Depression Therapist Philadelphia
Rediscover Joy and Reclaim Your Life with Depression Therapy at The Therapy Gal—your trusted partner for personalized healing and growth.
How do I know if I need depression therapy?
Are you the type of person who used to love going out with friends but lately you find yourself declining invites to stay home by yourself?
Maybe your sleep schedule is all out of whack because you can’t help but stay up late watching netflix.
Does negative self-talk ever sneak up on you and suddenly you think to yourself, “Ugh I wish I wasn’t such a burden to the people I love…”
You might be one of the 21 million adults in the United States that have had at least one major depressive episode. Depression affects children, teens and adults for a variety of reasons. Let’s go over some of the potential triggers to look out for as well as how depression might be affecting your ability to live life to the fullest.
Where does depression come from?
Depression is a complex and multifactorial disorder. Basically, that means the cause isn’t always clear which makes it difficult to understand.
Biology – Biologically, depression is associated with a neurotransmitter (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) imbalance. These neurotransmitters are the chemicals in the brain that regulate mood, emotions and behaviors so it makes sense that an imbalance can be detrimental to our overall well being.
Genetics – While there is no known gene that causes depression, genetics are believed to play a major role in the development of depression as the diagnosis is known to run in families. Research shows that genetic variations may play a part in altering the way certain chemicals in our brain (like the ones noted above) are regulated.
Environmental – Things like stress, trauma, negative life events, and lifestyle habits are all potential contributors to the development of depression. It is vital to address and manage these factors as best as we can to treat and prevent depression.
Psychological Factors – It’s not uncommon for people suffering from depression to engage in things like negative thought patterns. Using therapeutic tools like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) are a great way to help develop new coping strategies and develop healthier thought patterns.
How does depression affect you? Maybe a therapist for depression can help!
Depression is a mood disorder that can manifest at any stage of life, although it’s more prevalent during adulthood. It’s possible that you’ve encountered common symptoms of depression, such as irritability, fatigue, or feelings of laziness, and brushed them aside as temporary.
Depression is a tricky condition because it can mask itself as negative traits, causing us to believe we’re simply irritable or lazy, rather than delving inward to identify the root cause. Depression is much more than feeling down or having a rough day or week. It can rob you of your ability to control various aspects of your life, adversely affect your nervous system and stress levels, and disrupt your thoughts, body, emotions, and social interactions.
The symptoms of depression can become so debilitating that even routine tasks may seem impossible to accomplish.
Is depression impacting your health?
Physical symptoms of depression often occur as a result of hormone and neurotransmitter levels changing. These symptoms can get in the way of our daily activities, lead us to being recluse, and are difficult to manage. Here are some of the common physical symptoms of depression:
- Fatigue: feeling tired or exhausted, often as a result of the trauma or its aftermath.
- Changes in sleep patterns: experiencing disruptions to normal sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, nightmares, or waking up frequently during the night.
- Changes in appetite: experiencing changes in appetite, such as a decrease or increase in appetite, as a result of the trauma or its aftermath.
- Physical pain: experiencing physical pain or discomfort, which may be related to the trauma or may be a result of stress and anxiety.
- Restlessness: feeling unable to relax or sit still, often as a result of anxiety or hyperarousal.
- Gastrointestinal problems: experiencing digestive issues, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, which may be related to stress or anxiety.
Depression and the brain
Depression not only affects our physical health but also our cognitive abilities. When we experience depression, the activity in our hippocampus decreases. Ultimately this leads to negative emotions and the inability to cognitively process them.
The cognitive symptoms of depression can have a significant impact on our daily lives. Here are some common cognitive symptoms of depression:
- Executive dysfunction: experiencing difficulties with planning, decision-making, and organizing tasks, which can be a result of the trauma or its aftermath.
- Impaired learning and memory: experiencing difficulties with learning and remembering new information, as well as recalling information from the past.
- Reduced attention and concentration: experiencing difficulties with staying focused and maintaining attention, which can be a result of the trauma or its aftermath.
- Impaired processing speed: experiencing difficulties with processing information quickly, which can affect performance on tasks that require quick thinking and responding.
- Suicidal ideation: having thoughts of harming oneself, such as thinking about suicide or engaging in self-harming behaviors, which can be a result of the trauma or its aftermath.
Depression emotions: How do they surface?
Depression can grip our emotional state, bringing forth feelings of guilt or worthlessness. These emotions can make even the simplest of tasks, such as getting off the couch, feel insurmountable.
