Benefits of Psychotherapy for Depression

Mental health practitioners often note marked improvement in patients who seek psychotherapy for depression.  Psychotherapy generally means “talk therapy” with an understanding mental health professional who will listen without judgment in complete confidence.  Psychotherapy tends to offer great relief for many depression sufferers.

Talk therapy is often combined with depression medication to treat the chemical or medical component to depression. However, whether or not the patient is treated with medication or talk therapy alone, the relief of having someone to listen can bring about improvements to both the mental and physical manifestations of depression.

Depression sufferers may feel bored, apathetic, or generally disinterested in life in addition to uncreative, unproductive, unmotivated, disorganized, fearful, and indecisive.  Physical symptoms like aches and pains, drowsiness and fatigue, inhibited sexual interest, disrupted sleep, etc often accompany the emotional discomfort.

During psychotherapy, individuals gain a better understanding of themselves as well as a clearer perspective towards others. They learn skills for coping with stress factors in their lives. Most importantly, they learn what typically triggers depressive moments and why they respond with compulsive behaviors like overeating, smoking, or drinking.

Through psychotherapy, patients learn how to set healthy boundaries, learning to say “no” to people while also learning to reach compromises without violating personal boundaries.  They develop more self-confidence and learn to be more assertive in expressing their needs which ultimately reduces stress and anxiety in their relationships with others.   As anxiety subsides, patients find themselves less self conscious and doubtful and more apt to enjoy more social interaction.

Through psychotherapy patients also learn coping skills for emotional stressors that cause worry and anxiety and they note improvement in their mental functions and physical symptoms as well. They sleep better at night, feel more awake and alert during the day, more focused, and ultimately find life in general more interesting and joyful.

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Copyright © Dr. Joseph M. Sharpe