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Treatment for Depression
Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. It is also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression. It affects how you feel, think and behave.

Depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and it may interfere with an individual’s ability to participate in normal day-to-day activities. In severe cases of depression, people may experience suicidal ideations and feel as if life isn’t worth living.

Depression is more than just a bout of the blues; it is not a weakness and is not something that someone can simply “snap out” of.  Major depression can be a serious condition, but it is treatable and most
people see positive results from treatment. 

An estimated 17.3 million American adults, approximately 6.7% of the population, experienced at least 1 major depressive episode over the last year. Depression occurs more often in women than men (

Although depression may occur only one time during your life, typically people have multiple episodes
of depression. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort

  • Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food
    and weight gain in some people

  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that
    aren’t your responsibility

  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things

  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide

  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Other people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.

First Steps specializes in the psychotherapy treatment of depression. Effective treatment methods include: 

  • Psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness therapies, interpersonal, solution-focused therapy, amongst other therapy modalities

  • Exercise - physical exercise has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression

  • Alternative therapies, including acupuncture, meditation, and nutrition

  • Medication if warranted

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they text to 741741.

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