Each person’s experience with depression is different, and there is no template for understanding why some people experience more severe difficulties than others. In Australia, depression is the leading cause of disability, and more young people are struggling than ever before. Those suffering from depression can feel reduced interest in previously pleasurable activities, sad moods, and physical symptoms such as loss of appetite or sleep disturbance. Depression can interfere with relationships, family, work, and academic performance. Self-harm and suicidal thoughts can also be a part of depression.
Does Therapy Work for Treating Depression? First off, it is worth knowing that over fifty years of research has found that the average person engaged in therapy services is better off than 80% of those who have not. These benefits exist regardless of the type of treatment provided, although traditional evidence-based treatments for depression are Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Behavioural Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). The effectiveness of these treatments has more to do with how they fit with you than how effective they are by themselves. Like we always say, you are the most important person in the room and its the clinicians job to make our services fit with you!
How do I know if therapy is working? There are a few indicators that suggest you are moving in the right direction. First is hope and belief in the therapist and your work together. During your first contact with a therapist, you should ask yourself if you believe this will be helpful. If you do, that is a great start. Secondly, take note of change occurring early on in therapy. Research suggests that 30% of clients improve by the second session, 60%-65% by the seventh, 70%-75% by six months, and 85% at one year. Once again, therapy works!
There is no evidence supporting claims that you must get worse before you get better. The final aspect has to do with your connection to the therapist. You should feel that you and your therapist have a strong relational bond, agreement on the purpose of your visits, and agreement on how you will both work together to achieve your goals.
Should I take medication? While some people benefit from antidepressants not all do. For children and adolescents, it is not recommended to try antidepressants before trying therapy. If you and your doctor feel that medication is the right choice, be sure to ask about potential side effects, what you should do if you do not see improvement, and whether or not you should be consulting with a therapist as part of your treatment. As your social worker, I will support your decision to pursue medication or not.
Get in contact If you are feeling depressed, you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0477161768 to schedule a 15 or 30-minute consultation. During this time, I will discuss my approach with you and let you know how we will monitor your progress. Remember that the most important thing for you is utilising a treatment that fits with your goals and values.
Points to Remember -Depression affects life at home, school, work, and physical health -Therapy is very effective for treating depression -Believing in the treatment you are provided is important -In therapy, you should experience relief sooner rather than later -A good relationship with your therapist is a good indication of future success -Although medication can work, be sure to ask your doctor about side effects and warning signs