Depression Services

Depression treatment in San Diego

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Depression causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. Clinical depression goes by many names, such as “the blues,” biological depression, and major depression. But all of these names refer to the same thing: feeling sad and down for weeks or months on end — not just a passing blue mood of a day or two. This feeling is often combined with a sense of hopelessness, a lack of energy, feeling burdened, and taking little or no pleasure in activities that once gave joy in the past.

Depression symptoms take many forms, and no two people’s experiences are exactly alike. A person who is suffering from depression may not seem sad to others. They may instead complain about how they just “can’t get moving,” or are feeling completely unmotivated to do anything. Even simple things — like getting dressed in the morning or eating at mealtime — become large obstacles in daily life. People around them, such as their friends and family, may notice the change too.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression can often start off as higher levels of anxiety in children. Children may also express depression with increased levels of irritability, anger, opposition, poor frustration tolerance, temper tantrums, regressed behaviors, bed-wetting, poor school performance, conflict with peers, social withdrawal, a change in appetite, and poor sleep.

Our team offers a multi-modal, evidence-based treatment approach to diminish symptoms, alter cognitions, improve physical well-being, and develop adaptive skills to cope with mood and motivation. Our treatment approach includes:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Positive Psychology


Family Therapy

Motivational Interviewing

Interpersonal Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

We treat the following forms of depression:

  • Major Depression Disorder: This includes the majority of the following symptoms, experienced more days than not over the course of two or more weeks: a persistent feeling of loneliness or sadness; lack of energy; feelings of hopelessness; difficulties with sleeping; difficulties with eating; difficulties with concentration or attention; total loss of interest in enjoyable activities or socializing; feelings of guilt and worthlessness; and/or thoughts of death or suicide. Most people who are feeling depressed don’t experience every symptom, and the presentation of symptoms varies in degree and intensity from person to person.
  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): A depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.
  • Postpartum depression: This is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: This is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder: This is different from depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
  • Other types of depressive disorders recently added to the diagnostic classification of DSM-5 including disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (diagnosed in children and adolescents) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Aspiring Families therapists focus on an integrative approach to teach adults, kids, teens and college students how to alleviate symptoms, restructure cognition, cope with stressors, develop adaptive responses, build resiliency, and restore daily life to health and wellness.