Click here for your free 10-minute consultation

Click here for your

free 10-minute  consultation

Depression Therapist: Depression Treatment Online

Bring Hope Into Your Life, Despite Depression

You are better than you imagine and more than you hope. Be inspired to live the life you want.

Overcoming depression

Depression Therapist: Depression Treatment Online

Are you experiencing a deep, persistent sadness? Have you lost interest in activities you once enjoyed? Do you cry often? Do you have lingering feelings of shame, guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness and anger?

If so, you could be suffering from depression. Long-lasting depression can become your normal way of living and be difficult to recognize.

Feeling sad sometimes is normal, but feeling intensely sad for a long period of time is not. If you have been suffering from depression for more than 2 months, and it has interfered with your ability to function in your everyday life, it is time to get help.

By learning to think and feel differently about your life, you can feel better and change things dramatically.

You can feel better.

What is Depression?

Depression is a serious mental illness. It is a mood disorder that makes you feel down, listless, sad, hopeless, and unmotivated for an extended period of time. Depression can lead to many physical and emotional problems that can interfere with your ability to function normally. Anyone can experience depression, but it's more common in women than men. Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and suicide attempts.

Depression is a significant problem in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 7.6 percent of adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in 2015. This number is even higher for women, with 11.5 percent of women reporting depression, as compared to 5.8 percent of men.

What are the causes of depression?


Depression is complicated. There is no single cause. Many factors, including genetics, life experiences, and your environment, can contribute to it. A number of different medical conditions can cause depression and impact your quality of life. Drug and alcohol abuse often leads to depression.

It is often difficult to determine the exact cause of depression, as it is rarely just one thing that leads to this condition. A depression therapist can help you understand your experience with depression.

Common Causes of Depression

Here are some common causes of depression to help you understand what may be at the root of your depression symptoms:

Genetics

Depression can be genetic and run in families. Families of people with depression are more likely to have a child with depression. Biological differences get passed down. However, this is not always the case.

There are physical brain differences and functional differences. More research is needed to explain these differences.

Brain Function

Brain function is the way your brain processes information. Depression impacts the neurotransmitters that interact with neurocircuits that maintain mood stability.

The neural networks that support normal emotional behavior play a role in depression. Neuroimaging shows that those with mood disorders have evidence of neuropathological and lesion analysis studies. These networks involve many areas of your brain, including your prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. There can also be alterations in the volume of your grey matter.

Biological Changes

Depression is often a symptom of a physical condition that causes an emotional response.

Biological Factors

Changes in your genes can cause depression. Your genetic makeup and its interaction with your environment can contribute to your depression.

Brain Chemicals

New studies recently disproved the brain chemistry theory for depression (the monoamine hypothesis). No supporting evidence links depression to serotonin levels in the brain.

Medical professionals are not questioning antidepressants with the debunking of the theory. The chemical imbalance theory came from pharmaceutical companies explaining how their antidepressant products worked, but it never had any hard data to back it up. The theory grew from being repeated over and over until the general public just accepted it. Knowledgeable psychiatrists with a solid understanding of neurology were not so quick to believe there was a connection.

It is still not clear how antidepressants work. This is nothing new. Medications are often used "off label" for other conditions. Sometimes side effects of a medication for one condition are helpful for another illness. The first anxiety medications were antihistamines. Doctors used several common medications for decades without knowing exactly how they worked. Aspirin is one of them.

Some experts don't think there is enough difference between antidepressants and placebos. However, many people experience good results taking antidepressants. On the other side of the coin, some people report antidepressants are no help at all, while others report experiencing harmful effects.

Environmental Factors

Changes in your environment can cause depression. Stresses, toxicities, and unresolved pain can impact your mood and increase depression. Your learned responses and the development of self-talk are also environmental factors.

Psychological Factors

Negative thinking patterns based on low self-esteem and self-worth, fear of failure, and feeling unworthy can lead to depression. Perfectionism is often at the root of depression. Adverse childhood experiences can also play a role in the development of depression.

