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Therapy Goals For Depression:

Therapy Goals For Depression

Therapy goals for depression are a great way to manage its symptoms with therapy. Therapy is a therapeutic treatment option that helps recover from mental health conditions and other conditions with mental health repercussions.  

Depression is a mood disorder that affects our psychological, emotional and physical health. This condition is known to affect nearly 280 million people worldwide. With approximately 21 million adults in the U.S. experiencing major depressive disorder episode.  

Moreover, with the recent pandemic, there was a rise in the number of individuals exhibiting signs of depression. The awareness of therapy also saw a rise during the same period.  

This article will breakdown the therapy goals for depression, why you should set them and how they help us.  

What Is Depression?

What Is Depression?

Depression, also known as clinical depression, is a common mood disorder (which is a very concerning fact.) The people who experience depression are more likely to go through continued feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable to them. This makes it difficult for them to concentrate on activities of their daily life.  

This is when they require support from professionals. The importance of therapy or counseling can only be emphasized through the fact that experts have a thorough understanding of the human mind. The cognition and how one can navigate through mental health issues such as depression.  

The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in the U.S. has a Spanish language phone line at 1-888-628-9454 (toll-free). 
In the U.S., call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or use the Lifeline Chat. Services are free and confidential. 

There are multiple aspects of depression, you would know what I’m talking about if you have experienced it first-hand. The experience of depression can be difficult to comprehend for those who have not seen someone with the condition.  

With the help of social media, more and more people are spreading awareness about depression, and breaking the stigma around it. It is very important that one is mindful about a serious condition such as depression and other mental health issues.  

This is because, in the past, there have been incidences of people stigmatizing the condition. To the extent that those with the condition were pushed to take extreme measures due to the unkind attitude of society at large.  

Why Does It Matter?

Why Does It Matter?

If you are even mildly familiar with the world of social media, you would know that nowadays there are a lot of mental health influencers (yes, that’s a thing too!) Thanks to them, teens using social media find support online that did not exist until a few years ago. 

This is helpful because the statistics represent teenagers a little more than adults. There are several factors that affect the mental health of teenagers more than adults. Moreover, it is also found through studies that teenagers who develop depression are most likely to continue experiencing the symptoms in adulthood if they do not seek professional help.  

There are several ways you can help those with depressive disorder. One of the kindest and most responsible ways would be encouraging them to seek professional help. Therapy is one such example that helps people with mental health issues experience better recovery from symptoms.  

Therapy goals for depression will help you recover quicker than other treatment options. A therapist can help you set goals that are in your best interest. This requires seeking help from them and opening up about your experience so that they can help you manage your symptoms.  

How To Recognize You Have Depression?

How To Recognize You Have Depression?

Recognizing depression is not easy. The stigma surrounding the condition can make it more difficult for you to recognize the signs. DSM-5 is a manual that helps in classifying, diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. According to DSM-5, there are five criteria that clinically diagnoses depression:  

  1. Depressive mood most of the day, often.  
  1. Marked decrease in the interests and pleasures for most of the day. This is seen nearly every day.  
  1. Significant loss of weight without even trying. You may not even be on a weight loss diet yet see a decrease in your weight. Not having the same appetite is a common sign of depression as well.  
  1. Lethargy brings in the reluctance to do things that require energy. These may even be getting up to go out for lunch. This is not just periods of feeling restless or slowed down.  
  1. Feeling worthless or excessively guilty nearly every day.  
  1. Decreased ability to concentrate or think. Indecisiveness almost every day.  
  1. Suicide ideation, recurrent thoughts of death, suicide attempts or planning to commit suicide.  
  1. Irritability, obsessive rumination and brooding.  

If you or someone you know is presenting these signs, then it’s time to consult a mental health professional.  

What Are Therapy Goals For Depression?

What Are Therapy Goals For Depression?

This isn’t a new concept that we are introducing. This concept has been present since therapy began as a treatment for people with depression and other mood disorders.  

Therapy goals are important on the journey to management of depression symptoms as they give the patient a timeline within which they must adhere to their treatment plan. This concept is useful from the psychological point of view as the patient takes it up as a “challenge” they must win.  

This helps them gain control over their condition which seems to have been lost before the therapy began. The influence of this condition is such that an individual can lose their peace of mind while trying to comprehend as well as manage their symptoms.  

If we begin to go into the psychology of depression, it’ll turn into another article. Such is the complexity of this condition.  

Therapy goals are milestones that a patient wants to hit in collaboration within their therapist. These are the small checkmarks on their recovery plan that they want to conquer and leave therapy becoming better equipped to handle their symptoms.  

Why Is Setting Therapy Goals for Depression Important?

Why Is Setting Therapy Goals for Depression Important?

The importance of this is understood in helping the therapist and client to actively work towards the improvement of their condition. Setting up goals helps the therapist and the patient find the needs that should be prioritized.  

This is important because most of the patients come in with confusion, feeling lost on their journey to recovery from the symptoms. The open-ended therapy experiences they may have had makes it even more complicated for them.  

If you have been on a life-changing journey, then you would know how the excitement is at its peak during the initial days. For example, if you are one of those who set resolutions at the start of a new year. The first few weeks seem to be filled with an adrenaline rush that motivates us to nail those goals. After a few days, when the motivation is wearing off, is when you see yourself not doing the work with the same zeal.  

Similarly, when you start therapy, you are putting in the effort to become a better version of yourself. But then you see a drop in that enthusiasm. But when you have a goal set for yourself, you are more likely to see it through.  

Therapy goals for depression help you attend all those sessions and check those off your personal list. If you follow an action plan, as per a study, it is more helpful in improving your therapy experience.  

An action plan is helpful in achieving the goals of therapy for you. This way you will have a clear idea of how to approach your recovery. Think of it like a map to you overcoming your symptoms that create a barrier for you.  

A study found that personalization of your therapy goals helps in making therapy a success in comparison to just focusing on reducing the symptoms. This is because there is a high chance of the symptoms coming back once you stop therapy. The circumstances under which you stop therapy can be:  

– Seeing an improvement in symptoms 

This is one of the most important reasons why an individual would discontinue therapy.  

How To Set Therapy Goals For Depression

How To Set Therapy Goals For Depression

The first step of setting therapy goals is having a clear idea of the things you need to accomplish through therapy. Therapy is helpful in knowing exactly what you would need to develop on.  

The next step is addressing the ‘problem’ you have recognized. This may be something you recognized on your own or something that you discover through therapy. This may look like: 

  • Improving your ability to manage triggers  
  • Ability to process past trauma  
  • Setting goals that help you get rid of unhealthy habits  
  • Overcoming unhealthy coping mechanisms  
  • Improvement of skills  
  • Learning to communicate more effectively  

Communicating with a therapist helps you in building a strategy for your goals. This also helps you consider the changes that are required to be made for you to be “better.” The change may be uncomfortable, even make you feel like giving up, but it is important that you keep a stern mindset to achieve your goals.  

To conclude, you must also be consciously present in your goal-making such that you are setting up goals that not just help you in the short term but also help you sustain your recovery for a long time.  

Summing it up!

Therapy goals for depression can look different for individuals just as they experience the disorder. The following steps will help you ensure that the journey to recovery is smooth:  

  • Comb through your needs and prioritize  
  • Choosing a focus area  
  • Keep it meaningful, short and simple  
  • Think positively. Make the goals have a positive connotation  
  • Collaborate with your therapist to set-up and achieve your goals 

Want to know more about therapy? Shoot us a comment below! 

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Harsha Sharma
Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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