It is not unusual for a person to experience depression at some point during his or her life. Sometimes, these feelings may pass after a brief period of time. At other times, however, they may continue to persist. When someone loses their job, for example, it may lead to a brief period of situational depression. These feelings will usually dissipate after a new job is found.
It usually takes longer for an individual to process and heal from traumatic situations and events. These traumatic situations might include the death of a family member or friend, being diagnosed with a serious illness, or discovering that a partner has strayed from a committed relationship.
The Prevalence of Depression
Many people throughout the world experience some form of depression. It is believed that 350 million individuals are affected by this condition. Women tend to experience depression more often than men, however, and recent figures indicate that they are 70% more likely to have depressive episodes.
In 2012 alone, there were approximately 16 million adults in the United States that experienced a minimum of 1 major depressive episode. It is interesting to note that 50% of the individuals that experienced depression haven’t sought treatment. Furthermore, due to health care expenses and lost productivity, depression costs the United States an estimated $80 billion every year.
Treatment for Depression
For some individuals that suffer with depression, psychotherapy treatments alone may be sufficient. For others, however, taking antidepressants in conjunction with psychotherapy may be indicated.
The duration of therapeutic treatment will vary, and is dependent on the level of depression and other circumstantial factors. In general, psychotherapy sessions will usually last for 10 to 20 weeks. When antidepressants are prescribed, it will often take 4 to 6 weeks for these medications to take full effect.
Traumatic Events and Couple’s Therapy
When couples experience traumatic situations, such as affairs, these can often lead to depression. Since affairs tend to last an average of 2 years, this can signify a major betrayal of a partnership or marriage. While some affairs may be obvious, others may not be, which can further exacerbate the situation.
The Benefits of Couple’s Therapy
Couple’s therapy can be beneficial to resolve a variety of relationship issues and assist with recovering from traumatic situations. The Chicago Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy conducted research that demonstrated Emotionally Focused Therapy was effective with approximately 50% of the participating couples. Furthermore, there was an additional 70% recovery rate 3 months after treatment ended.
The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists also conducted research on the efficacy of couple’s therapy. They found that 98% of the participating couples believed they received good or excellent help from couple’s therapy. In addition, 97% of the couples claimed that they received the assistance that they needed.
Therapy and Personal Growth
Individual and group counseling can both be beneficial when dealing with and processing a variety of traumas. Even though each person will respond to these types of situations in their own unique way, similar responses are common.
When individuals and/or couples work with a marriage or family therapist, 93% have stated that they developed more effective tools to resolve their personal and relationship issues. In addition to experiencing an overall improvement in their physical health, they also discovered they functioned better at work.
Communication skills can also be learned and further developed with therapy. Since being able to honestly communicate feelings and engage in dialogue is at the core of all types of healthy relationships, this can assist both individuals and couples with personal growth and development.
Therapeutic Treatment Costs
Individual or couple’s therapy will usually cost more when working with a psychologist or a psychiatrist than with a marriage and family therapist. Psychologists and psychiatrists will usually charge 20% to 40% more.
If it is determined that medication may be needed, marriage and family therapists may refer their clients to a psychiatrist. Clients can also discuss their therapist’s recommendations with a primary care physician.
When someone is feeling depressed, it’s important to seek professional help. In addition to the loving support of family and friends, therapeutic services can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals suffering with depression.