A Guide to Getting Help for Depression and Mood Disorders
If you believe that you suffer from Depression or a Mood Disorder we recommend that you:
First, seek professional consultation. Depression and Mood Disorders are serious illnesses that can often worsen if they go untreated. Moreover, if your Depression worsens it may become harder for you to push yourself to reach out for help.
You can talk to your family physician or contact a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, social worker, professional counselor or psychiatrist.
Second, educate yourself. There is a wealth of information on Depression. We offer several articles to help you better understand Depression and Mood Disorders, and treatment options. We also list (see below) sites where you can look for more information on Depression and suggest a few well respected self-help guides you can refer to and use as part of your treatment program.
Third, seek medical evaluation for physical symptoms. Depression can be exacerbated by or triggered by medical problems.
Fourth, feel free to contact us if we can be of help. All of our staff therapists have experience treating Depression and Mood Disorders. We have listed below a few staff members with particular expertise with Bipolar Disorder and Postpartum Depression. We can also help you with referrals to psychiatrists in your area.
Fifth, do not wait to get help. Feeling hopeless, believing that nothing can or will help you, and wanting to give up, are all symptoms of Depression. These symptoms can make it harder for you to get help. You need to keep in mind that Depression is treatable.
Resources for Depression and Mood Disorders
The following websites have been reviewed by our staff and have been found to offer sound information on Depression and Mood Disorders and their treatment.
Website for the National Institute of Mental Health.
A U.S. Government website offering information on Depression and Mood Disorders. This site offers general information, fact sheets and booklets, and updates about the latest research on Depression and Mood Disorders.
A website developed by a New Jersey psychologist.
This site offers detailed information about cognitive therapy as well as much information about the treatment of Depression. This site offers a psychological rather than a medical view of Depression, emphasizing a cognitive model for understanding and treating Depression.
The website of the national support and advocacy group, Depression/ Bipolar Support Alliance.
This site offers much information on Depression and Bipolar Disorder as well as links to support groups and other resources. This group takes a disease focused view of Depression, asserting that it is a “medical illness” like any other medical illness. This view is not shared by all professionals, but this site is still quite useful.
The mental health section of www.about.com.
This site offers a wealth of information about Depression and other mental health issues. What is most impressive is the scientific focus of the site, drawing on and citing research studies to support assertions. The only drawback is there is so much information it can be overwhelming. We recommend searching for “Medication or Psychotherapy for Depression”, which offers a very interesting discussion of the treatment of Depression.
A clearing house of Mental Health Resources.
This site offers information on almost any aspect of Depression and Mood Disorders one could think of. It includes concise summaries on a variety of topics ranging from types of Depression, Depression in different age groups, and various treatments of Depression. It also includes reviews of books and resources on Depression and Mood Disorders. This site is run by a psychologist and tends to take a less “medical view” of Depression. The main drawback of this site is the frequent annoying pop up ads.
Books on Depression and Mood Disorders
The Feeling Good Handbook, by David Burns, M.D.
A classic and extremely well regarded self-help book.
You can buy used ones for next to nothing on Amazon.
Active Treatment of Depression, by Richard O’Conner.
A thorough discussion of depression that is appropriate for professionals and non-professionals.
Breaking the Patterns of Depression by Michael Yapko, PhD
A solid self-help book that emphasizes steps you can take to overcome depression.
The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, & Jon Kabat-Zinn (Guilford Press, 2007).
A very helpful book on ways one can overcome depression.