Hormones

There is increasing evidence that hormones may play a role in the development of depression. Women are more likely to experience depression around the time of their menstrual periods and during pregnancy or after giving birth. An increase in depression during this time suggests fluctuations in hormone levels may be associated with mood changes in some people. Research on the role of hormones in depression is ongoing, and it's still unclear exactly how they contribute.

Abuse

Abuse can lead to depression, and depression can lead to abuse. This cycle of pain and suffering is, unfortunately, quite common. Although people often think of abuse and depression as separate issues, a recent study shows a link between the two. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, looked at data from over 9,000 adults. The results showed that abused participants were more likely to be depressed than participants who had not been abused. After accounting for other factors such as age, sex, and income, the results still held.

Medications

Prescription medications can also cause depressive symptoms. If you are taking prescription medications and feeling depressed, look up the side effects of each one and talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Often switching to a different medication relieves depressive symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression? 

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a person to feel sad, hopeless, and unimportant. It can be mild or severe and last for weeks, months, or years. Depression affects each person differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. 

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of depression include: 

  • feeling sad or down most of the time
  • losing interest in things you used to enjoy
  • feeling hopeless or helpless 
  • feeling guilty or ashamed for no reason 
  • having problems concentrating or making decisions
  • experiencing changes in appetite or weight
  • sleeping too much or not enough 
  • feeling tired all the time


If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it is essential to talk to a depression therapist, your doctor, or a psychiatrist about getting help.

How do I know if I have depression?

You will probably notice some warning signs that you might be depressed:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or discouraged for long periods of time for no apparent reason.
  • Difficulty with everyday tasks
  • Feeling tired and having trouble sleeping
  • Sleeping too much
  • Confiding in others more than you usually do
  • Feeling hopeless about the future, even with therapy
  • Feeling worthless or guilty because of things that happened in your past. Getting sick often
  • Having no energy
  • Crying or tearing up easily
  • Angry outbursts
  • Avoiding social contact
  • Reactions that are out of proportion to the situation
  • Being slowed down in thoughts and movements
  • Difficulty thinking and following conversations
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Memory issues
  • Feeling unworthy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, self-harm, or just not being here
  • Suicide attempts
  • Increased use of drugs and alcohol
  • Inability to concentrate on work or school.
  • Having a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Weight loss from a lack of interest in foods.
  • Weight gain from craving unhealthy foods.

Types of Depression

Depression is a mental illness that causes people to feel sad, hopeless, and unmotivated for an extended period of time. There are different types of depression, each with its own symptoms. Major depressive disorder is the most severe type, followed by dysthymia, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. Each type of depression requires different treatment methods.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

Major depressive disorder is a mental illness that causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness that can last for weeks, months, or even years. It is the most severe form of depression. It is also known as clinical depression of major depression. MDD affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to various emotional and physical problems.


Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings from depression to mania and back again. The mood swings are so severe that they interfere with daily functioning. They can last for days, weeks, months, or years. Living with BPD can be extremely difficult.


Postpartum Depression (PPD)

Postpartum Depression develops after giving birth. Many women experience it within four to six weeks and up to a few months after giving birth. Symptoms include crying spells, mood swings, anxiety and sleep issues.


Postpartum depression is not a weakness and doesn't reflect your compentency as a mother. It's common after giving birth giving birth. If you have PPD, treatment can help you cope so you can bond with your baby.


Postpartum Depression is commonly called the "baby blues."

Treatment-resistant Depression (TRD)

Of the approximately 16 million adults in the United States who suffer from depression, about one-third do not respond well to standard treatments such as medication and talk therapy. Being told you have a serious mental illness that is resistant to treatment on top of being depressed can profoundly affect your ability to function in daily life.


Some doctors question the label of treatment-resistant depression. They argue that not responding to several rounds of antidepressant medication treatments is not enough to consider someone resistant to treatment. Most people who acquire the diagnostic label of TRD haven't received the proper treatment mix that works for their specific type of depression. Part of the problem is not all medical professionals who prescribe treatment are aware of how many options and combinations are currently available to treat MDD and bipolar depression. They take the traditional route of prescribing a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) followed by a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) if the SSRI doesn't work. If there is still no improvement, they start thinking about TRD. Treatment of depression is the process of trial and error. Two or three or even more tries don't mean all options have been exhausted.


There are many possible reasons why someone may not respond to a particular treatment for depression. In some cases, the underlying cause of depression may differ from typical causes. There might be additional barriers to treatment that need a creative approach. Some people may not be able to take traditional antidepressants due to side effects or other medical conditions.

Dysthymia

Dysthymia is a less severe form of depression that causes a person to feel sad, lose interest in life, feel hopeless, and unmotivated for an extended period of time. Dysthymia leads to a lack of lack productivity and energy. People with dysthymia tend to have low self-esteem, engage in self-criticism or feel incapable. Other terms for dysthymia are chronic depression and persistent depressive disorder.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder is wintertime's most severe form of depression. It impacts just about everyone, but it's more common in women. SAD can cause weight gain, fatigue, and a lack of interest in food and sex. It's also called winter depression.


Situational Depression 

Situational depression is a type of depression triggered by a particular event, situation, or change in your life circumstances. You can experience it after a traumatic event such as the death of a loved one, miscarriage, a divorce, or losing your job.


Positive changes like getting married, having a baby, moving, or starting a new job can also cause situational depression. Any significant change in your life can cause situational depression.

Asking for help

Asking for help is hard. Strangely, there's been a stigma in society that asking for help is a weakness. It's not. It's a strength. Society accepts other things that are difficult to do as demonstrations of strength. There's no reason asking for help should be any different.

Deciding to ask for help can be difficult, and there are many ways people talk themselves out of starting treatment. The most common one I hear from clients is they thought it would go away if they were patient and waited long enough. If you've been waiting for more than two weeks and it's interfering with your ability to do daily tasks, it's time to get some professional support. The longer you wait, the more time and effort it will take to resolve.

The second most common reason I hear is people don't want to take medication. The truth is that you can start talk therapy without starting a prescription. You can address many depressive symptoms without going the pharmaceutical route.

Another common reason for putting off getting help is the fear of being embarrassed and not wanting to tell a therapist about painful life experiences. First, getting help for depression is nothing to be embarrassed about. Depression is extremely common. Virtually everyone has experienced depression at some time in their life. It is a medical condition requiring treatment, like a thyroid condition, diabetes, pain, or high cholesterol. With treatment to address your symptoms, your life can be better.

It is not necessary to revisit all the painful events of your life to treat your depression. If you feel it will be helpful, we can, but it isn't a requirement to delve deeply into your darkest moments. You don't have to go there if you don't want to. There are alternatives.

Find a therapist you feel comfortable with and ask questions about their process. You will get an idea of what therapy will be like with them. Ultimately, what you talk about in session is entirely up to you. Your therapist cannot force you to do or say anything you don't want to discuss.

What is the difference between anxiety and depression? 

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults in the U.S. every year. Depression is also very common, with an estimated 16 million adults in the U.S. experiencing at least one major depressive episode yearly.

Anxiety brings feelings of worry, fear, and apprehension that are persistent and excessive. You may experience panic attacks with sudden periods of intense fear or terror, including heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal discomfort. Anxiety can include other symptoms such as headaches, nausea, diarrhea, or insomnia.

Depression causes feelings of intense sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness. You may be irritable, have difficulty concentrating or remembering things, experience physical symptoms such as fatigue or headaches, or have thoughts of suicide.

Anxiety and depression often come together. These two diagnoses are the most common mental health conditions. They can play off each other, and each one can make the other worse. Anxiety can be a symptom of depression, and you can also have depression triggered by anxiety. Many people with anxiety also have depression. And many people with depression also have anxiety. It is common to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and clinical depression.

A simple way to think about the difference between depression and anxiety is looking at Brenner's definitions:

Depression is having an overall feeling something bad has happened is indicative of depression. 

On the other hand, anxiety is present is someone feels something bad is going to happen.

Online Treatment for Depression 

Depression can be debilitating and is not something to take lightly. It can lead to a general feeling of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness. You may experience a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and changes in weight or appetite. Depression can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, pain, and digestive problems.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating depression, many effective treatments are available. Treatment may include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Online treatment provides an extra layer of privacy.

Talk therapy is the most common form of treatment for depression. It can help you identify and understand your feelings about life and learn how to cope with them. Therapy with a depression therapist can help you explore different perspectives and create healthy thought patterns and ways of interacting with others. Online depression counseling can increase your ability to attend sessions regularly so you can make progress.

Depression Therapist 

Depression is a serious mental illness that can cause long-term problems in your life if left untreated. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is vital to seek help from a therapist who specializes in depression. A depression counselor can help you understand your condition, support you and help you feel better.

If you have been diagnosed with depression, it is essential to work with a professional who can help you develop strategies for dealing with them and get you on track to living the life you want. You deserve to live life on your terms without depression running the show.


Long Live Online Therapy!

Black man with laptop in an online therapy session.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I moved my practice entirely online. You know what? 

I think online therapy (also known as teletherapy) is great. 

We can do teletherapy together from anywhere in California.

I started offering online therapy about 3 1/2 years prior to the pandemic. Before COVID, about one quarter of my clients were out of my area and seeing me online. Now, my entire practice is online. Teletherapy makes therapy more accessible. There are so many benefits for my clients and I. 


For instance, I can work with you from anywhere in California. Teletherapy promotes your independence and saves you time, money, and your precious personal energy.

As a parent, you'll love online therapy. Online therapy doesn’t require a sitter for your kids. Teletherapy is a serious time-saver -- you don't to travel to and from your appointment. Many parents schedule therapy on their lunch hour. You can sit in your private office or in your car and log in on your phone. As a couple, you can even do therapy at lunch from different locations.

Virtual therapy offers a different kind of privacy than in-person therapy. You can choose a mental health professional who lives far enough away that you will never bump into each other in your local grocery store. I have worked with lots of clients in Southern California. I live over 8 hours away. I will never meet them in person. I do see my local clients around town. I follow ethics rules and never initiate conversation. Sometimes they come up and say hi, though. Some are thankful I don't acknowledge them and continue on without engaging. With distance teletherapy, that awkward moment doesn't present itself to my clients.

While teletherapy isn't for everyone, I think it's fantastic. I recommend that you give it a try.

Online depression therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face sessions in an office setting. In fact, many people struggling with depression prefer to work online. It can be difficult to get going to leave the house when you’re depressed. Perhaps you don’t want to get dressed.

Happy woman doing teletherapy - Rachelle Bloksberg, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

That’s okay.

If you’re more comfortable at home than anywhere else, you can get help online in the comfort of your own home. Visiting a new place and meeting a new person all at the same time can be overwhelming and take extra energy. You may also feel stressed traveling to an unfamiliar location. Teletherapy does away with all those things.

When you work with a therapist for depression virtually, you choose your location. Some clients like to be outside during their session. Others choose the privacy of their room. Some prefer the privacy of their car parked in the driveway to be out of earshot of family members. You get to be wherever you’re most comfortable.

Online depression treatment can help you overcome barriers that previously kept you from seeking help. All you have to do is click a link on your device to get the help you need.



a different kind of therapy.

a different kind of therapist.

Therapy with Me is About You Living the Life You Want.

You probably think therapy is getting advice from your therapist about how to live your life better. And you probably think the process is going to be lengthy and emotionally painful. Oh, and expensive.

I don't practice that kind of therapy.

It would be terribly arrogant for me to think that I know how to live your life better than you do. No one knows that better than you.

In our sessions, we will explore your best hopes for our work together and how you can reach your hopes. We will focus on building the future you want, not spend time re-traumatizing you with difficult things from your past.

I believe that you know how to build your brightest future. By very carefully listening to you, I will be able to ask you the right questions that will lead you to your own answers for your life.

If all of this sounds good to you, then I might be the therapist for you.

Click here for your free 15-minute consultation

Recent Articles From My Blog

>