Chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, is defined as depression that lasts for a period of two years or more. It is possible for the depression to cycle between more intense stages (referred to as major depression) and less severe stages with milder symptoms. One treatment option that you should consider for your chronic depression is regular counseling sessions. Keep reading to learn how counseling can improve the symptoms of your chronic depression.
1. Counseling Sessions Can Help You Change Your Thought Processes
The best treatment for chronic depression varies according to the individual. Some individuals thrive on a combination of prescription medication and counseling, while others benefit solely from regular counseling. If you need to take medication, your counselor can aid you with working through any emotions that you have regarding taking an antidepressant.
During your sessions, you can expect your counselor to point out thought processes that may be making your depression worse or at least hindering you from achieving a healthier mental state.
2. Your Counselor Can Offer a New Perspective
Individuals who have suffered from depression for years may have a convoluted perspective on their current lot in life, their relationships with friends and family members, and their emotional health. A counselor will point out what aspects of your life are "normal" and which areas need work. You will learn new ways of reacting to stressful periods of your life and learn how to shut down and replace derogatory or unproductive thoughts with more positive thinking.
Behaviors and relationships that are unhealthy can make your depression even worse. Not only can your counselor assist with identifying harmful aspects of your life, but they can help you learn how to better deal with these relationships or situations. For example, if you have an emotionally abusive relationship with a family member, your counselor can point out the toxicity of this relationship and offer meaningful suggestions for changing the relationship.
3. You Will Learn How to Improve Your Communication
When you are battling depression, it can be difficult to convey to friends and family members exactly what you need from them. You might have trouble formulating your thoughts into spoken words, or feelings of guilt or shame might hinder your ability to have productive conversations.
Counseling will help you figure out how you can better communicate with your loved ones and overcome any internal obstacles that are preventing your ability to have productive conversations. Though your feelings and emotions are normal, it is essential for you to learn how to overcome them so that you can interact with your loved ones and forge and maintain meaningful relationships.