Depression – Managing Your Depression with Psychotherapy

Possible ways of managing Depression
Many treatments and therapists are available. You’ll have to decide what type of approach suits you best. Often this depends on where you live and, if you have health insurance, what type of treatment your insurance covers. A good place to start is probably with your general practitioner. He or she has a medical degree, can prescribe drugs, can investigate other possible causes for your symptoms and can refer you to local services. In urban centres, help may be available from the mental health clinic outpatient department of your local hospital.

You can be referred to a psychiatrist by your general practitioner, to be seen in his or her office. But resources are often limited, and few of these services are readily available outside of urban centres. In the UK, these services are all covered by the NHS, however, if you have health insurance most companies provide the option of receiving treatment from private psychiatric hospitals and therapy services (according to their individual criteria).

Once you have made an initial contact, other reasons for the depression have to be considered. After a thorough medical checkup has been done, and it’s been established that the depression doesn’t seem related to a physical cause, you will want to find a therapist you can work with. Even if the initial recommendation is primarily for medication, such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers, you will need someone you can discuss your concerns and fears with, or you may end up stopping the medication and abandoning treatment.
Depression Psychotherapy
Choosing a therapist also involves finding someone you like and are comfortable talking to about private problems. If you feel judged or censored or talked down to, find someone else. If you feel the therapist is uninterested or bored, think twice, but remember that some of these feelings may be sorted out if you talk to the therapist. It’s possible that you are misjudging the therapist. If you have felt overlooked and slighted by people in the past, you may expect this reaction now even when it’s not there.

You will also want to assess how honest the therapist is in telling you about his or her own reactions. Before you share many intimate details about your life with this person, you need to feel that he or she is trustworthy and competent. Ask around. If possible, start by considering several therapists, and meet with them to see if they are a good fit. If you hear positive comments about the same therapist from two or three different sources, that therapist is probably a good choice.

Prepare yourself for the fact that depression treatment could takes time. There will be difficult and discouraging stages, and it’s important not to jump ship hastily, thinking that there is better help elsewhere. Try to work things out with the thera­pist you are already with, and don’t be afraid to talk about the problem. If you feel disrespected or otherwise uncom­fortable, say so. This is all good practice in becoming more direct in your feelings. You may also find that, as a result of this openness and honesty, you develop a deeper and more productive relationship with your therapist that can enrich other relationships in your life.

Who does psychotherapy ?
Psychiatrists are often in short supply, particularly in smaller communities. Their waiting lists vary considerably but can be as long as three to four months. A family doctor may have had additional training in psychotherapy and can prescribe medications as well. Registered psychologists and social workers are also trained in psychotherapy but they can’t prescribe drugs. Often, a patient receives psychotherapy from one person and has medications prescribed by another. Some of these professional services may not be covered by private insurance plans.