flower aDepression may be described as feeling sad, unhappy, or “down in the dumps.” Most people will feel depressed at one time or another for a short period of time. Clinical depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, is different than feeling depressed for a short period of time and is a serious medical illness. Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder that impacts approximately 19 million individuals per year. Some common symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder include, but are not limited to, a persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest in day-to-day activities, change in sleep, change in appetite, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, and/or thoughts of suicide. Please seek out help right away if you have thoughts of suicide. Other types of mood disorders include Bipolar Disorder, which is characterized by episodes of mania and major depression and Dysthymic Disorder, which is characterized by a chronic low mood lasting at least two years.

Whether you are experiencing an episode of depression due to a unique life event or you are experiencing a mood disorder, participating in Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help you to learn how to cope with depression and alleviate your symptoms. In some cases, treatment for mood disorders include a combination of therapy and medications. Cognitive Behavior Therapy was first developed to treat individuals with mood disorders by helping them to challenge and reframe their negative beliefs about themselves, their world, and their future. Cognitive Behavior Therapy also teaches individuals behavioral techniques in order to help individuals become more active and engaged in life.