How to Know When It's Time to Start Therapy for Depression



Okay, okay, that strong statement out of the gate, let’s talk about it:

Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting therapy for depression. You’ve been feeling anywhere from a little crummy to downright awful for awhile now. Your usual tricks to “snap out of it” haven’t worked.

But actually getting started with some counseling is proving to be…..well, it’s just not happening.

Maybe you’ve tried counseling in your younger days. Maybe you tried it even in adulthood and just didn’t click with your therapist. There are so many maybes.

Man in therapist's office. Counseling for depression in St. Louis, MO is one of our specialties! Our therapists also help with anxiety therapy; therapy for grief & loss; counseling for chronic pain and illness; counseling for moms; play therapy for kids; counseling for teens; and therapy for men. We can't wait to get started with you-reach out today!

Or maybe you just aren’t sure if the way you’re feeling “qualifies” as “enough” to start therapy. You’re not sure the therapist will take you seriously, or maybe you’re worried they’ll think you’re crazy (we hear that a lot, especially in the first session or two…..spoiler alert: likely: no).

Maybe you think the symptoms need to be around for a longer amount of time before you start counseling. Maybe you think you need to feel a certain level of “bad” before it’s “worth it” to give a St. Louis therapist a call.

It's not unusual for people to ponder all of this as they figure out if it is time to start counseling for depression (or anxiety; or grief; or postpartum issues; or anything else!).

My theory, as a therapist, is this: if you are thinking about starting therapy, it’s time to start.

That’s no matter what is going on in your life: if you’re curious about it, or know you want it but aren’t sure what you want to use it for, or FOR SURE know your symptoms warrant getting started: get started.

But for those of you who want to hear a little bit more about what depression feels like and if that is prompting it to be time to get started in therapy, here is a bit about depression symptoms (and if you’re experiencing more than 2 or 3 of these, and have been for more than a few weeks….it’s probably time to get in the door):

  • You’ve experienced a change in sleep or appetite (more or less of either---including weight gain or loss) that has lasted more than 2 weeks

  • You don’t like doing the things you usually do in your free/leisure time

  • You feel unfulfilled but aren’t sure how to change it

  • You feel like you’re running out of internal resources to manage life the way it is

  • You sometimes think “if one more