How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Michael Jones, LMFT Your Own Question
Michael Jones, LMFT
Michael Jones, LMFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 105
Experience:  Over 12 years experience as a therapist, both inpatient and outpatient. APA Board Certified.
50659084
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Michael Jones, LMFT is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I think I suffer from depression. Not all the time, but I sometimes

Resolved Question:

I think I suffer from depression. Not all the time, but I sometimes seem to get stuck there for weeks. I can't stop crying and I feel...useless. Do I go see a doctor? A psychologist? A psychiatrist? Whats the difference?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Michael Jones, LMFT replied 6 years ago.

Michael Jones, LMFT :

Hello, my name isXXXXX and I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. I believe I can answer your question.

Michael Jones, LMFT :

May I ask you a few questions before I formulate my answer?

Customer:

yes

Michael Jones, LMFT :

Great.
How long have you noticed this pattern?
When you have these episodes, do you lose interest in most things?
When you feel this way, do you also experience appetite changes and sleep changes?
Do you find yourself thinking a lot about death?

Customer:

I guess its been going on since I was a teenager really but I thought it was something I'd grow out of.

Customer:

When I feel like that, I just can't concentrate on stuff and have no interest in spending time with friends, but also feel incredibly lonely and lost. I don't experience appetite changes, but I find it hard to sleep. I don't think about death so much as think about how pointless it is to be alive

Michael Jones, LMFT :

Do you feel fatigued during these periods?

Customer:

I feel fatigued now, I couldn't say for definite about other times though

Michael Jones, LMFT :

I suspect you may be experiencing a depressive disorder. Of course, I cannot provide a formal diagnosis in a forum such as this.
You first step is to get an assessment from a qualified clinician or physician. This could be a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or social worker. The differences are as follows:
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have received special training in psychology and psychotropic medications. They typically provide medication management for patients. Most today do not provide therapy. They typically refer patients out for therapy.

Michael Jones, LMFT :

Psychologists are PhD-level clinicians who provide therapy and testing. They do not provide prescriptions.

Michael Jones, LMFT :

Social workers and therapists are typically Masters Degree-level clinicians. They are usually licensed to provide individual, couples and family therapy. They do not dispense or prescribe medications.

Customer:

Which do you think would best be able to help me?

Michael Jones, LMFT :

In your case, you could start with any one of these three, depending on what you are seeking. If you are interested in medication for depression, start with psychiatrist. If you are seeking therapy, start with either a psychologist or therapist, knowing that if you need medication, they will have to refer you to a psychiatrist. With all due respect to my family practice colleagues, I would not see a family doctor about psychiatric issues. They may start you on an antidepressant, but will likely refer you to a psychiatrist for ongoing treatment. The fact is that psychiatrists are well-versed in psychotropic medications and understand the nuances of these drugs in ways that family practitioners do not.

Michael Jones, LMFT :

If you are interested in therapy, then seek out a qualified cognitive-behavioral therapist, at least in the beginning.


The most effective therapeutic treatment for depression is cognitive-behavioral (CBT) psychotherapy. Alone or combined with medication it has a roughly 80% success rate in the literature. The CBT model is based upon the concept that our feelings emanate from our thoughts. It holds that conditions like depression are based on distorted thinking patterns. By definition, these distorted thought patterns tend to be negative and unrealistic. Therefore, this brief, time-limited therapy focuses on helping you exchange depressive thoughts for more positive and realistic thoughts. This can help greatly reduce your depressive symptoms. Aside from changing thoughts, there are specific behavioral techniques that can be tailored to suit your particular presentation.
CBT is not the only type of psychotherapy that aids the treatment of depression. As a primarily existential clinician, I typically provide cognitive-behavioral therapy in the early stages of therapy to help the client reduce and eliminate their symptoms of depression prior to exploring the deeper psychological issues that are fueling the condition.
Aside from talk therapy, there are some wonderful books available that offer a self-help CBT approach. One such book is Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David Burns. It is readily available at major booksellers. Feeling Good and its accompanying workbook walks one through self-directed CBT for depression.
As far as medications go, they can be very helpful, but are not a cure for depression. Although many rely on them as their sole form of depression treatment, they tend to be most effective when used in combination with talk therapy.


 

Michael Jones, LMFT :

Have I answered your question completely?

Customer:

yes I think so. Thankyou

Michael Jones, LMFT :

Thank you. Please remember to click the Accept button and leave your feedback for me. Should you have additional questions in the future, you may always contact me here at Just Answer.

Michael Jones, LMFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions