Depression: Waiting 10 Years for Help

depression uptown dallas
One in 10 Americans are suffering from Depression at any given time. Are you worried someone you know may be more than just sad? It is often hard to know the difference between Clinical Depression and sadness. In this 4-minute Ted-Ed video, Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering.

A surprising statistic from the video:
An individual waits and average of 10 years to seek help for depression.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Introduction

The Cognitive Model (CBT): An introductory Explanation:

Two different people can react very differently to identical situations.  The basic premise of CBT is based on explaining WHY this happens, and HOW you can control your reactions.  Here is an example:

Situation #1:  Boss and new employee number 1 talking in a conference room.  Boss says to the employee, “You are a nice person.  I like you.” 

Automatic Thought of Employee #1:  “He likes me.  That is great, I must be making a positive cognitive behavioral therapy and confidenceimpression”

Emotion of Employee #1:  Happiness

Behavior of Employee #1:  Smiles and leans forward.

Physical Response of Employee #1:  Relaxation

Situation #2: Boss and new employee #2 are talking in a conference room.  Boss says to employee #2, “You are a nice person.  I like you.”

Automatic Thought of Employee #2: “No one ever likes me immediately.  My boss is lying to me.  I cannot trust him.”CBT anxiety

Emotion of Employee #2:  Anxiety

Behavior of Employee #2:  Frowns and looks down.

Physical Response of Employee #2:  Increased heart rate.

The Automatic Thought of each employee creates very different reactions to identical situations.  During Cognitive Therapy, clients learn to identify, challenge, and change these automatic thoughts.

For more information on CBT, contact


Uptown Dallas Counseling Favorite Post

Uptown Dallas Counseling shares a favorite post from 2014:

Comedian and actress Ruby Wax gave a TED talk where she spoke about her struggles with depression. She used lots of comedy mixed with some serious science and statistics about depression.
According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, but two-thirds will never seek help from a professional. Even when you isolate the U.S. population, the numbers are the same.
If you are suffering from depression or other type of mental illness, seek help from a professional. You are not alone. You do not have to go through this alone.
TED talk by Ruby Wax on Mental Illness
uptown dallas counseling happiness

Symptoms of Depression & How Talk Therapy can Help

symptoms of depressionWhile the number of suicides is at its lowest in December, the number of people who report symptoms associated with depression is at its highest.  During the holidays, many of my clients report new symptoms of depression, including:

  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Inability to make decisions
  • sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • not wanting to be around other people
If you begin to experience any of the above symptoms or think you may have depression, talk therapy can be helpful, especially Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  If you are not familiar with CBT, you can read about the basic premise for treating depression, anger, and anxiety using CBT in this Post.

One of the most common issues my clients struggle with during the holidays is that of managing expectations about people, events, and feelings. Many people have beliefs about the holidays that are simply not true, such as:

It is the best time of the year.
Everyone will show their love for everyone else.
Family will all gather together and feel only joy.
Carefully chosen presents will be appreciated.
My partner is going to give me that gift I have always wanted.
I am going to love going to 12 cocktail parties.
I have to eat and drink all that is offered.
I am going to use this family time to “fix” all our problems.
I can get by with only 4 hours of sleep.
This tree and my decorations are so fabulous, everyone will know and appreciate how hard I worked.
It is OK to stay up until 3:00am on a work day, because I have to have 4 dozen decorated cookies.
My child will not be able to survive if she does not get DaisyDoItAll Doll.
Everyone else is going to parties every night, I am only invited to one.
I lied to my friend and told her I was busy the night of her party, now I feel guilty.
Why is everyone else have such a great time, and I am miserable?  What is wrong with me?

This list goes on and on.  What are your expectations for the holiday time?  Do you share any of the above beliefs?  Your therapist may be able to help you see the connection between these unreasonable expectations and your symptoms of depression.

symptoms of depressionSome things you can try to help prevent falling into the holiday depression cycle are:
Plan ahead, make a schedule.
Only say “Yes” when you want to say “Yes”. Be okay with saying “No”.
Get your regular number of sleep hours each night.
Let go of Perfection, you can buy cookies at the store, eight strands of lights on the tree are enough.

Prepare a neutral response to conflictual situations, especially with family members.
Don’t expect anyone to behave in a way significantly different from the way they behaved last year, the holidays are not a good time to do a family “intervention” or “rescue”.
Don’t expect a partner of friend to be able to read your mind and deliver the perfect gift.
Create activities that you truly enjoy, even if they are outside your usual holiday traditions.

Challenge yourself to set realistic goals for your holiday time.  Remember, there will be things that do not go as planned.  Try to enjoy the good times.

Nelson Mandela’s Words are Therapy

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela had such a magical way with words.  Here is a SlideShare of some of his most therapeutic, inspirational quotes.

Are You an Independent Woman?

Heidi Legg writes in The Atlantic about her conversation with 
Marion Cannon Schlesinger and what it means to be an independent woman.

independent woman

Marion Cannon Schlesinger, from The Atlantic

 Schlesinger lived in Washington DC raising four children during the Kennedy Era.  She was married to Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a special advisor to President John F. Kennedy.  In her conversation with Ms. Legg, she compares her life with that of women of today.  She talks about the meaning of an independent woman and gives her recipes for leading a “full life.”

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule.