Finding Peace & Moving Forward

Depression is a condition that many people know about. Most of us have even felt depressed at certain times in our lives, especially following loss, the breakdown of a relationship, and during other challenging situations. Depression becomes a serious problem when it is frequent and persistent. This is also the case with other mood disorders. Those who struggle with depression or mood disorders are often controlled or limited by their emotions and they experience disordered emotional states for days, weeks, months, or even years at a time. If you’re done struggling and you want to start making positive changes in your daily life, working with a counselor can be extremely beneficial. At Stokes Counseling Services, we offer therapy sessions in our Naugatuck office location, virtually via telehealth communication tools, and in the home for those participating in our FAM Program.

What is Depression?

Depression, which may be referred to as depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mood disorder that creates a persistent state of depressed mood or emotional response, numbness, hopelessness, or heaviness. Many people experience depression, but when the condition is chronic, sustained, and/or begins to negatively impact your daily life, it’s essential that you work with a professional counselor to improve your condition.

What are Mood Disorders?

As the name suggests, these conditions are characterized by an inability to order your moods. Think of a cluttered room. Too many pieces of furniture, piles of papers, and other items are strewn everywhere. It’s difficult to determine what the room is even for. Is this the living room, dining room, an office? Now, imagine your emotions are like this cluttered room. They seem to be piled around everywhere, and you’re not even sure what they mean anymore. It can be frustrating, stressful, and impede your ability to function. Therapy can help you regain control of your emotions. Depression itself is a mood disorder. Some other common mood disorders include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mania
  • Season affective disorder
  • Cyclothymia (cyclic emotional highs and lows)
  • Postpartum depression
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

When Should I Seek Therapy for Depression or Mood Disorders?

Almost anyone struggling with depression or disordered emotions should work with a counselor to some extent. We always hope that people will come to us as soon as they notice changes in their mood or behavior, but commonly, people only seek help when they are experiencing severe symptoms. Some of the triggers that lead people to seek counseling include:

  • Feeling one elevated or diminished emotion all day for two or more consecutive days, especially if there’s no immediate “reason” for the change in mood
  • Feeling numb to things that used to give you joy or make you feel satisfied
  • Having thoughts of suicide, death, or self-harm
  • Planning suicide or self-harm
  • Attempting suicide
  • Engaging in self-harming behaviors
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, oversleeping, and other changes to sleep patterns
  • Changes to your appetite or significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Crying, laughing, yelling, or experiencing other emotional responses that don’t seem to fit the situation
  • Difficulty concentrating for long periods of time, inability to remember details, and struggling to make decisions
  • Changes to the way you physically feel, including persistent aches and pains, tingling, or heightened sensation

What Happens During Therapy for Depression & Mood Disorders?

For many people who struggle with depression and mood disorders, medication is an important part of the treatment process. We are happy to work with you to find a prescribing physician who can manage your medications in partnership with our team as we offer therapy services to address your condition. For most people, counseling sessions will focus on more traditional, solution-focused talk therapy methods. The goal is to help you develop the necessary tools to recognize instances of disordered emotions and start to change your responses. In most cases, a typically therapy session for depression and mood disorders begins by reviewing how you felt during the time since your last session. Then, we discuss your responses to these feelings, any negative results (arriving late to work or school, unable to maintain hygiene, etc.), and establish plans to positively move through instances of depression and other disordered emotions. This can be a lengthy, ongoing process. You may need to work with a counselor several times a week during serious occurrences, but then, you may be able to visit once a month or even less often when you’re not experiencing severe mood elevation or depression. The key is to develop the skills you need to recognize the difference.

How do I get started?

To get started, simply give the Stokes Counseling Services team a call or complete our request form. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and schedule a first session for you in our Naugatuck clinic. We are also proud to offer telehealth counseling services online, if you would prefer to conduct your sessions virtually.