Making the choice to go to counselling for depression can be a difficult one to come to. It might seem frightening, and you probably do not know what to expect from the experience.
A good depression counsellor will help you to develop coping skills and to change your negative thought patterns that cause depression. If you and your counsellor work well together, you should feel like you are learning, and slowly improving over time.
Change Will Take Time
One of the most important things to know before going into counselling is that change in your mood will take time. Even the best counsellors won’t be able to completely get rid of your depression in just a few sessions. Depending on different situations, it could take months before you feel significantly better than you did when you first started to see a counsellor for depression.
Make sure that you go into your first few counselling sessions prepared to be patient. Your depression counsellor will be working to get to know you, and how you are affected by depression.
Everyone Experiences Depression Differently
Know that it will take time to figure out what treatment works best for you because everyone experiences depression differently. You will probably have to try different things and coping skills before you really start to find what is working for you.
You shouldn’t feel like you need to deal with your depression in the same way that others do. You will have different experiences, and you won’t necessarily be helped by the same things that might help other people that you know.
Take time to learn how depression affects you. It’s important to know where you are most affected in your daily life, so you can work toward change.
For example, sometimes depression makes it hard for people to do different daily tasks, like washing dishes or folding laundry. Work with your counsellor to find solutions for the things that are more difficult or troubling for you.
It Might Be Hard to Talk
Talking openly to a counsellor for the first time will likely be frightening. It’s hard to open up, especially to someone that you do not know.
Your counsellor will want to know everything about your depression, your current life, and your past. This will inform them of what you are going through, and help them to figure out ways that you can work through your depression.
Make sure that you know it’s okay to open up to your counsellor. If you don’t open up to your counsellor about your depression, you aren’t going to be able to get the help that you are looking for. Your counsellor will keep everything that you tell them confidential, so long as you or someone else is not at risk of being harmed.
If you feel anxious about opening up, talk to your counsellor. It is very normal to be afraid, and your counsellor will help you to feel more comfortable.
Sometimes Counselling Isn’t Enough
In a lot of situations, only going to depression counselling isn’t enough. You might need even more support. If you are in need of more support, talk to your counsellor about seeing a depression psychologist.
A psychologist might recommend different forms of treatment, including taking medication. Many people see a significant improvement in their depression when they find the right combination of medication and counselling.
If you or your depression counsellor feels that you are in need of medication, you should go see a psychologist. While getting on medication for depression isn’t necessarily a requirement, it’s something that you should consider if you are not getting better through simple counselling.