Mental Health Help For Depression

Mental Health Help For Depression | New Horizons Wellness Services Occupational Therapy Clinic Pediatric Therapy Adult Therapy Portland Tigard Oregon

This article will discuss potentially distressing topics related to mental health. Reader discretion is advised.

Have you ever experienced feelings of sadness, emptiness, or heartache before?


Nearly everyone will experience such things at some point in their lives.

And if it’s temporary in nature, it’s perfectly normal.

However, if this experience of sadness or despair lasts for weeks on end and impacts your day to day functioning, you may be experiencing a depressive disorder.

Depressive disorders are mood disorders that are quite common.

In fact, they are among the most common types of psychiatric disorders.

In 2021, the prevalence of depressive episodes in the US was about 8.3% of the adult population in the past year.

These rates are twice as high in women as they are in men.

About 20% of women experience at least one depressive episode in their lifetime.

You are also at increased risk if you have a family history or have experienced trauma, prolonged stress, heart disease, or cancer.

These depressive disorders can make it difficult to enjoy things that you once found pleasurable.

The symptoms and causes of depressive disorders can vary based on the type.

If you are experiencing a depressive disorder, no matter the type, there is help.

Here at New Horizons Wellness Services, we’re a Tigard Oregon psychologist clinic, and we can help.

We also offer both adult occupational therapy and occupational therapy for kids with depression.

Let’s dive further into what depression is, when depression becomes a disorder, the types of depressive disorders, and possible treatment options.

What Is Depression

Picture yourself when you are having a bad day and feeling unmotivated to do things.

This is a reaction that we all can get to negative situations.

This sadness is a temporary period where you feel down.

But when this sadness turns into a daily thing where you are consistently sad or feeling hopeless, not feeling motivated, or fatigued, it may be a clinical disorder.

Clinical depression, also known as major depression disorder, is a psychiatric mood disorder.

It negatively impacts how you think, feel, and behave.

It is caused by a number of different genetic, biological, social, environmental, and psychological factors.

Let’s dive into clinical depression more below.

When Is Depression A Disorder?

Clinical depression may be difficult to identify, but the first step is to seek out a psychological assessment.

Depressive disorders are a type of mood disorder where a person experiences disruptions in their mood.

With depressive disorders, you may start to experience an inability or lack of motivation to complete activities that you once found pleasurable or enjoyed.

A lack of care for important life activities, like work or school, could also come with a depressive disorder.

This is different from more situation based sadness.

Types Of Depressive Disorders

Depressive disorders are a type of mood disorder.

These mood disorders are mental health conditions that impact how you think and feel about the world and cause you to see the world in a negative light.

When you hear the words “you have depression,” it’s usually used to refer to clinical depression or major depressive disorder.

But there are other types of depressive disorders as well.

Let’s take a closer look.

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder, in its general sense, occurs when a person feels depressed most of the time for most days of the week.

These depressed feelings may occur along with things like:

  • Diminished ability to feel pleasure
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Feeling worthless or useless
  • Brain fog, or difficulty concentrating
  • Recurrent thoughts of death
  • Suicidal ideation

For a diagnosis, depressive episodes usually lasts for at least 2 weeks; five or more of the above symptoms are present, and this interferes with your functioning.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Persistent depressive disorder is similar to major depression disorder, but a longer term version.

It is when the symptoms of depression occur for two or more years.

Depression may also occur due to certain conditions, situations, or during specific time periods.

Situational Depression

Situational depression occurs when you experience symptoms of depression after a loss or negative situation.

When the situation is eliminated or the feelings about the situation dissipate, the depressive symptoms tend to dissipate with it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Another example is seasonal affective disorder, which is linked with seasonal changes.

With seasonal affective disorder, you’ll experience depressive symptoms during a specific season, which will go away during other seasons.

This period of depression usually occurs during the winter months, when we experience less sunlight, but not always.

Peripartum Or Postpartum Depression

When the symptoms of depression occur during the weeks and months following a pregnancy, it could be peripartum or postpartum depression.

Although it is more common in women, 1 in 10 men also experience this condition following the birth of their child.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Your menstrual cycle is another thing that may impact your mood.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is when you experience symptoms of depression at the start of your period.

During this time, you may also experience mood swings, sleep or eating issues, anxiety, irritability, concentration issues, and fatigue.

Other Types Of Depression

Depression may also occur with the symptoms of another disorder.

For example, psychotic depression is when you have symptoms of depression, along with psychotic symptoms, which are usually experienced in schizophrenia.

