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Anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status, can suffer from depression. It is estimated that 19 million Americans suffer from depression every year. Depression is not a weakness or a character flaw—it is a real medical illness. But the good news is that with proper treatment,
  • 4 out of 5 patients will improve
People who have depression are not just moody or having "the blues" for a few days. They have long periods of feeling very sad and lose interest in social and daily activities. Depression changes the way a person feels, thinks, and behaves.

The causes of depression are not always clear. It may be caused by an event or for no apparent reason at all. Genes may also play a role in not providing your brain with enough serotonin. The symptoms of depression may differ from person to person. Some symptoms may include a persistent sad mood, lack of pleasure in activities, change in sleep or eating habits, or a feeling of worthlessness and irritability. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. For example, depressed woman are often tearful, sad, have feelings of guilt and worthlessness while men typically have difficulty sleeping and are restless or irritable.

Clinical Depression is characterized by 5 or more of the following symptoms that persist for at least 2 weeks:
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Change in sleep habits (insomnia, waking too early, and/or oversleeping)
  • Loss of appetite and weight—or overeating with weight gain
  • Loss of pleasure and interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment (such as chronic pain or digestive disorders)
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless, or worthless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
Therapy or counseling has been proven to be an effective treatment for depression. There are several techniques used in therapy including, but not limited to, behavioral modification, cognitive therapy, and insight-oriented therapy. The treatment modality may include a variety of tools and techniques depending on your presenting complaints and severity of depressive symptoms. Individuals with depression oftentimes have what are referred to as “Automatic Negative Thoughts” that trigger a negative, depressed mood and lead to negative, self-defeating depressive behaviors. This treatment focuses on the Automatic Negative Thoughts and enables the individual to identify and “reframe” or change the Negative Thoughts to more Positive Thoughts. In return, this will lead to improved mood and improved functioning. This process is not as simplistic as it sounds and takes a great deal of commitment and effort on the part of the client (in and out of session).

Antidepressants can also be effective in the treatment of depression. Studies have shown a greater rate of improvement when individuals on antidepressants are also receiving individual therapy. This is likely because in therapy you can learn effective tools and strategies to understand your depression better and prevent it from returning in the future.

Sunshine Psychology: Providing psychological and educational testing, neuropsychological assessment, and surgery evaluation services
along with individual, couples, family, and career counseling and therapy in Miami Beach and Coral Gables.

Psychoeducational Testing   ADD / ADHD - Learning Disability - Academic Problems - Gifted Placement / IQ - Behavioral Problems
Comprehensive Evaluations   Neuropsychological Assessment   Dementia - Alzheimer's - Memory Problems   Surgery Evaluation
Individual Counseling   Depression - Anxiety - Relationships - Hypnosis/Meditation - Addictions - Phobias - Stress - Grief and Loss
Gay/Lesbian Concerns - Trichotillomania   Couples Counseling   Marriage - Divorce - Infidelity - Sex - Communication   Family Counseling
Career Counseling

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