Here are some common emotional symptoms of depression:
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Continuous low mood
- Feeling disinterested in most things
Find a Depression Therapist in Philadelphia, PA, NJ, or Online
Depression often triggers behaviors and decisions that make symptoms worse, turning into a dangerous cycle. Therapy for depression offers a potential solution for you to break out of that cycle. The depression therapists at The Therapy Gal use various types of modalities to help treat depression.
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps us identify your negative cognitive patterns. Once identified, we’re able to help you work on ways to change them into adaptive coping skills.
SFT or Solution Focused Therapy, helps us by focusing on shifting your mindset from what is going wrong in your life, to what is going right. After that, we can focus on solutions for the part that is going wrong!
The depression specialists at The Therapy Gal are here to help!
We recognize that there can be numerous reasons for your depression to have started, and we always make understanding that our priority. Our trained therapists ask you questions about past trauma experience, chronic stress or any recent life changes. We make sure to note if you have undergone any drastic modifications to your diet or medications, or if you or any of your family members have experienced depression in the past.
We know how hard it is to open up about depression, and we don’t take that lightly. Our trained therapists make sure to ask effective, thought-out questions that you may not have thought of before.
They will use psychoeducation in order to explain and normalize the symptoms that you might be feeling from depression and work with you to understand and process the core issues causing your depression.
Our goal is to help you to feel empowered as you step out and reconnect with joy, and find healthier coping mechanisms to move forward with. Experiencing a whole new baseline of mood will feel fulfilling and calming, and you’ll have confidence in yourself to continue healing and feeling good.
Frequently Asked Questions about Therapy for Depression
How quickly will my depression treatment start to work?
In our experience, it depends on your commitment to healing. If you put effort in therapy as well as outside of therapy, you will notice changes occurring rather quickly. You might find yourself overcoming depression, and realizing there might be something else you want to work on as well. Overall, it depends what your preferences are and your commitment to the therapeutic process!
What if I’m not the one who needs therapy for depression?
Wow, the fact that you’re here reading this already tells us you are taking action to help your loved one. If you suspect your partner, child, family member or friend is struggling with depression, the first thing we recommend is to notice the signs. Try talking to them about seeking help from a mental health professional, and check in on them throughout the process. If your loved one makes comments about self-harm or suicide, contact their therapist or primary care physician. For any immediate emergency, dial 911 and take them to the hospital or emergency room right away.
I want to try therapy for depression, but it hasn’t worked for me in the past.
This is actually pretty common. It could be that the depression therapist(s) you’ve worked with before were not the best fit for you. We’re all unique and one size does not fit all for the treatment of depression. For therapy for depression to be successful, it’s important for you to feel connected and build trust with your therapist. The depression therapists at The Therapy Gal recognize how important it is, and we make sure to always check in with your comfort levels.
How is depression typically diagnosed, and what assessments or tests might I need to undergo?
Depression is typically diagnosed through clinical evaluations by a therapist or doctor. Your depression therapist will go through your symptoms, family history, medical history, and ask you if you are diagnosed with any other mental health conditions. They might have you fill out a standardized diagnostic tool called Beck Depression Scale to understand the severity of your depression. Your doctor might order blood tests or require other tests to rule other underlying medical conditions.
Are there any medications that can help me manage my depression, and what are the potential side effects?
While therapists are informed about the potential side effects of medications, we do not give any medical advice to our clients. This is why it’s very important for us to be in contact with your physician in case you are taking medication for depression.
Will therapy cure my depression, or is it something I will always struggle with to some extent?
Depression can be cured, and you can start feeling better with the help of therapy and/or medication! While some individuals experience full remission from their symptoms, others might continue to have occasional symptoms. It’s crucial to remember that recovery from depression is a journey and requires work.
How can I support a loved one who is struggling with depression, and what should I avoid saying or doing to make their condition worse?
The fact that you’re asking is already a great first step! Try listening to them without judgment when they express how they feel. Encourage them to seek help and be patient with them. Try not to take it personally if you are not seeing them get better, or if they get frustrated with you. Don’t minimize their feelings, or blame and criticize them. Their condition is not a choice!
Do you have depression therapists in Philadelphia?
Yes! Our office is located in center city at 255 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Do you have depression therapists in NJ?
Yes! We have depression therapists in New Jersey that can see you online.
Do you offer therapy for depression online?
Yes! We offer online depression therapy as long as you live in PA, CO, or NJ.