Therapy With Abby
Abby Hartman MS, NCC, LPC
EMDR Trained Therapist
Relationship & Couples Counselor
Depression Therapy For Adults & Teens In Irving, Texas
My name is Abby Hartman. I’m a mental health therapist based in Dallas, Texas. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC). I have specialized training in trauma and am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)—an innovative treatment for processing and reducing symptoms of trauma. I strive to create a safe, supportive space for my clients to approach issues that are painful or uncomfortable. In addition to trauma, I also specialize in treating anxiety, depression, LGBTQ+ issues, and complex PTSD.
A fog. A thick, gray, heavy fog. Sometimes we wake up and it's just there. Depression can be chemical, depression can be situation induced, depression can be genetic. Depression can be debilitating but is treatable. That feeling where you know you should be feeling happy or excited but you just can’t. That feeling when you want to wake up and get out of bed but you just can’t. You WANT to brush your teeth, take a shower, and go see your friend and family but you just can’t. That’s depression.
Depression is not just in your head. There are so many factors of life that are constantly impacting our emotions. Depression can be caused by grief and loss, a break up, losing your job, the weather, your hormonal cycle.. And a million other things. The most important thing is that on the other side of depression there is treatment and support. I will help you identify the root of your depression and from there we will create a game plan to help get you out of that thick fog that is holding you back from where you truly want to be.
More About Depression Therapy & Counseling in Irving, Texas
Depression, or major depressive disorder (MDD), is more than the sadness we feel after a bad day. It’s a collection of mental health symptoms which last longer and are more severe than a typical bout of sadness. It affects every part of a person’s life and significantly interferes with daily functioning. It’s also very common. A 2017 study by the National Institute of Mental Health found that 17.3 million American adults struggled with it that year, or roughly 7% of the population. Well over half that number had severe symptoms.
Fortunately, depression can be effectively treated with therapy. I use depression therapy at my practice in Dallas, Texas to help my clients find hope and light when they’re in the dark. When I use depression therapy, I help clients explore their feelings and discover what may be causing it. I walk them through understanding their symptoms and help them reframe their thoughts and feelings. If skill-building is needed, we’ll work together to identify gaps and give you the tools you need to overcome. Ultimately, just as each person’s depression is unique, so should depression therapy be individually tailored to each person’s needs.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
If you’ve been feeling sad for a while, it can be hard to tell if it’s crossed the line into major depressive disorder. It’s worth looking at the symptoms of depression to gauge whether you may have a deeper problem. According to the Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of major depression include:
Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in things you enjoyed before
Anger, irritability, or frustration disproportionate to the situation
Anxiety, restlessness, or agitation
Sleeping more or less than normal
Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
Tiredness or lack of energy
Dramatic weight loss or weight gain
Trouble with memory and concentration, or “brain fog”
Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and self-blame
Thoughts of death or suicide
Unexplained physical problems, such as headaches or back pain
Myths About Depression
There are a few myths around depression. One is that you can “think” your way out of depression by simply being positive. It’s driven by another myth that therapy for depression is just learning to see the “bright side.” Depression is a complex disorder that often comes from a combination of brain chemistry and life events. Therapy for depression involves hard work and sometimes medication as well.
Another myth is that depression only comes from painful or traumatic events. Depression can actually develop for no reason at all. It could be secondary to another problem; for example, people recovering from substance abuse might become depressed when their brains are no longer receiving too many “feel good” chemicals from drugs. Or it could be that someone’s brain just doesn’t have the right balance of serotonin and dopamine. Hormones can also play a role in depression, with menopause and pregnancy commonly causing it. Feelings that come from sad, but normal, life events like bereavement are not considered depression.
What is Therapy for Depression Like?
When you begin depression therapy with me, I’ll start by learning about you and what changed when you became depressed. I want to know about not just what you’re going through now, but the kind of person you were before and hope to become after recovering from depression. I’ll complete an assessment, and then we’ll work together to build goals and a treatment plan. The kind of methods and model I use will depend on your unique symptoms and driving forces behind your depression.
There are several types of therapies which are highly effective for depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is most commonly used to treat depression. It involves examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Through CBT, you’ll learn about the unhealthy, and often cyclical, ways these three things interact. For example, thinking negatively about oneself may lead to feelings of shame, which could lead to isolating. Isolation is a common symptom of depression. The “work” of CBT involves re-training your brain through activities like role plays, journaling, skill-building, and countering negative thoughts.
There are other forms of therapy which are also effective for depression. Through assessment and collaboration, I’ll match you with the right interventions for what you’re going through.
If you think you may be depressed, I’m here for you. I started my therapy practice in Dallas, Texas to inspire hope and healing for clients. Therapy with me is always respectful, confidential, individualized. Please reach out to me today to book an appointment.