You may experience the following along with the typical depressive symptoms:

  • Hallucinations: seeing things that aren’t there.
  • Delusions: False beliefs
  • Paranoia: believing others are trying to harm you without evidence

Bipolar Disorder occurs when you experience extreme lows or depressive episodes, along with extreme highs or symptoms of mania.

Mania involves periods of extreme euphoria, and risk taking or impulsive behaviors.

All of these depressive disorders are treatable.

Unfortunately, some individuals may experience treatment resistant depression.

This occurs in about a third of those who experience depression and involves trying multiple treatment methods without success.

What Is Depression? | New Horizons Wellness Services Occupational Therapy Clinic Pediatric Therapy Adult Therapy Portland Tigard Oregon

How Do I Know If I Have Depression?

Depression affects everyone differently.

However, if you have depression, you are likely to experience persistent feelings of sadness and find it difficult to find pleasure in things that you once enjoyed.

You may also experience:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Anger or irritability
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Weight changes
  • Chronic pain, headaches, or stomach aches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble focusing
  • Suicidal thoughts

These symptoms of depression may cause you to have a difficult time getting out of bed.

You likely avoid important situations, such as work or school, because you don’t experience the motivation needed to get there.

These withdrawal and isolation behaviors could extend to avoiding or isolating yourself from your friends or family.

Neglecting basic hygiene may be a common experience as well that occurs.

Most importantly, these feelings are impacting your day to day functioning and they last for longer than 2 weeks.

How Can Occupational Therapy For Depression Help?

An occupational therapist will work with you to minimize your depressive symptoms.

There are several different techniques that an occupational therapist may use that can help you with the physical and mental symptoms of depression.

Teaching strategies can work to provide treatment for both.

This usually involves teaching you strategies that you can use to manage your symptoms.

Here are some examples.

1. Pacing

With pacing, your occupational therapist will work with you to minimize the fatigue associated with depression.

This can include things like recognizing when to take a break from activities to reenergize yourself.

2. Prioritization

Dealing with a depressive episode can make it difficult to accomplish your daily tasks.

Your occupational therapist will work with you to prioritize what your most important responsibilities are, so you can continue to function as best as possible.

3. Relaxation

Feelings of anxiety may sometimes come with depression.

Your occupational therapist will work with you to manage these feelings, which may involve breathing techniques.

4. Routine Structuring

Another technique involves adding structure to your day.

This can help you develop a routine so you can get to school or work on time.

It could also help you add activities to your day that may give you fulfillment or restore your energy.

5. Other Approaches

Other techniques involve focusing on the symptoms of depression.

Since self-esteem issues, motivation issues, and negative thinking patterns occur in depression, your occupational therapist may also explore ways to improve these.

This will help you manage your daily life and the world around you with more ease.

It may also involve focusing on small, realistic goals to improve your motivation to do a task.

Lastly, vocational support is another technique where a person may get support to help them with remaining in, or returning to work.

You will receive advice on what accommodations or jobs may help you function and achieve your best.

No matter the technique, you will work with an occupational therapist to identify your goals and minimize depression’s impact on you.

How Can Mental Health Counseling For Depression Help?

Many people with depressive disorders experience extreme sadness and despair that can be very overwhelming in their everyday lives.

Getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, paying your bills, or going to work may feel like running a marathon.

These overwhelming feelings can cause negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make it difficult to go to work, school, or other important events.

Psychologists are trained mental health professionals who are skilled at providing counseling for depression.

They will work with you to find out which strategies can help improve your mood and feelings of pleasure, so you are able to do the activities you once did with ease.

This may involve:

  • Setting realistic goals
  • Identifying and working through negative thinking patterns and behaviors
  • Developing relaxation and other skills to cope with your symptoms

There are many different types of mental health counseling, but the two most common ones are cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).

In CBT, a psychologist will help you learn how your thoughts and behaviors contribute to your depressive feelings and find strategies to manage them.

Counteracting your negative thoughts and behaviors could help reduce your symptoms of depression and help you interact with others better.

You could also discover how to interact with others in a more positive way through interpersonal therapy.

This is done by helping you to better express your emotions and solve problems in a more positive way.

Building social skills and organizing relationships to improve your support system so you can cope with stressful life events that increase depressive symptoms are ways IPT could help.

Whatever the therapy method, a psychologist works with you to improve your functioning.

Book Your Appointment With New Horizons Wellness Services Today

Do you think you might be experiencing a depressive disorder?

Are you looking to find ways to reduce your depressive symptoms?

If so, we can help.

Book your appointment with New Horizons Wellness Services today.

Yours in Health,

New Horizons Wellness Services
13333 SW 68th Pkwy,
Tigard, OR 97223


New Horizons Wellness Services provides a true multidisciplinary approach to mental & physical health treatments for children, adults and families.