Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Qualified Clinical Supervisor. She received her PhD in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida in 2002. In addition to being a practicing clinician, she has provided training to counselors, social workers, nurses and case managers internationally since 2006 through AllCEUs.com
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Depression Treatment at NYU Langone
Depression is a disorder that affects how you think, feel and function in everyday life. It can cause severe emotional, social and physical problems if left untreated. About 17 million American adults suffer from depression each year – more than cancer, heart disease and AIDS combined.
Depression typically starts with a person’s personal and family history, as well as potential environmental factors. Those who are going through trauma, have suffered abuse or have health conditions, such as thyroid disorders, vitamin B12 deficiency and certain medications, are especially susceptible to developing depression.
The symptoms of depression vary from person to person and can last for months or years if left untreated. Symptoms can include feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and anger. They can also include changes in sleep patterns, appetite, concentration and thought patterns. Some people can also experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
Treatment for depression involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Medications are used to treat the underlying causes of depression by adjusting the levels of chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters. These can be prescribed as short-term or long-term treatments.
Mental health professionals are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, so they can begin treatment immediately. They will conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation to rule out other medical conditions that could be causing the symptoms, such as a thyroid disease or a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Medications can also be used for long-term treatment, including the most commonly used antidepressants. The psychiatrists at NYU Langone are trained to assess your specific needs and choose a medication that will work for you.
Counseling therapies are another common form of treatment. A counselor, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, will meet with you on a regular basis to talk about your symptoms and develop coping strategies to help you manage them. The sessions can be held in a group or one-on-one setting and may include exercises that teach you to better manage your emotions and thoughts.
There are several forms of depression therapy, each with different benefits. Some common types are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy. These types of sessions can be conducted in the office, online or on a video conferencing platform.
The most effective depression treatment is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medication can treat the underlying causes of depression by balancing the chemicals in your brain and addressing any behavioural patterns that are contributing to the symptoms.
Other types of therapy can be helpful, such as EMDR, which is an anti-depressant that works by helping you to identify and change your negative behavioural patterns. This can lead to an improved quality of life and reduce the risk of relapse.
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, it can be hard to know what to do or where to start. But if you can show your support, it can go a long way to helping someone else through their struggles.