Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Counseling

When I was a child, I experienced various forms of abuse at my biological parents’ hands. 

My father would always get violent whenever he was drunk – which was every day – and would always throw whatever he could get his hands on towards my mother and me. I remembered dreading to come home every day from school because I knew that it would be the same scenario that I would see and experience again.

My father eventually died during a messed-up robbery that he planned with his friends. I did not cry during his funeral because I thought that I was finally free from pain. My mother even sold our house and moved us to another state to forget my painful childhood. Then, she opened a small business, but it was in 2008, and you already know what happened to most businesses around that time. They all sunk, including my mother’s. Before declaring bankruptcy, though, Mom managed to buy a trailer truck that would serve as our temporary home while she still hadn’t gone back on her feet.


Living The Trailer Life

My mother’s boss allowed her to park our trailer truck at the restaurant’s back where she was working. Whenever there was leftover food, she would bring some to me, so I was never hungry. However, one day, my mother told me that she had a new man who wanted to marry her. Of course, I was happy because I thought it meant that I could live in a real house again. It did not matter that I did not know who this man was; I just thought I would be good, and he would love me like his own. But then, Mom said that her boyfriend did not want me in their lives, so I had to stay in the truck. Before leaving, she promised to visit me as often as possible, considering she would still be working at the restaurant.

I felt heartbroken, for sure, but what could a young girl do? I was not even invited to my mother’s wedding; one of her coworkers just showed me the pictures. 

As most promises went, my mother broke hers after a month. I would usually see her in the truck after school, but she just stopped coming one day. I saw her manager outside once and asked about my mother, and the lady looked at me with pity as she told me that Mom relocated to Germany with her new husband.

I cried for days because of that, but I felt angry with myself for doing so. I realized that my mother was worse than my father. Dad was a drunkard and violent, but at least he did not run away from responsibilities. Meanwhile, my mother could not even say goodbye to me.

After that, I decided to call social services for myself. I willingly went into the foster care system because that was my only choice, and I did not want to be homeless. I guess I still had a guardian angel somewhere because I only had to stay in the system for a year before an elderly coupled adopted me after learning about my childhood and the depression that I got afterward. They vowed to help me by bringing me to the best depression counselors in the country and giving me the life that my parents never could.


What type of therapy is used for depression?

Over the years, more and more ways of treating depression have been discovered and effectively used. Treatment will differ from case to case as causes and patients may be unique from each other. The most common types of therapy used for treating depression are behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, Dialectical Behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychotherapy, which also have different forms such as individual therapy, family group therapy, and couples’ therapy.

What are the four types of depression?

Many different types of depression can affect other people. The four most common types of depression are Major, Chronic, Seasonal, and Manic. Major depression is a severe form of depression where you most likely are constantly depressed, and you might have lost interest in daily life. Meanwhile, chronic depression lasts the longest as it can stay with you for an average of a year, and in some cases, it can go longer. When you have manic or bipolar depression, you might feel extreme manias and extreme lows or both at the same time. Lastly, seasonal depression is a major depression that happens from time to time.

Can therapy be bad for you?

According to a study conducted by Scott Lilienfeld, professor of Psychology from Emory University, a few therapy forms could do more harm than good. These therapy types were found to be harmful in their ways:

  • Tress debriefing
  • Facilitated communication
  • Recovered-memory techniques
  • Boot camps for conduct disorder
  • Attachment therapy
  • Dissociative identity disorder-oriented psychotherapy
  • Expressive-experiential psychotherapies

How do you know if you need counseling?

It is common to experience mental health issues, and we must reach out and ask for help. So when you are experiencing the following: Inability to work or study, difficulty in maintaining relationships, taking care of your children or yourself, an increase in health issues, and even suicidal tendencies, you will need to go and make sure that you can get the counseling that you will need. 

What are the four types of talk therapy?

Talk therapy is a treatment that requires a patient to talk about their traumas, experiences, thoughts, and opinions. You will generally have to talk your heart out, and the therapist will guide you through the conversation. The four therapy types are cognitive behavioral therapy, guided self-help, interpersonal therapy, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Of course, there are more talking therapy types, depending on what your therapist views as the most effective for you.


What is the best natural antidepressant?

There are several different natural antidepressants that you can find almost anywhere. Omega 3 found in fish can be a natural antidepressant. Also, food with zinc and folate can be another antidepressant that would not require much of a budget. Of course, it is still most recommended that we consult a doctor before we go into natural treatment methods to get the most effective treatment that we need.

How can you avoid mental illness?

