By: Allison Petro, LMHC

If you have ever experienced clinical depression, you know how scary it can be.  I’m not referring to feeling blue for a day or two. I’m talking about true clinical depression. If you’re still unsure and want to know how to start treating depression, here are the criteria taken from the American Psychiatric Association:

The individual must be experiencing five or more of the following symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

Symptoms of Depression

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.

  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.

  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.

  4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement observable by others.

  5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.

  6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.

  7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate or indecisiveness, nearly every day.

  8. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for committing suicide.

If you feel that you may have clinical depression, it is imperative to seek help.  There are many professionally-trained psychotherapists available to help you start treating depression symptoms, and it’s important to find the best therapist for you.  This may feel daunting, but here are a few tips to help you navigate the task:

Finding a Therapist

  1. Ask friends and family members if they have local therapists they would recommend. Also ask your primary care physician if they have a referral for you.

  2. Do an online search in your area and read therapists’ web biographies.  Which ones stick out to you? Also check out, which is a great resource for finding a therapist who treats depression near you.  

  3. Choose two or three of these therapists, reach out to each of them and ask the following questions: Do you specialize in treating depression? What is your availability? 

  4. If you would like to use your health insurance, ask them to help you find a provider.  Many therapists do not accept insurance; however, many will provide a receipt for you to submit to your insurance for reimbursement.  

  5. Make an appointment with one of these psychotherapists and go talk to him/her!  A good therapist will not shame or judge you for experiencing depression, but will help you treat it.  

Depression is very common, especially here in the United States of America, and the good news is that it is treatable!  There is no need for you to suffer in silence. Make the call TODAY.

If you believe you are experiencing depression and live in the Orlando, FL area, give Allison a call at Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 to schedule an appointment.  She also offers free 15-minute phone consultations to answer any questions you may have about the psychotherapy process.

Allison Petro is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in couples, women’s issues, treating depression holistically, and children. For more information about the author visit her full bio here.