Depression Treatment NYC
Depression is very real to anyone experiencing it. If you or a loved one are currently depressed, then you certainly understand the pain and struggle it takes to make it through the day. The good news is that you can find plenty of help in New York City. And if that professional help is using best practices, there is good reason to believe your (or your loved one's) symptoms can begin to improve within weeks not years.
What is Depression?
Depression is a common mental health condition that is caused by changes in brain chemistry. Depression is more than just feeling sad or down. It is a real illness that changes your thinking, your emotions and your behaviors. Depression can affect people from all walks of life regardless of age, gender, cultural background or socioeconomic status. It can be brought on by certain medical conditions, hormonal changes, grief or a stressful life situations.
According to the World Health Organization, as many as 21% of women and 12% of men in the US will experience depression at some point in their lives. This makes depression one of the most widespread and debilitating mental health conditions in the US as well as the world.
Unfortunately, many people suffering from depression are never diagnosed. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, please reach out to a medical doctor or a qualified mental health professional. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment will help make your symptoms much more manageable and you will be able to resume living a fully functioning life.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms vary but can include feelings of emptiness, fatigue, inability to concentrate, heavy arms and legs, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, anxiety, insomnia, trouble getting out of bed, hopelessness, anhedonia (nothing is fun or pleasurable), changes in appetite, sex drive, or weight.
The American Psychiatric Association classifies Major Depressive Disorder as a Mood Disorder. To receive the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, depressed mood or the loss of interest in pleasurable activities would need to be present, plus at least four of the following symptoms:
1) weight loss (not due to intentional dieting), weight gain, or a significant increase or decrease in appetite
2) difficulty sleeping (insomnia), daytime sleepiness, or prolonged nighttime sleep periods (exceeding 10 hours, or significantly more than typical sleep patterns)
3) psychomotor agitation or retardation, a.k.a., people’s level of motor activity has increased, or slowed down (e.g., restlessness, or moving very slowly, as if sick)
4) general fatigue or decreased energy levels, feeling tired
5) inability to concentrate or make decisions
6) ruminating about death or suicide
These symptoms need to be present for at least two weeks and a number of other potential diagnoses need to be ruled out, therefore, a diagnosis should only be made by a qualified mental health professional (e.g., licensed psychologist or psychiatrist).
Feeling Depressed in NYC
In New York City, if you are suffering from depression, you might feel alone in a crowded metropolis, and feel alone in the middle of the crowd.
You (or a depressed loved one) might want to spend less time with friends, even though there are lots of places and events you could visit or attend in NYC with friends.
You may have no motivation to go to such places, even though there are numerous theaters and shows on Broadway or cultural events at Lincoln Center. You might feel like you would rather escape from people by spending time alone in your apartment.
Waking up to work may be overwhelming and just getting out of bed may be a struggle. Showering may feel like an arduous task.
In the workplace in one of the buildings in Manhattan, you might not have the energy to do your work well. You might even find it boring and pointless, and just an 8 – 5 grind.
Commuting in the New York City subway may also make you feel all alone.
At home in your apartment, you may feel like crying all the time, especially at night.
Even if you live in the biggest, most culture-rich, and liveliest city in the world, nothing feels good.
What Causes Depression
Evidence suggests that there are biological causes to Major Depression. It is more common in close relatives, even when controlling for a child might learn or pick up from his or her parents.
Many biological factors are related to depression. Insufficient amounts of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine in various brain regions, or too much cortisol, cytokines, or other related stress-related hormones are all related to depression.
Cognitive Behavioral (learned) theories have also been used to explain the origins of depression. Aaron T. Beck, a psychiatrist believes there are three kinds of negative distorted thoughts that cause depression, and he calls them the Cognitive Triad.
Negative thoughts about the:
- world, and the
Albert Ellis’ theory of emotional disturbance holds that global evaluations of worth, such as “I am a failure,” or “Life is miserable,” may be the root cause of depression. These two theories are closely related. And both lead therapists to help depressed clients learn to identify problematic depression causing thoughts and cultivate thoughts that lift depression.
Martin Seligman’s depressive explanation focuses on how a negative event or many of them can lead a person to believe he or she is helpless. His theory focuses on how people can believe that no matter what they do, their circumstances, their feelings, their relationships, and their future will be the same—dreary. So, why even try to make things better. Doesn’t this sound just like depression some times feels?
Treatment of Depression in NYC
In New York City, there are many psychologists and therapists who use different scientifically supported techniques to successfully treat depression.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) practiced at New York Behavioral Health that has been shown to improve depressive symptoms in 14 sessions.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a behavior therapy that has been shown to decrease depression in a short number of weeks. Research has shown that clients had reductions in depression and anxiety. In addition, they were better able to function, i.e., get out of bed, make it into work, fully participate and enjoy a social event. And overall their satisfaction with life improved. ACT is a therapy that approaches depression a little differently than REBT, but has lots of scientific support. It also utilizes some exercises that rooted in mindfulness, if that is something you might like to learn.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. This is a cognitive therapy that has integrated mindfulness. Clients learn how to identify depressive thoughts they connect with in a way that cause problems. They then learn exercises that enable them to get distance from these thoughts and help them to shed feelings of depression.
New York Behavioral Health practices all three of these therapies as well as traditional behavior therapy, all of which can help you become less depressed. We have staff members who have conducted research on REBT and MBCT, and have taught ACT at the graduate level. So our staff are well equipped to help you with depression.
Treatment should be determined by a professional, e.g., licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed social worker, or licensed mental health counselor. Depression has been successfully treated by cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT), psychopharmacological treatments, interpersonal psychotherapy, and physical exercise. It is important for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to be developed with a clinician, not through self-treatment.
The majority of depressed people begin to “feel better” within a few meetings with a properly trained psychologist and may have symptom reduction in as little as eight to 12 weeks. There is evidence that relapse rates may be reduced by particular kinds of treatment.
How Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can help with Depression
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been shown to effectively treat depression. Warm, caring, professionals can offer CBT in a comfortable setting at New York Behavioral Health, which is conveniently located at 380 Lexington Avenue on the corner of 42nd Street. Our compassionate staff have been extensively trained in scientifically supported techniques to efficiently reduce your suffering and begin to get you living the life you want. We know it is not easy to get started, but we can help to begin to reduce your suffering.
For information about depression treatment to reduce your suffering, please email or call New York Behavioral Health, and a staff member will be there to answer your questions. Your privacy and comfort are a priority, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about depression or depression treatment.
New York, NY 10168