Approximately 25 percent of U.S. adults struggle with depression, anxiety or some combination of both.

– National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

In any given year, approximately 6.9 percent of American adults — about 16 million people — live with depression. Approximately 18.1 percent — about 42 million — live with anxiety.

These numbers are staggering but perhaps not as eye-opening as another number. According to NIMH, 50 to 60 percent of those living with anxiety and depression receive no mental health services.

Depression is one of the most common reasons people seek therapy, and the condition is highly treatable. Unfortunately, though, the stigma surrounding depression inhibits many people from seeking treatment. Because an individual with depression may be viewed as flawed or weak, that person is likely to feel shame regarding his or her condition, and he or she may fear the consequences of disclosing the experience to employers, health care providers, family, and friends.

There are a number of therapeutic approaches that have demonstrated effectiveness in treating depression. A trained therapist can help a person view a depressive state with curiosity and without judgment, in an effort to understand and heal the source of the depression. In fact, many times simply identifying the source of depression can enhance treatment outcomes and provide some relief from depression. Therapy also helps people to recognize and access their strength, autonomy, and capacity for change.

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