Austin Depression Counseling

A Few Words from Austin Depression Counselor and Psychotherapist

Carolyn C. Martin, MS, LPC, LMFT

5808 Balcones Dr, Ste 201
Austin, Texas 78731

Woman who needs depression counselingIt is estimated that each year somewhere between 14- and 19-million American adults will suffer from depression and that 5-20% of the U.S. population will experience depression during their lifetime. It is very likely you, someone in your family, or someone you know will experience a depressive episode during their lifetime. The person experiencing depression suffers greatly. But, depression also affects their family and friends, and if the depression is severe, it can impair or destroy the person’s ability to function at work, take care of responsibilities, or interact socially. Unfortunately, most people with depression do not realize they have a treatable condition and, therefore, never seek help.

So what is depression?

Despite what many people assume, depression is not a character flaw or personal weakness that can be wished or willed away. "Just get over it!" "Pull yourself up by your boot straps." "Snap out of it!" This all-to-common advice won’t cure depression. Successful treatment of depression involves more than a force of will.

Depression is a recognized, medical condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their age, race, sex, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. Its symptoms and their severity may vary depending on a person’s sex and age. For example, women are twice as likely to become depressed as men, but because men are less likely to report they are depressed, are more likely to mask their depression with the use of alcohol or drugs and are less willing than women to seek help, they are more at risk for committing suicide than women.

Depression can potentially be a life-threatening mood disorder that can change the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. Typically, someone who is depressed feels very sad, and often looses interest in the things that used to bring them joy and happiness. They may have poor concentration, low or no energy, and may be unable to work. Normal sleep patterns for a person with depression are interrupted. For example, they may sleep poorly, have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep.

What causes depression?

Depression has no single cause, and often, it is the result of a combination of factors, including genetics, trauma, stress, low self-esteem, hormonal changes, altered health habits, medical conditions, like heart disease or cancer, and other psychological conditions such as anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and eating disorders.

Symptoms of Depression

There are many signs and symptoms of depression. An actual diagnosis of depression is made after a thorough history is given. The following list details the most common symptoms of depression:

  • Persistently sad, anxious, and/or empty moods
  • Loss of pleasure in usual activities
  • Feelings of helplessness, guilt, or worthlessness
  • Crying, hopelessness, or persistent pessimism
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss, lack of concentration, or decision-making capability
  • Restlessness and/or irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Physical symptoms such as pains throughout the body and gastrointestinal complaints
  • Thoughts of suicide, death, or suicide attempts
  • Poor self-image or esteem

In addition to the core symptoms of depression, there are some distinct differences between the various types of depression.


The severity of depression is sometimes difficult to quantify, but we can measure the lethality of depression in terms of suicide. In 2000, suicide was the eighth leading cause of death for males and the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24. Untreated depression is the most common psychiatric disorder and the leading cause of suicide in the elderly.

Thoughts of suicide should never be ignored or minimized.

What about diagnosis and treatment?

Dealing with depression can be challenging. But it is treatable with medication, therapy, and life style changes. The good news is that with the proper treatment, 4 out of 5 patients will improve.

At Mariposa Psychotherapy Services, your therapist will spend some time getting to know you and your specific situation and symptoms. We may even ask you to speak to your doctor and get a physical, including blood work to assess your thyroid function. Once enough data has been collected, you and your therapist will decide on which course of action is best for you. Successful treatment of depression often involves a combination of regular psychotherapy sessions and life style changes, but may also include a recommendation for medication.

Psychotherapy, or "talk therapy," is an important part of treatment of depression for many people. It can sometimes work alone in cases of mild to moderate depression, or it can be used in conjunction with other treatments. Good therapy can help you modify behavioral or emotional patterns that contribute to your depression.

You can reach Carolyn C. Martin, M.S., L.P.C., L.M.F.T. at 512-795-0402. Located at 5808 Balcones, Ste 201, Austin, Texas 78731

Or, you can email us at

Learn more about depression--Austin Depression Counseling