According to the National Institute of Health, depression affects 17 million Americans each year. Having depression means disruption to your daily life as the condition alters how you think, feel and relate to others. If you suffer from this highly common condition, you probably wonder if it will ever end. Can therapy cure depression?
Thankfully, treatment significantly helps most people with depression. Although no treatment can permanently cure depression, therapy alone or with medications can provide the improvements you need for a better daily life. Talk therapy helps you understand your condition. From therapy, you also learn how to cope with symptoms and feel better.
Types of Depression
Depression is not a condition that quickly goes away on its own. In fact, being diagnosed with depression means you have had symptoms for a minimum of two weeks. Then, you may be diagnosed as having one of several types of depressive disorders.
Depressive disorders include:
- Major depressive disorder
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern - Also called seasonal affective disorder
- Major depression with peripartum onset - Also called postpartum depression
Each of these types of depression benefit from talk therapy, medications or a combination of both.
Can therapy cure depression?
It is important to understand that depression is a medical condition diagnosed by your doctor, not just a low mood. Treating this condition often includes taking prescribed antidepressants and going through a course of therapy. But some people see improvement of their symptoms just through talk therapy, alone.
Unfortunately, no one can cure depression. But you can use these methods to cope with symptoms and improve your quality of life. Over time, your coping skills can reduce how many bouts you suffer each year and even decrease how much your depression affects daily living.
Although therapy involves private sessions with a licensed therapist in which you talk about your thoughts and feelings, there are actually multiple types of therapy used for depression.
Types of therapy used for depression include:
- Individual counseling or talk therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Problem solving therapy
How Talk Therapy Helps
Talk therapy works very well in treatment of mild to moderate depression. It can also treat conditions that often accompany depressive disorder, such as anxiety. In discussing treatment options with your doctor, you may choose therapy before trying medication. But for severe depression, many people combine the two treatment methods.
Although many people think counseling and psychotherapy are the same thing, there are some differences between the two. Counseling is a short-term talk therapy option focusing on how you function and your behavior. Psychotherapy is a longer-term method than counseling that dives into deeper issues of your past and present that may relate to, or even cause, your depression. Which type your therapist uses often depends upon how long you have suffered your depression and the severity of your symptoms.
Counseling helps you understand how issues in your life affect you negatively. Your counselor listens to you as you talk, provides helpful feedback and helps you learn new methods for coping. Sometimes your therapist assigns homework as part of these sessions, such as journaling or tracking your feelings.
Many people with mild to moderate depression experience improvement in their symptoms through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Through CBT, your therapist helps you change negative thoughts and feelings that worsen your depression symptoms. CBT is a surprisingly short treatment option, taking only weeks to see major improvements. CBT is also proven to prevent or reduce future bouts of depression. In this way, it can almost cure depression for some people able to use the skills they have learned.
Seek Help for Your Depression
Although no one can cure depression, you can enjoy a happier and more fulfilling life with the help of talk therapy, CBT, psychotherapy or other methods. In just weeks, you can see a major improvement in how you feel each day and cope with your symptoms. Greene Psychology Group in Raleigh, NC offers in-person talk therapy and virtual sessions. We focus on treatment of individuals suffering depression, anxiety and other conditions. Schedule your first visit with us today by calling 919-205-5339.