What is Depression?
Depression is a brain disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. Depression is chronic unhappiness.
Maybe your family has told you to, “just get over it.” Maybe they’ve said something like, “when I’m sad, I just think about how many things are going well for me. I try to put it in perspective.” Statements like this are sometimes made by people who love us and who may be well intentioned, but who just don’t understand the nature of depression.
How Does Depression Happen?
Depression sometimes happens due to issues with an electrochemical process in your brain. We have billions of neurons that are supposed to be communicating with each other by sending chemicals, called neurotransmitters, to each other. These are what give us our feelings of elation, excitement, warmness, contentment, and many more feelings associated with happiness.
A little bit of Psych101 review…
When it’s time for a neurotransmitter to be sent from neuron “A” to neuron “B,” there are 3 potential paths that it can take: (1) it can transfer – this is the desired action, (2) it can dissipate – basically just get lost in the ether in the synaptic gap between the neurons, or (3) it can go through a process called “re-uptake,” which means that it gets sent back into neuron “A.”
We want the neurotransmitters to take path (1), but for many reasons they often take paths (2) and (3). We have drugs to help with this, but they don’t last forever because our bodies adjust to them. The depression medications also commonly have nasty side effects.
Depression can also happen as a result of life circumstances. Significant life events, such as the loss of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, the experience of a trauma, the loss of a job, or any other significant event, can potentially lead to depression.
How Can Therapy Help With Depression
Therapy is a lifestyle changing process that helps to change our body’s natural homeostatic level of neurotransmitter production. Counseling helps change thought processes by identifying ways that we get caught in negative thought cycles. Counseling also helps us change our behaviors and overall outlook on life.
Are You Interested in Starting Therapy?
Contact us today to begin the process of battling the depression that you’ve been facing for too long. Our office is located in Ann Arbor, MI at 2350 Washtenaw Ave, where Stadium Blvd and Washtenaw split. It’s right by the Bearclaw Cafe so grab a coffee on your way in!
Identity Counseling Psychology PLLC