Depression Counseling Columbia, MO

Depression & Sadness

You've been feeling sad, 'empty,' maybe hopeless. Most days, you feel rundown, lacking the energy or motivation to complete the most basic of life tasks. Activities that you love have lost their appeal. 

Reach out today and complete my Consultation Form! Let's connect.

As an compassionate therapist & expert guide, I help you break free from depression.

Are feelings sad, 'empty' or hopeless? Have you been feeling rundown, lacking the energy or motivation to complete the most basic of life tasks? Do those activities which once provided pleasure and joy lost their appeal? Are you finding yourself withdrawing from those you love, preferring the comfort of your soft bed in a dark room?

Navigating your way out of the dark winding maze of depression isn't easy. You find yourself twisting and turning to break free with no success. As an expert guide, I'm here to hand you a flashlight, walking with you until you reach the light. 

Depression is a common mood disorder which negatively impacts the way you feel, think, and act. Depressive symptoms can be severe, causing noticeable difficulties at work, school, social activities or relationships with others. While others might be able to maintain general functioning but feel empty, numb, unhappy, depressed or hopeless without really knowing why.

If you are or have experienced depressive symptoms, you know first hand how devastating and debilitating depression can be. You know how deeply one can experience the emotional, mental and physical pain. You also know depression impacts more than just you, but those who love you.  

Thankful, depression is treatable! 

In the last year, its estimated a whopping 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. 

A significant number of people received treatment from health care professionals (such as counselor and therapists), or pharmacological/medications, or a combination of both when appropriate. Unfortunately, 37% of people suffering did not receive any treatment. But why?

It might surprise you to learn some people don't recognize they are experiencing depression. 

Consider for a moment depression is on a continuum, ranging from mild symptoms to profoundly severe and debilitating symptoms. You might be completing all of those tasks necessary to sustain life and carry on, such as getting out of bed eat morning, going to work, paying bills, and so on. Yet, your withdrawing from friends, stop doing things you used to love, and you're feeling drained, numb or even emotional. On the other end of the continuum, completing the simplest of daily tasks are overwhelming, such as showering, household chores, and keeping with other basic living needs.

As a counselor, I want to meet you where you are and help you improve your mood. Whether you are experiencing mild symptoms to severely depressed, I'm here to help guide and support you.

Are you still wondering if you should seek treatment? Not clear what signs and symptoms you should be looking for? 

Find out more by reading the list below of depression signs and symptoms.

FREE 15-minute Consultation

Reach out for a FREE 15-minute consultation. 

Please complete the Consultation Form. This form helps me gather important information to see if we are a good fit! 

I'll reach out to you within 24 hour to schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation.

Or if you're ready, we can schedule an appointment.

I look forward to connecting with you! 

Depression | High Functioning Depression

You might go to work, see friends, and enjoy activities at times. But other times life just feels really tough. Something is just don't know what.

Do you feel a general feelings of sadness, tired, critical of yourself, or little things become big fast. You might also feel irritable, shame, or guilt.

Reach out today and let's figure out what's going on in your life. There's always room for growth.

Free 15-minute Consultation

Depression | Common Signs & Symptoms and Causes

What are common signs and symptoms of depression?

What are common causes and risk factors for depression?

What are common causes and risk factors for depression?


Below you will find some examples of common symptoms of depression, as defined by The National Institute of Mental Health. It's also important to recognize not every person who is experiencing depression will have every symptom. 

If you've been experiencing symptoms for two or more weeks, seek help now. 

  • Hopeless, depressed, sad, or "empty."
  • Guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritable 
  • Low energy, tired or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable
  • Changes in Sleeping Patterns (way too much or not enough)
  • Changes in appetite, eating patterns or weight
  • Increased sensitivity or excessive crying
  • Social Isolation
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems (without an apparent physical cause or that do not ease even with treatment)
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

*Please Note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive list.* 

What are common causes and risk factors for depression?

What are common causes and risk factors for depression?

What are common causes and risk factors for depression?


There are a variety of factors could be at play.

  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Personal or family history of depression
  • Major life changes, stressful life events or trauma
  • Substance Use, Alcohol Abuse, and Addiction
  • Certain physical illnesses, medications, or hormone changes (pregnancy or menopause)
  • Other factors might include:
    • Poor self-esteem, relationship issues, lack of social support.

Additionally, there's a cognitive component to depression. There are specific styles in thinking, known as 'thinking errors,' which may actually cause or preventing you from navigating out of the dark labyrinth of depression. 

You find yourself twisting and turning to break free with no success. As an expert guide, I'm here to hand you the flashlight and walk with you until you reach the light.  I will teach you to recognize and disrupt unhealthy styles of thinking, helping to alleviate your depressive symptoms. 

Do you want to know more specifically how I approach depression treatment, helping you to live life with joy once more?  Read more below.

Psychotherapy for Depression Treatment

How does counseling and psychotherapy help you to alleviate depression?

 I help you achieve relief by using cutting-edge research coupled with evidenced-based therapy approaches, like cognitive behavioral therapy, proven to treat depression

I use a holistic approach with each client, knowing all facets of your life are inner connected. During treatment, the following may be explored or addressed to help you reduce depressive symptoms, achieve relief, and prevent a return of symptoms

Common Elements to Treatment:

  • Identify and track your symptoms
  • Identify your current level of functioning
  • Consider contributing factors
  • Address underlying issues
  • Disrupt cognitive patterns and thinking errors
  • Improve coping skills and supportive daily routines
  • Provide ongoing education and support.
  • Strengthen basic self-care (sleep, food, exercise)
  • Enhance social contact and increase support systems 
  • Discuss and explore the pros and cons of adding additional health care providers to your care team 
    • Possible yearly evaluation from a primary care doctor, to rule out any physical illness.
    • Possible evaluation from a psychiatrist - to identify if medication is an appropriate option and gather information regarding medications to make an informed decision.

*Please Note: Elizabeth Hocker Counseling is not pro or anti-medication and respects your right to choose whether medication is an appropriate option for you.*

Knowledge is power. Therefore, I desire to empower you with all of the relevant information and explore all of the available options at your disposal. You are always in charge of your treatment; therefore you have the right to choose. 

If you decide you wish to consider medication as an option, please note there is no way I can prescribe medications, but I may be able to provide a referral.  

Please complete my Consultation Form!

Please complete my Consultation Form and let's find out if we are a good fit! There is no obligation to schedule a session by completing the form or after your optional FREE 15-minute consultation.