psychodynamic Therapy and How It Can Help

Psychodynamic therapy is a type of depression counseling that helps individuals take into account unconscious elements from their past that can be affecting their present experience. It focuses on understanding how behavior and mood are affected by unresolved issues and unconscious feelings.

Individual psychodynamic therapy sessions are usually weekly and are more open-ended and based on free association with patients than CBT and DBT structured sessions.

Medication and Depression

Although a wide range of antidepressant medications are available today, they are not immediately prescribed in all situations. Our depression therapists take a much more personalized approach, evaluating each patient’s specific situation and creating an individual treatment plan. In some cases, that may include medications for a limited amount of time or a longer period if deemed necessary.

Treat Your Depression Today with the Help of a Therapist in Louisville, KY, and surrounding areas

If you’re ready to break free from the bonds of depression, the depression therapists at Grace Psychological Services offer evidence-based treatments that keep your depression under control. We stay up to date on the latest scientific research and treatments designed for depression and other mental health disorders.

At our practice, a therapist will assess your symptoms to determine if you have a depressive disorder and/or any other mental health concerns. Then, they will customize a treatment plan that will aid your specific type of depression while guiding you toward your goals. If you are looking for someone trained in CBT, DBT, or psychodynamic therapy, then Grace Psychological Services may be a good fit for you.

Most of our clients come to us after working tirelessly trying to treat their depression. They try to suppress their feelings, ignore them, distract themselves, or other methods. Unfortunately, those coping methods don’t typically work.

Our therapists provide you a safe place to discuss your depression and how it has influenced you, your work, and your relationships. You will learn new coping techniques that you can use daily, including ways to challenge your automatic negative thought patterns and instead focus on the present moment. You will also learn how to take decisive actions for a better and more relaxed future. Therapy is the time to examine your thoughts and feelings, take risks, and make steps toward a life controlled by you and not your depression.

To learn about our depression therapists who can help free you from constant feelings of sadness and hopelessness and help bring joy back into your life, then click here. Let us empower you and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to start learning the necessary skills to lead a more fulfilling, balanced, and peaceful life. We are available for face-to-face appointments in Louisville, KY and through virtual counseling using a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform.