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Depression is a complex mental health disorder that that exeeds feelings of sadness.

What is Depression?

Depression is a complex mental health disorder that that exeeds feelings of sadness. It manifests as a persistent and pervasive sense of despair, often accompanied by a profound emptiness and an inability to find joy or interest in activities once enjoyed. Individuals grappling with depression may encounter a spectrum of symptoms that extend beyond emotional distress. Changes in appetite or weight, disrupted sleep patterns, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating become intricate facets of this complex condition.

The emotional toll of depression is profound, with feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and a distorted self-perception contributing to the overall burden. The weight of these emotions can lead to a sense of isolation, as those affected may withdraw from social interactions and struggle to articulate the overwhelming emotional turmoil within. Thoughts of self-harm or suicide may emerge as an alarming manifestation of the deep despair experienced by some individuals.

Depression transcends the confines of emotional well-being, infiltrating various spheres of life. It can strain relationships, hinder occupational functioning, and impede the ability to navigate daily responsibilities. The pervasive nature of depression underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing it as a legitimate health concern.

Treatment for Depression

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective and evidence-based treatment for depression. At Light On Anxiety, our specialized therapists are trained to work with individuals experiencing depression to address their specific symptoms and concerns.

Through CBT techniques such as cognitive restructuring, behavioral activation, and problem-solving skills training, clients learn to:

  • Identify and challenge negative thought patterns.
  • Increase engagement in rewarding activities.
  • Develop healthier coping strategies to manage their symptoms.

Our therapists provide a supportive and collaborative environment where clients can explore their emotions, gain insight into their depression, and learn practical skills to improve their mood and overall well-being


Medication can be an important component of the treatment plan for depression, particularly for individuals with moderate to severe symptoms or those who do not respond adequately to therapy alone. At Light On Anxiety, our team of psychiatric providers collaborates closely with clients and therapists to assess their unique needs and develop personalized medication regimens.

Commonly prescribed medications to help alleviate symptoms of depression by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Our approach to medication management prioritizes safety, efficacy, and collaboration with clients to ensure they receive the most appropriate treatment for their symptoms while minimizing side effects.

Integrating CBT + Medication

At Light On Anxiety, we offer integrated treatment plans that combine evidence-based therapy with medication management to address both the psychological and physiological aspects of depression. Our therapists and psychiatric providers collaborate closely to tailor treatment plans to each individual’s needs and preferences.

  • CBT helps individuals develop coping skills and address underlying cognitive and behavioral patterns contributing to their depression.
  • Medication can provide additional support by reducing symptoms and enhancing the effectiveness of therapy.

Our approach involves a careful integration of CBT and medication, depending on patient preferences and clinical needs, to address both the biological and psychological aspects of depression.

  1. Collaborative Treatment Planning: Our experienced team works collaboratively to create an individualized treatment plan that assists you in meeting your treatment goals as effectively and rapidly as possible.  
  2. Patient Empowerment: We believe in empowering you with comprehensive information about depression treatment options, allowing you to make informed decisions about your treatment journey. 
  3. Monitoring Progress: Regular monitoring and adjustments to your treatment plan are made based on your response and progress. This ensures you are obtaining maximum benefits from the time and energy you are putting into the depression treatment process.  
  4. Ongoing Support:  We offer ongoing support and adjustments to your treatment plan as needed, ensuring a comprehensive and personalized approach to your path to healing.

Your Unique Path to Freedom From Depression

Our goal is to create a treatment plan that aligns with your needs and preferences, recognizing that each individual’s journey is unique.

What are the symptoms of Depression?

The symptoms of depression can vary among individuals, but common signs include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Physical symptoms like headaches or digestive issues
  • Agitation or slowed movements
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Aches or pains with no apparent physical cause

FAQs about Depression

“Clinical depression” and “depression” are often used interchangeably, but there can be nuances in their meaning depending on the context. “Clinical depression” typically refers to a more severe and persistent form of depression that meets diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

While “depression” is a broader term that can encompass various levels of severity, clinical depression specifically implies that the symptoms have reached a level where they significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning and well-being.

Yes, there are depression screening tests that individuals can take to assess their mental health. One common tool is the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), which asks about symptoms like mood, sleep patterns, and concentration. These tests are not diagnostic but can provide valuable information for individuals to discuss with a healthcare professional for a more comprehensive evaluation and appropriate guidance. If you’re concerned about depression, seeking advice from a healthcare provider is essential for accurate assessment and tailored support.

Depression is a treatable condition, and many individuals experience significant improvement with appropriate interventions such as therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. However, the duration of treatment and the time it takes for symptoms to alleviate can vary among individuals. With timely and effective support, many people can manage and overcome depression, leading to a better quality of life.

Yes, depression can be associated with difficulties in memory and cognitive function. Individuals experiencing depression may have challenges with concentration, attention, and the ability to recall information. This cognitive impact is often referred to as “depressive cognitive impairment” and can contribute to memory loss or lapses.

Depression demands serious attention due to its profound impact on various aspects of an individual’s life. It jeopardizes daily functioning, heightens the risk of suicidal thoughts, and correlates with physical health issues, including cardiovascular problems.

The negative toll on relationships, reduced quality of life, and the chronic nature of the condition emphasize the urgency of intervention. Depression’s financial implications, potential for comorbidities with other mental health disorders, and manifestation in both emotional and physical symptoms underscore the gravity of the situation.

While stress is not the sole cause of depression, it can be a contributing factor. Prolonged or chronic stress may increase the risk of developing depression, especially in individuals who may be predisposed to the condition due to genetic, biological, or environmental factors.

Depression can stem from a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Imbalances in neurotransmitters, genetic predisposition, prolonged stress, trauma, or significant life events may contribute to the development of depressive disorders.

More About Treatment for Anxiety

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Light On Anxiety CEO Dr Debra Kissen describes how CBT & ERP helps clients move past OCD and other anxiety disorders.

Learn more about how we can create a custom individual treatment plan to fit your goals.

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