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What is Depression?

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a serious illness that has a negative effect on how you feel and act. It is characterized by a low mood, a loss of interest and enjoyment, and markedly reduced energy, resulting in increased fatigability and diminished levels of activity.

It is not something that is “just a phase” or that one can just “snap out of”. It is a serious mental illness that can take a toll on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

It can be mild, moderate, or severe and can turn into a long-term illness; however, it is curable if treated with the right methods like therapy and proper medication.

Symptoms of Depression

According to the DSM-5, depression is characterized by the following symptoms, present for the same 2-week period and representing a change from previous functioning:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest/pleasure
  • Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain
  • Decrease or increase in appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt 
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Low self-esteem

These are some of the common symptoms of depression. It is necessary to psycho-educate yourself and have proper knowledge about this disorder, as it is highly common in today’s generation.

Causes of Depression

There are a lot of causes that can lead to the occurrence of depression. Let’s look into it —

  1. Genetics

    Often, the main cause of depression is genetics. It is an increased risk that an individual will get depression or will be prone to depression because someone in their family has it. There is an increased chance of inheriting depression if a parent or first degree relative has it. Therefore, it is always better to get yourself checked and get proper care and help.

  2. Trauma

    Trauma encompasses detrimental emotional, psychological, biological, and social reactions that individuals undergo due to events or situations perceived as posing a threat to their lives. If you have been through any hostile life experiences, they can affect your psychological and mental state and lead to the development of the symptoms of depression.

    These distressing life experiences can take any shape or form, like physical or emotional abuse, the death of a loved one, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, childhood neglect, or anything that triggers deep emotions within you and can lead to depression if not treated at the right time.

  3. Chronic stress

    When subjected to ongoing and relentless stressors, such as financial difficulties, relationship problems, or work pressures, the body's stress response system becomes overactivated. This constant activation of the stress response, characterized by elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol, can disrupt the delicate balance of brain chemistry and neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation.

    Prolonged exposure to stress can lead to structural changes in the brain, particularly in areas associated with emotions and cognition. The cumulative effect of persistent stress can eventually overwhelm an individual's ability to cope, paving the way for the onset of depression

  4. Lack of social support

    Your social group and the people you can count on, especially in difficult times, matter a lot. Lack of social support can significantly contribute to the development of depression. Human beings are social creatures, and having a strong support network is essential for our emotional well-being.

    When individuals feel isolated and disconnected from others, it can intensify feelings of loneliness and despair, which are common symptoms of depression. Social support provides a sense of belonging, validation, and empathy, which can buffer against stress and provide emotional resilience. Without this support, individuals may lack the necessary resources and coping mechanisms to navigate life's challenges, increasing their vulnerability to depressive symptoms.

  5. Personality traits

    The way you think and feel about yourself and life can also determine if you have a chance of developing depression or not. Certain personality traits like perfectionism, pessimism, low-self esteem, and negative self-talk can lead to negative thoughts and depressed behavior.

    Individuals with perfectionistic tendencies often set unrealistically high standards for themselves, leading to chronic feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism.

    People with a tendency towards self-criticism and excessive self-blame are more likely to experience depressive symptoms. Additionally, individuals with low self-esteem may be more susceptible to depression, as they often have a negative perception of themselves and struggle with feelings of worthlessness.

    Those with a tendency to ruminate or dwell on negative thoughts and emotions may find themselves trapped in a cycle of negative thinking, which can fuel depressive symptoms. It is important to have fun in life and not take life too seriously at times; however, if you resonate with these traits, you can always consider therapy.

  6. Substance abuse

    It is one thing to drink for fun and chill with your friends or family. However, a lot of people depend on alcohol and drugs to escape the troubles of life and get addicted to this kind of lifestyle. Substance abuse also messes up your brain chemistry, leading to cognitive changes that make you forget things, have decreased concentration, and get major mood swings. All this can lead to behavioral and emotional changes, which can lead to depressive episodes.

