Depression Treatment




Phone: 212-675-2664

Dr. Andrew Eig

Dr. Andrew Eig

Depression Treatment through Psychotherapy & Counseling

One of the first steps for combating depression is to understand what the illness is and how it affects you and those around you.

What is depression?

Are you feeling down? Do you feel a loss of energy? Do you no longer enjoy the activities that you used to?

Depression goes beyond feeling sad or blue. Everyone experiences down days or brief periods of sadness. People suffering from depression often experience feeling like they are in a black hole, a sense of impending doom, or painful feelings of emptiness, low self -esteem and worthlessness. Depression is often accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, irritability, muscle pain, and fatigue. There is a tendency to isolate oneself. Hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable are no longer. Most severe depressions last around two to three weeks and then subside. Milder forms of depression can be long lasting until treated.

Depression often has an impact on loved ones. When a person is depressed, they tend to isolate themselves and become preoccupied with their emotional and physical pain. The spouse or children of those who are suffering from depression often feel hurt, angry, and isolated from their loved one.

What are the types of depression?

Here is a description of the most common forms of depression.

Mild depression (dysthymia): Dysthymia is a mild form of depression that, until treated, can be long lasting or even chronic. Many people suffer a mild form of depression and low esteem for years and believe that this is just a characteristic of their personality. Psychotherapy can be very effective at healing dysthymia.

Major Depression: Major depression is characterized by a deep sense of hopelessness and despair, thoughts of suicide or hurting oneself, muscle aches and somatic pain, intense feelings of worthlessness and shame, a sense of emptiness, sleep disturbance, changes in appetite, and trouble functioning at work and in their responsibilities at home. These symptoms often last for a period of 2 or 3 weeks before remitting. Psychotherapy in conjunction with psychotropic medication is often prescribed for people suffering from major depression.

Psychotic depression: Psychotic depression is an illness where symptoms of a major depressive disorder are accompanied by auditory or visual hallucinations. Psychotherapy in conjunction with psychotropic medication is often prescribed for people suffering from psychotic depression.

Post Partum Depression: Post partum depression occurs when women suffer depression after the birth of a child. It usually occurs within three months after giving birth to the baby and can last up to a year. New mothers suffering from post partum endure feelings of sadness and ambivalence about their newborn. These emotions, in turn, can bring about tremendous feelings of guilt and shame.

What causes depression?

Just as there are many different types of depression, many different causes can exist. They range from biological factors to psychological ones. Very often, a depressive episode is the result of an interaction of the two.

Most commonly, mild forms of depression are caused by a biological predisposition (genetic factors) and by environmental factors (early trauma, current life stressors). In my practice, I often see that people who are suffering from depression have a specific life circumstance, such as the loss of a loved one or the ending of a relationship, that has set off a depressive episode or a strong feeling of malaise. These current life stressors can inflame old childhood injuries or trauma. Addressing both the past and the present can be effective in decreasing the symptoms of depression and building a resiliency to the illness in general.

Depression can also be a sign that the way one is living one’s life is leading to unhappiness. Finding the source of the unhappiness and building a life that is an authentic expression of your true interests and passions is the best way to say goodbye to depression forever in many cases.

Depression in Women:

Women report suffering from depressive symptoms more frequently than men. Some researchers believe that this result may be primarily due to the fact that women are more in touch with their feelings and that expressions of vulnerability are more socially acceptable in women than men. Hormonal imbalances as well as a lower socioeconomic status are also attributed to a greater frequency of depression in women.

The roots of depression in women tend to come from relationship difficulties. Women often come to psychotherapy initially because of trouble in an intimate relationship. They may have either recently lost a loved one, are going through a break up, or are experiencing difficulties in a romantic relationship. Quite frequently, depression for women can center around trouble finding closeness or living up to societal demands around being the kind of partner they are supposed to be (perhaps we could call this Stepford Wife Syndrome) rather than the type of partner that is truly sustaining to them.

