Seeking Help with Depression in Portland

depressed woman sitting in the dark bedroom

Portland, Oregon is one of the top-rated cities for Depression

Depression is the 2nd most common mental health issue in the United States, and the leading cause of disability in adults aged 15-44. The rates are even more staggering in Portland. Research indicates that Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington are rated as two of the most depressed cities in the U.S. Portland’s own OHSU Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Alfred Lewy, agrees that depression is prevalent in Portland.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Symptoms typically include a distortion in mood. Often, people navigating depression experience a lingering sadness, emptiness, disconnection, or melancholy.
  • Irritability and anger are also typical mood disruptions that people experience during a Depressive Episode. Males are more likely than females to display irritability as the primary mood distortion, though anyone on any end of the gender spectrum can display this.
  • Other symptoms include loss of interest in activities or loss of pleasure in activities, including spending time with others.
  • Some symptoms deal with energy and changes in cognitive functioning. These include fatigue, difficulty with decision making, problems with concentration, and excessive guilt. Some people find it near impossible to get out of bed.
  • People with depression also can experience changes (increases or decreases) with appetite, weight, and sleep.
  • Other symptoms include passive or active suicidal ideations: these include thoughts of just not wanting to exist anymore, thoughts that life or others would be better off if you were dead, wanting to kill oneself, or the mind planning how to kill oneself.

What causes depression?

This is an important question, and one that has no singular answer. Many who experience depression feel like it is their fault (remember one of the symptoms is excessive guilt), and it is not. Depression is a relatively normal mental health issue and is typically a stress reaction that can occur due to a number of circumstances. These factors can include genetics, biological factors in brain/body chemistry, physical changes to the body, psychological factors in coping mechanisms, social factors, and environmental factors can all contribute to depression. Even a major life change can bring out an episode of depression.

How do I know if I need help?

Generally speaking, if you notice that symptoms are affecting your quality of life, are causing you personal distress, or are interfering with your functioning at work, home, in relationships, or other elements of life, it is a good time to seek help. Many people live with a low-grade depression (commonly called Dysthymia) and Major Depressive Episodes for several years due to stigma, shame, the energy problems depression causes, or the fact that they are functioning and can endure. If you think your quality of life can be improved by shifting your mood, it’s a good idea to reach out to a mental health professional.

If you are experiencing suicidal ideations, it is also time to seek help and know you are not alone and this can get better. When the mind starts going to the stages of planning a suicide, the risk increases significantly. If you are in the planning stages of suicide and are looking for immediate help, here are some helpful resources for crisis intervention:

  • Multnomah County Crisis Line: 503-988-4888
  • National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-279-8255
  • Crisis Text Line:  Text “HOME” to 741741
  • You may also call 911 if you do not think you can prevent suicide

Treatment for Depression

The good news is depression can be treated and you shouldn’t be expected to do it alone. Therapy is a collaborative process with the goal of healing and developing personal empowerment. Together, we will work towards your goals, identify barriers, develop grounding skills, heal wounds, and increase your cognitive flexibility. We also take a look at physiological factors like nutrition, exercise, sleep, and other health behaviors to help treat this complicated condition.

Do I need insurance to see a therapist?

No. In fact, at Mindful Healing Portland LLC., we accept clients on a sliding scale. We are currently accepting clients for our sliding scale rates.


If you live in Portland or the Portland area and want information or help with Depression,