  7. Hormonal changes

    Hormonal changes can play a significant role in the development of depression. Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly those related to reproductive processes, can influence mood regulation. For example, during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can contribute to depressive symptoms in some individuals.

    Postpartum hormonal shifts, combined with other factors such as sleep deprivation and adjustment to parenthood, can increase the risk of postpartum depression. Hormonal changes can disrupt the delicate balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, affecting areas involved in mood regulation, and potentially increasing vulnerability to depression.

symptoms and causes of Depression

What is Depression Counseling?

Depression counseling, also known as therapy for depression, is a form of professional support and treatment provided to individuals experiencing depression. It involves working with a trained mental health professional, such as a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or psychotherapist, to address the symptoms, causes, and effects of depression. The ultimate goal of depression counseling online is to identify deep-rooted issues, challenge negative thought patterns, and develop healthy coping strategies to lead a healthy and happy life again.

Types of Depression

When we talk about depression, it is defined as a persistent feeling of sadness and hopelessness. However, there are different causes and symptoms of depression, which lead to different types of depression which can be cured with depression counseling online. There are 7 different types of depression, let’s see what are they —

  1. Major Depressive Disorder

    MDD is popularly known as clinical depression, so when someone says they are diagnosed with depression, they are most likely talking about this disorder. Major depressive disorder is a mood disorder, and the signs of this disorder are low mood, feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness, insomnia, and changes in appetite, to name a few. A psychiatrist or clinical psychologist may diagnose you with MDD if you experience these symptoms for longer than two weeks.

  2. Persistent Depressive Disorder

    PDD, also known as dysthymia, is a chronic depression that lasts for more than two years and can range from mild to moderate or severe. While the symptoms are not as severe as in MDD and one might go through a phase of relief for a month or two, other than that, the symptoms of PDD involve loss of interest, low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, and trouble concentrating, to name a few. Although the symptoms are somewhat similar to those of MDD, PDD is long-lasting and persistent and keeps showing up from time to time.

  3. Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects a person's mood. People with bipolar disorder experience extreme shifts in their emotions, swinging between periods of high energy and happiness (called mania) and periods of sadness and low energy (called depression). These mood swings can be intense and last for days, weeks, or even months. During manic episodes, individuals may feel overly excited, impulsive, and have racing thoughts, while during depressive episodes, they may feel sad, hopeless, and have little energy.

  4. Postpartum Depression

    Postpartum depression occurs after the mother gives birth to their child and goes through significant mood changes because of extreme hormonal changes. This is not just a phase and is definitely more than what people call “baby blues”.

    The symptoms range from being extremely irritated, not being able to connect with your child, feeling low and tired all the time, panic attacks, and thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby, to name a few.

  5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

    PMDD is associated with menstruation and comes with severe behavioural and physical symptoms when girls are going through PMS. It happens before the menstrual cycle is about to begin, and the symptoms include extreme anger, irritability, hopelessness, bloating, breast tenderness, severe back pain, or sadness.

  6. Seasonal Affective Disorder

    If you feel depressed, anxious, and gloomy, especially in the winter season, you might have what is called SAD. Changes in the circadian rhythm can set off this disorder. Light influences and any changes in the season can disrupt this rhythm and lead to depression. People staying in extremely cold areas usually go through this, like in London or Canada.

  7. Atypical Depression

    Atypical depression has the same symptoms as MDD, but in this type of depression, people experience a temporary mood boost if any positive event happens to them. Their mood reactivity to certain events makes a big difference, as they are more prone to react in a big way. The symptoms are usually hypersomnia, weight gain, changes in appetite, being more reactive to external stimuli, and feeling weighed down.

types of Depression

Treatment for Depression

There are different types of cures that can help you manage symptoms of depression and get back to the normal routine of your life. The ulterior motive of depression counseling online is to help you understand the root cause of your issues and become more self-aware and practical about them.