You should surround yourself with people who are focused on the same things as you. These people also have to be supportive and understanding of your emotions. We must be surrounded by like-minded people who do not invalidate how we feel because this helps us process our emotions more healthily. Also, make sure that you give yourself time to have fun. Do the things you love, and make sure that you also take a step back from making you stressed. In short, put yourself first and think of what is best for you.

Does talk therapy work?

Several studies have been published explaining how talk therapy helps, and it shows us that, yes, talk therapy is a helpful tool in treating depression. A person can express themselves in a space where there is no judgment or prejudice. So make sure that you can talk to a therapist who understands what you are going through. 

How do you know when someone has a mental illness?

Some signs and symptoms can point to a person being mentally ill. You have to make sure that you can spot these signs because this might help save the lives of the people you love. Make sure to watch out for withdrawal, loss of interest in daily activities, excessive feelings of happiness, frustration, fear, anger, and sadness, inability to concentrate, and they might become more introverted and quiet. There are also cases when a person who has been quiet and withdrawn for an extended period suddenly goes back to “normal”; they might have just decided to end their life, and they are making sure that their last day is a happy day. So check up on the people you love. 

What can replace antidepressants?

It is very much advised to be taking antidepressants and going to therapy to assure that progress is happening and that you do not revert to your depressed state. However, suppose you are looking for more ways to take antidepressants without taking more medication. In that case, you can always go for natural antidepressants such as different herbs and vitamins and minerals like zinc, folate, and Omega-3 fatty acid.

Do Plants help with depression?

There are ongoing researches that are suggesting that being surrounded by plants does not just help with air purification, oxygen production, and beautification. Still, it can also bring a calming effect on a person’s mood, stress, and even blood pressure. So try and surround yourself with bamboo palms, chamomile, basil, aloe vera, Chinese evergreens, and ferns. These plants can help you with your depression and more.

What should you not say to a mentally ill person?

When you know someone is going through something or if you know they have been diagnosed with a mental illness, make sure that you do not say “it is all in your head,” “others have it worse,” “it’s all part of God’s plan,” “you have a good life, you are always happy,” and “this too shall pass.” Make sure that you do not invalidate how they feel. Try and ask if they need your advice or if they need you to listen. This way, you can avoid giving out unsolicited advice and hurt the feelings of your loved ones. Put yourself in their situation and their shoes. If it were you, what would you not want to hear?


How do I heal myself mentally?

You have to make sure that you start to do things that make you feel good, making you feel happy and fulfilled. Identify what is causing you distress and pinpoint the people and situations in your life that are toxic. When you do, cut them out of your life for good. Do not put yourself in situations where you are being manipulated, invalidated, or abused. Make sure that you value yourself and that you are taking care of yourself. Surround yourself with supportive people and understanding. Be with people who love you and who do not feed you with toxic and harmful energy.

Where can I take someone mentally unstable?

You can take them to many different facilities that can help them through their struggles. You can also make sure that you take them to a place where they feel relaxed and share their thoughts and feelings. You should take them to a place where they can get the help they require, such as mental health facilities and therapy clinics. 

What’s good for mental health? 

The best thing for your mental health is to cut off the toxic people in your life. Make sure that you are surrounded by people who love you and support you. This way, you are filled with positivity and motivation. You can also try and do the things you love, and you can try to find new hobbies. You have to make sure your body is healthy, so your mind is healthy as well. Put yourself first. It is not selfish; it loves yourself.

Final Thoughts

I am already 32 years old. My past is way behind me. I currently work as a depression counselor, given that I have seen the significance of becoming one during my troubled years. I never heard from my mother again, but I finally made peace with that years ago. Now, I strive to help young people deal with their mental issues and situations to grab better opportunities for themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions About PTSD Group Therapy

PTSD is a silent killer. You can pass someone by on the street and be oblivious to the fact that a debilitating psychological problem terrorizes them. According to statistics, more than eight million Americans aged 18 and above have post-traumatic stress disorder. It affects everyone at some point in their lives. This disorder is for military personnel and veterans, although mental illness is often associated with them.


For most people, stress is an everyday thing that comes and goes with a little de-stressing. However, post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness working differently. Characterized by feelings of fear, anxiety, avoidance, and having intrusive thoughts, PTSD triggers a fight-or-flight response in many people.

It develops in an individual who experiences significant trauma and stress, like military combat, natural disasters, death of a loved one, victims of crimes and abuse, etc. And because PTSD often relives a person’s worst nightmare for them, it may be challenging to live their daily lives and almost impossible to recover.

Over the years, as more and more people begin to struggle with the disorder, physicians and medical researchers continue to develop various treatment approaches to help PTSD patients. PTSD group therapy has become one of the most common forms of psychotherapy in treating traumatized individuals.

Group therapy allows people with the same disorder to participate and help relieve each other from their difficult situations. Each group consists of no more than 15 willing participants, and a licensed mental health professional presides over each session.

What is the best therapy for PTSD?

The best treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder is psychotherapy. There are a few different types of psychotherapy in the market. Evidence suggests that CBT or Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the most effective treatment plan for the disorder.

It is a trauma-focused technique wherein a licensed mental health professional recognizes the patient’s cognitive patterns and helps them understand their thoughts and behaviors.

Is group therapy effective for PTSD?

According to studies, people living with PTSD who underwent group therapy significantly improved with their condition. The promising findings of group therapy as a treatment plan for post-traumatic stress disorder have made it a popular choice and widely practiced methodology.

What are the four major clusters of PTSD?

Diagnosing PTSD symptoms is generally characterized and group into four major clusters:

  1. intrusive memories, which may involve recalling the traumatic events or experiences through dreams and flashbacks,
  2. avoidance, whether it be their thoughts or even people, places, etc.,
  3. changes in thoughts and emotions, often negative, and
  4. elevated arousal and emotional reactivity, which may include being insomniac.

How many therapy sessions are needed for PTSD?

The recommended length of therapy treatment for PTSD usually lasts six to 12 weeks or could be longer. Generally, each session should be around 60 to 120 minutes, and the meeting should be weekly or as needed.

What are the 17 PTSD symptoms?

There are 17 common PTSD symptoms, such as:

  1. physical reactions that include sweating or nauseating symptoms
  2. general disinterest in life or activities
  3. nightmares and flashbacks
  4. development of anxiety
  5. self-destructive behavior like substance abuse
  6. avoidance of certain activities, people, places, etc. or isolation
  7. detaching one’s self from reality
  8. hypervigilance or feeling on edge
  9. irritability
  10. difficulty in expressing emotions
  11. panic attacks
  12. insomnia
  13. quickly becoming flustered or scared
  14. inability to concentrate or focus on specific tasks and activities
  15. failure to remember details of the traumatic events
  16. suicidal feelings or tendencies
  17. hyperarousal

What happens if PTSD is left untreated?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is already a debilitating mental illness. If left untreated, it can bring more problems and challenges. Other psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, may develop. Unable to recover from PTSD will significantly lower a person’s quality of life.

Is PTSD considered a disability?

Mental illnesses are already classified as disabilities. Therefore, PTSD may be considered as one. Suppose the disorder symptoms start to worsen and hamper an individual from doing the daily routine. In that case, the person may go to a psychiatrist to prove the disorder’s debilitating problems.

Once verified, an individual is entitled to disability benefits such as discounts on medicines and safe space for them in public places.

How do you heal from PTSD?

Many treatment options are available, such as psychotherapy, exposure therapy, rehabilitation, and medication management. However, the recovery process for PTSD is a long and winding path.

How do you get approved for PTSD?

As mentioned before, a certified and licensed mental health professional, specifically a psychiatrist, must diagnose an individual with PTSD. The four significant clusters of the disorder are considered, and a patient must exhibit at least 1-2 symptoms each under the categories.

What are the three E’s of trauma?

The three E’s of trauma are mainly:

  1. The event, of the traumatic circumstances,
  2. Experience, in regards to how the individual perceives and processes the event, and
  3. From the name itself, the effect is about the outcome of the first two E’s mentioned.

What does a PTSD attack feel like?

Signs of a PTSD attack varies per person. It may come without warning, yet it can gradually grow from feelings of fear or anxiety for others. You may watch out for physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. At some point, you may also lose consciousness.

Can PTSD cause personality changes?

One of the clusters of PTSD is changes in thoughts and emotions linked with personality. Those with PTSD are at high-risk of personality changes. While some even develop a personality disorder like antisocial personality disorder or schizophrenia.

What triggers PTSD attacks?

Many things can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder in people. These may include serious events such as death, war, crimes, and abuse and are often called external triggers. On the other hand, there are also internal triggers like excessive worrying, memories, and anger.


The sound of being in a room full of individuals struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder seems incredibly intimidating at first. But studies show the efficacy rate of group therapy is higher than expected. Many people with PTSD show vast improvement after committing to attending group therapies.

Living alone with trauma is burdensome. But with group therapy, individuals find validation in peers battling with PTSD as well. There is comfort in knowing that you are not suffering alone. It is genuinely validating to know that others are also going through it and experiencing how it feels.

Group therapy offers a sense of security and safety, serving as a solid rock of support for PTSD. It is an avenue for the victims to freely and openly share their hardships, confide in their situations with no judgment. Group therapy also facilitates the exchange of ideas, skills, and knowledge to cope with the disorder.

If you are interested, you may check with your current therapist or mental health practitioner for PTSD group therapies near your area. Your therapist will be able to match you with a perfect group with the right course of treatment.

Mental Health 101: Helping Loved Ones Get Over A Toxic Relationship


My big brother Johnny had been the glue that kept our family together. Though there was a 13-year age gap between us, I could remember a time when our home got seized by the bank because our parents could not pay for it anymore. We stayed in a motel for a few months, and Mom and Dad were on the brink of getting divorced because they were blaming each other for our financial worries. But Johnny told them to stop fighting and that he would look for a part-time job to bring food to the table.

Johnny was only 17 years old back then, but he already knew how to handle our situation better than our parents. The family finances eventually got sorted out when Dad’s business venture kicked off, so we managed to get our house back. Still, even my parents were forever grateful for my big brother acting like an adult when they couldn’t.


By the time I entered first grade, my big brother already went off to the community college. He remained close to us and visited home almost every weekend. If Johnny couldn’t go home, he would often call and say that he missed being with us. However, my brother started to change when he met Jenna.

Johnny’s Toxic Relationship

Even at a young age, I already knew that Jenna was bad news. She acted and looked like those mean girls in the TV shows that Mom used to watch. When Johnny introduced her to the family for the first time, Jenna kept her chin up the entire time. She wasn’t blatantly rude to us, but it was obvious even for me that she didn’t even want to meet us. After dinner, Jenna asked my brother if they could go back to their apartment, even though the initial plan was to spend the night in our house.

When the couple was already gone, I overheard Mom complaining to Dad. “Did you see how that girl picked on her plate as if the food I made was not palatable at all? And Johnny couldn’t see that she almost didn’t want to talk to us!”


Trying to appease Mom, Dad said, “Please calm down. What can we do about it? Our son is already an adult. We can only hope that he would realize it soon.”

Well, my parents’ wish didn’t come into reality as soon as they hoped. Three years later, Johnny and Jenna were still together. I could count the number of times when the girl visited with my brother with my two hands throughout those years. Each time, she only stayed for a few hours and made up excuses to cut the visit short. And when Johnny was with us, Jenna kept calling him, asking him when he’d be back.

Before their fourth anniversary, Johnny came home again to tell my parents that he wanted to propose to Jenna. That’s when the floodgates erupted, and Mom exclaimed, “Marry that girl?! You must be out of your mind!” Then, she proceeded to rant about the awful things that she noticed Jenna do.


Instead of listening, though, my brother got up and accused Mom and Dad of not giving his soon-to-be fiancée a chance to show her true colors. But Mom heatedly said, “Oh, we saw her true colors all right, and they weren’t pretty.”

That was the last time that Johnny went back home. After some time, we heard that he got married to Jenna, and they didn’t even bother to invite us to the wedding.

The Fall Of A Toxic Relationship

When I was already in middle school, I came home to see a new car parked at our garage. Upon entering the house, I saw my brother crying in my mother’s arms. He looked much older than his age, with gray hair peeking through the black mass. When I asked what happened, everyone told me that Johnny caught his wife having an affair at their house. He left and filed for divorce on the same day before going back to our home.


Johnny uttered, “I should have listened when you all said that marrying Jenna was an awful decision. Look where it got me now.”

But instead of blaming my big brother for the fall of his toxic relationship, we helped him get back on his own feet. Dad sent movers to the house that Johnny shared with Jenna, and they proceeded to put it on sale. My brother also hired the best lawyer in town to ensure that he wouldn’t need to pay for alimony. In the end, she never got a dime from Johnny. (Justice was served!)

At home, the entire family focused on my brother’s mental health. We went on trips and ate together and spent most nights reconnecting with each other. Johnny also took on the job of driving me to and from school, and I could not be happier to bond wit my big brother. During one of those school outings, he even met my beautiful Math teacher, Ms. Abby. Though Johnny said it was too early to find love again, we could see them having a bright future together.


Family Concerns


The family is the basic unit of society. No one is born into this world without a family. We learn the ways of the world from the very people we learn how to walk and talk. Basically, everything that we are is founded on how we were raised. However, we all know that not all families are the same. This means that some people grow up a lot differently from others. 

Continue reading Family Concerns

How Individual Therapy Can Benefit Your Relationship


A person may experience personal challenges which could affect his overall wellbeing. Whether it is from too much stress from the current situation, depression from past circumstances, or anxiety of the future, individual therapy can help significantly. It aims to go deep into what’s causing the disturbance of the mind, affecting how a person functions in life and how he treats the people around him.

Continue reading How Individual Therapy Can Benefit Your Relationship