Depression in Men:

Men are less likely to report depression than woman. More than 6 million men a year are estimated to have experienced symptoms of the illness. Instead of feeling blue or sad, depression in men often reveals itself as an irritable mood, trouble sleeping, loss of interest, weight fluctuations or fatigue. Men are also less likely to seek treatment than women for depression. Often, men feel it is a weakness to express their vulnerable emotions to a therapist. They may feel that examining their life is either indulgent or a sign that they are fragile or even crazy.

Men often feel misunderstood in psychotherapy. In comparison to women, men are more likely to talk about aggression in therapy. They may discuss previous fights they have been in (even if it was 25 years ago) or how they feel they lack physical strength. Therapists frequently misunderstand male aggression as pathological rather than a vital part of male culture. Pathologizing aggression can give men the impression that their feelings are wrong or bad. More often than not, aggressive themes in men need to be expressed and worked with in order for the depression to subside. Repressed or disowned aggression can often be a big part of the reason a man is experiencing the blues.

In the company of an experienced clinician who is sensitive to the different issues men have in psychotherapy, depression in men is quite curable.

Depression in Teens:

Depression in teens is quite common but often goes overlooked by parents and clinicians. Teens that are depressed may not have the words to describe and communicate their feelings. They may appear grumpy, short-tempered, and sullen. Teens may also become quiet and reserved. The activities that they once relished no longer hold interest for them. Psychotherapy with a psychologist who has experience in working with teenagers proves quite effective in helping them.

What parents can do to help their teens with depression?

1. First, become part of the solution and not the problem. All teens blame their parents and blame them for almost everything. This behavior is part of the separating from parents as they gain independence and move into adulthood. It is quite unpleasant and mystifying for parents. But a teen that is angry with his or her parents is probably developmentally appropriate. A teen that is depressed needs parents who will hear his or her protests. Or in the case of an overly compliant teen, parents may have to encourage the adolescent protest and let their son or daughter know that it is ok to be angry or disappointed in them. Not allowing your teen time and space to protest may be part of the problem. Become part of the solution and hear their complaints.

2. Spend time with your teen on their terms. Ask your teen what they would like to do and hang out with them even if you feel unwelcome. As their parent, you will always be important to them even if they do not show it.

3. Reward them. Reward them Reward them. A predominate aspect of depression is that the psyche does not feel rewards from the environment and does not reward itself. Find something positive about your adolescent and let them know about it. But be real. All teens know when you are faking it.

4. Encourage them to get involved with peer activities.

5. Take it easy on yourself. Parenting a teen who is going through a trouble spot is hard work. You are probably feeling like a bad parent right about now. Give yourself a break. Even by reading this website, you are helping your child.

What you can do in addition to therapy to take care of your depression:

1. Reward yourself. Depression leads one to punish oneself so fight it with rewards. Do things you enjoy or used to enjoy. Go to the movies, read a good book.

2. Avoid the snowballing of self-critcism. Keep things positive as best you can. Now is the time to practice positive self-regard. Take a break from self criticism. In the throws of a serious depression this is almost impossible to to do. Realize this but go for it anyway.

3. Try to stay busy. Take a daily planner or smartphone calendar and book it up with activities that you enjoy. I call this daily planner therapy. When people follow it, it is highly effective.

4. Be with people. Depression has a tendency to isolate its victims. Try to go against the current and be with people even if it at first sounds unappealing.

5. Exercise. Staying active fights depression on a neurochemical level. Put on those jogging shoes and go for a walk.

Contact me today to arrange an initial consultation.

Andrew Eig, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.
109 East 19th Street
New York City, New York 10003

Phone: 212-675-2664

Email: andy@andreweig.com

Website: consultation request form


Dr. Andrew Eig

Andrew Eig, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

Phone: 212-675-2664

email | online form

Office location:
109 East 19th Street
New York, N.Y. 10003
get directions


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