Assessment & Treatment for Depression in Adults

Aim high and don’t sell yourself short. Know that you’re capable. Understand that a lot of people battle with a lot of things - depression, body image or whatever else - so know that it’s not just you. You’re not alone. 
— Holly Holm

What does depression look like?

Do you feel lonely?  Tired?  Cranky?  Sad or tearful?  Restless?  Lost?  Hopeless?  Many adults in the United States, particularly here in California, struggle with symptoms of depression.  The stress of managing one’s family, work, finances, social life, and health can be overwhelming, particularly when we do not have support.  

Depression is incredibly common, and the symptoms tend to be easy to identify.  Here are some of the most prevalent warning signs of depression in adulthood:

  • Sadness or depressed mood

  • Sleep issues

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

  • Thoughts of self-harm

  • Irritability

  • Hopelessness

  • Loss of energy

  • Loss of interest

  • Isolation

  • Sluggishness or lethargy

If you have experienced any of these feelings, you are not alone.  The team at The OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Psychotherapy understands how debilitating depression can be, and we want to help you move forward with your life.  We provide evidence-based psychological testing and treatment options for adults and their families to accurately diagnose depression, treat symptoms, and optimize health outcomes.

What causes my depression?

The OC Psychology team conceptualizes symptoms of depression as being created through a cycle we refer to as the Depression Spiral:  

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The Depression Spiral is a process that both causes and worsens depressive symptoms over time.  Often, the spiral begins with some sort of major stressor.  Some examples of major stressors for adults might include financial problems, keeping family members happy, school performance, or loss of a loved one. The stressor induces an emotional response, such as feelings of hurt, sadness, fear, worry, or anger.  The human brain is hard-wired to learn from emotional experiences in ways that keep us alive and safe, which means that a stress-induced emotional response can release neurohormones that numb pain and increase awareness to keep our body prepared to address the stress.  Adults are particularly at-risk for the physical consequences of depressive symptoms, which can also contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, and other health concerns (see Danese et al, 2009).

The release of these neurohormones can also induce physiological changes that, over time, can become chronic depressive symptoms such as sluggishness, persistent sadness or feeling down, and thoughts of suicide.  These new symptoms affect behavior, resulting in isolating oneself, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, and difficulty at work or school.  These changes often lead to more stressors, particularly when we become more isolated from others.

Fortunately, the Depression Spiral can be stopped.  Clinical psychologists are trained to help adults just like you overcome symptoms of depression by addressing the cycle of stress and emotional discord through empathic listening, insight building and awareness, and realistic behavioral changes.  Our team of mental health professionals is determined to help you find solutions to your health.  If you or a loved one struggle with symptoms of depression, contact OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Therapy today to schedule your first appointment. 

Our mission is to help people just like you find answers and solutions through assessment (testing and diagnosis) and psychotherapy (treatment) services.  To read more about our assessment services, check out our other pages on psychological testing and diagnosis.  To learn more about what treatment for depression looks like in our clinic, read on!

What does treatment look like for adults with depression?

Fortunately, depression is very treatable!  Our process for helping adults work through their depression utilizes top-of-the-line services to expedite your wellbeing and get you back on track. 

The first step in treatment requires an accurate diagnosis through evidence-based assessment.  Additionally, if symptoms of self-harm or suicidality are present we will complete a safety plan together to help keep you safe and healthy during the treatment process.  Once a depression diagnosis has been identified, the highest standard of treatment involves psychotherapy or counseling services (Cuijpers et al, 2012), although some adults may benefit from consultation regarding medication with their prescribing physician.  To read more about what psychotherapy looks like with adults, check out our page on Therapy for Adults!   

As your you begin therapy for depression, you will learn to:

  • Set meaningful goals

  • Prioritize your values

  • Take care of yourself

  • Feel normal and healthy

  • Reduce negative thoughts

  • Be physically active

  • Sleep efficiently

  • Identify problematic ways of thinking

  • Explore your unique psychological self

  • Have energy and purpose


 

If you struggle with depression or stress, do not let yourself continue to suffer.  Our team is invested in helping you reach new heights as you overcome your fears, your hurt, and your loss.

 

Interested?  Let’s Connect!

If you or a loved one are interested in our therapy or assessment services, contact OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Psychotherapy.  We would love to answer any questions you might have about the process. 

Our office is located in Newport Beach, California.  We work with families from all over the region – Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Tustin, Seal Beach, and beyond.  If you feel we would be a good fit for you or your child’s mental health needs, let’s connect!

Read About the OC Psychology Center Team!

Want to learn more about our team of behavioral health specialists at the OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Psychotherapy?  Select a provider below to read about our credentials and areas of specialty! 

Want to Learn More? 

If you would like to learn more about ADHD, emotional problems, learning disability, or other mental health issues we work with, check out the links below!  

References

Cuijpers, P., Reynolds, C. F., Donker, T., Li, J., Andersson, G., & Beekman, A. (2012). Personalized treatment of adult depression: medication, psychotherapy, or both? A systematic review. Depression and anxiety29(10), 855-864.

Danese, A., Moffitt, T. E., Harrington, H., Milne, B. J., Polanczyk, G., Pariante, C. M., ... & Caspi, A. (2009). Adverse childhood experiences and adult risk factors for age-related disease: depression, inflammation, and clustering of metabolic risk markers. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine163(12), 1135-1143.