Here are some of the treatments for depression –

  1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

    CBT is based on the idea that stress and worries are linked to our negative thought patterns, which lead to negative feelings and behaviors. CBT aims to identify and challenge negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to depressive symptoms. Through CBT, individuals learn to recognize distorted thinking and replace it with more realistic and positive thoughts. This therapy also focuses on behavioral changes, encouraging individuals to engage in activities they once enjoyed and develop healthier coping strategies.

    Given by Aaron Beck, this depression counseling online has shown remarkable results in curing depression and giving people the happy life they deserve to live.

  2. Psychoanalytic therapy

    This type of therapy, which is also known as in-depth therapy and was developed by Sigmund Freud, involves the therapist working one-on-one with the patient to help them reveal what is happening in their unconscious mind. It explores the unconscious mind and how it influences a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. In this, the therapist and client work together to uncover and understand the underlying, often unconscious, conflicts and unresolved experiences that contribute to psychological distress. The therapeutic process involves exploring early life experiences, childhood relationships, and patterns of relating to others.

    By gaining insight into these unconscious dynamics, clients can develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the root causes of their difficulties. The therapist provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment to facilitate this exploration. Through this process, clients can gain insight, resolve inner conflicts, and achieve personal growth and emotional healing.

    Psychodynamic psychotherapy often takes place over an extended period, allowing for a comprehensive exploration of the client's experiences and fostering lasting changes.

  3. Systemic therapy

    In this type of therapy, the therapist guides the client to focus on the individual’s personal relationships, behavioral choices, and patterns. A lot of times, our patterns come from our family members, and we tend to run away from them. However, in this type of therapy, it is encouraged to sit and talk about all the matters and concerns and understand both sides of the story, which can help diminish the symptoms of depression.

  4. Medication

    There is a need to rely on both medications and therapy when it comes to severe cases. However, without a psychiatrist’s consultation, one shouldn’t take antidepressants, as that can have an adverse effect on an already existing condition.

    If you need medication, book an appointment with a psychiatrist and get a signed prescription from them. It has been proven that when antidepressants and depression counseling online are provided in an effective manner, they can diminish the signs of depression to a great extent.

Treatment for depression depends not only on the kind of therapy or treatment your therapist has chosen for you but also on you and your commitment to getting better. Therapy is not easy, and taking therapy for a major disorder like online counseling depression can be extremely hard. We understand. However, therapy is something that goes beyond that one-hour session; it is a conscious practice of looking within yourself, letting go of your distorted thought patterns, and changing yourself for the better.

treatment for depression

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Facts about Depression

  1. Genetics matter only to some extent

    Yes, genetics play a role in determining depression. If your family members have it, you can be at high risk of getting it. However, it doesn’t solely rely on genetics. Certain personality traits, like being optimistic about life and having a practice of looking after their well-being and lifestyle, can surpass that illness, even if it runs in their family.

  2. Depressed brains might look different

    According to a paper published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2017, people with MDD have different brain structures than people who do not have depression. When the MRI scans of those people were analyzed, there were remarkable differences that could be seen.

  3. Your diet can hurt your depression risk

    You must have heard of the hackneyed saying, "You are what you eat.” People who eat more greens are happier, per Psychiatry Research, than those who consume more red meat and high-carbohydrate foods. So, eventually, it matters a lot what you feed yourself.

  4. Depression and anxiety have a direct link

    Many people who have one mental health disorder are prone to developing another. It has been widely seen that people who have anxiety often get depressive symptoms, and vice versa. Depression and anxiety are often interconnected, with many individuals experiencing symptoms of both conditions simultaneously. The link between depression and anxiety can be attributed to shared underlying factors leading to a vicious cycle of negative emotions and impaired daily functioning.

  5. Depression doesn’t always have a cause

    Often, mental health illnesses do not have a root cause or any explanation. Disorders like depression can occur without any trigger or warning. Depression can sometimes occur seemingly without a specific cause, leaving individuals puzzled about its origin. This type of depression is often referred to as "reactive depression" or "endogenous depression." It may arise from a combination of genetic predisposition, chemical imbalances in the brain, or even subtle life stressors that go unnoticed.

