How do we separate having a bad day from clinical depression? Sometimes that's difficult to do. If a loved one dies, we understandably have bad days, often many weeks of bad days. Or if we are out of work, go through a divorce, even retirement can spark clinical depression.
Any traumatic events can lead to bad days. Suddenly, or not so suddenly, a string of bad days get so bad, we cannot function in day to day living. We feel awful. We feel like dying could not be nearly as bad as living. We have a real problem just getting out of bed in the morning or sleeping at night. And it never seems to end. We may begin self medicating with alcohol or drugs, but they only make us feel better for hours and then the sad feelings are back.
Our friends, family and colleagues ask us if we are OK. We may well be suffering from clinical depression. It's time to look for a therapist who can help us get back to our life loving self. She will begin depression therapy with us.
Depression therapy is often treated with the short term help of anti depressant drugs like Zoloft or Celexa. There are dozens of them and only an MD can prescribe them. So your therapy may begin with a visit to a psychiatrist or other medical doctor to get a prescription before you can begin talk therapy. Sometimes the medication is enough and your depression will begin to lift in a couple of weeks. One important thing medications can do is help lift your depression so you can concentrate on working with your therapist.
Talk therapy done by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker may often accompany your prescription drug therapy. Choose one you can work with, one you were referred to by your psychiatrist or MD. A friend can also be a good referral source.
You will have an initial intake interview, often lasting 1.5 - 2 hours getting your history. Don't hold back. Tell her everything. She will not judge you, nor can you tell her something she has not heard before. The work to heal your depression starts here, so be honest. It's important.
Depression therapy is done by both of you, often with your family as well. All are important in your life and want you to return to the person you were before you got sick. Ask them to become involved with the therapist if it can help you.
Getting better is not easy. It's hard work done by you and the therapist, often for 6 months. Sometimes more. Your insurance usually covers your visits.
Check with your insurance company and ask your potential therapist if she is a provider for your insurance company. Of course, any therapist will take cash. This is your health we are talking about and you can feel fine again.