Can Online Counseling Help you Deal with Depression?

Online counseling can certainly help you deal with depression. Often, this depends on the person. Everyone has their own preferences and likes; some people are more inclined towards offline counseling, while others are happy with either.

However, online counseling for depression will be somewhat the same as offline counseling for depression. It also depends on the therapist and their skills to make you feel safe and comfortable. After COVID-19, many therapists and organizations have started offering their services in an online format as well, catering to the social anxiety and changes people have witnessed in the last few years.

There is a high rise in online counseling, especially for depression and anxiety, and people have had compelling things to say. If you feel like you wish to try online counseling depression, you can try out our platform, Now&Me, and talk to a trusted therapist at prices as low as Rs. 35 and at 1/4th the cost of traditional therapy. Moreover, if you wish to chat with them, you can also do that. It is based on your comfort.

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Counseling vs Psychotherapy

People often use the words counseling and psychotherapy interchangeably, when, in reality, they have different meanings and connotations.

Counseling is defined as a short treatment that addresses specific symptoms or behaviors. Counseling is also used for other types of therapies or concerns, like career counseling or relationship counseling. Concerns like these cater to the present moment symptoms more than your history of behaviors.

Whereas, psychotherapy is an extensive and long-term treatment that digs deep into the individual’s problems and analyzes the situation thoroughly. Psychotherapy can go on for six months or more and is pretty hectic yet awakening for the client.

How can Now&Me help you?

Our platform, Now&Me, is a safe place that makes you feel light by writing out whatever is weighing you down. It can help you engage with others and make you look at things from a different perspective while helping you practice gratitude, which further pushes you to love yourself. Become a part of the larger community and understand yourself differently by seeking depression counseling online.

When you do not know how to tackle your Depression, sign up on Now&Me and seek online therapy for Depression. Be a part of a non-judgmental, inclusive, and friendly community . A platform made for you to readily ask for help and let our Depression disorder therapists help you understand the root cause of your issues and make you aware of how to effectively tackle them.

Invest in your mental health and download Now&Me for free!

How can Now&Me help you?

How Do We Work?

Now&Me follows a simple procedure to make sure you connect with the right therapist and get the right guidance.

Here is what you have to do, download the Now&Me app and follow these three simple steps –

  1. Choose a Therapist

    Take your pick from our panel of mental health experts

  2. Start a Chat

    Initiate a conversation with the expert for a price as low as ₹7/min

  3. Connect Instantly

    Share your feelings and feel better

Benefits of Choosing Professional Counseling Services over Free Counseling Services

  1. If you go for professional counseling services, you will be guaranteed a certain level of service that meets your needs and expectations. However, if you go for free online depression counseling, they might have this ideology of not providing you with the best because they aren’t getting paid for it.

  2. In professional counseling services, the therapist will get to know you personally while keeping their professional boundaries intact. They will make sure that you are feeling safe and comfortable. While, in free online depression counseling, the person might feel pitied towards your situation and might not provide you with the best possible service.

  3. Therapy is not a quick fix, it is a lengthy process that needs patience and consistency, both from therapist and client. In professional counseling services, the therapist being a professional will give you the space to heal yourself in your own time and pace. They will understand that therapy needs a certain number of sessions which cannot be the same for everyone. While, in free online depression counseling, the therapist might not have the same professionalism and persistence and might make you feel guilty for your healing journey which can hinder you immensely.

  4. If you opt for free online depression counseling and go through a bad or negative experience, it can blur your image of how proper and professional counseling takes place and you might never think of taking help again. So, it is better to be safe than sorry. While, if you opt for professional counseling, you’ll be guaranteed a good setup where the counselor makes you feel safe and comfortable.

  5. If you opt for professional counseling, there are certain instructions and details that are discussed between you and your counselor, like the fact that all the details of the session are confidential and there will be no personal relationship outside of counseling. While receiving free online depression counseling, these important details and intricacies can be missed and cause hindrances in the future.

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