1 in 5 people suffer from depression at one point in their life. Depression comes in many forms. We are here to help.
DEPRESSION: WHAT IS IT?
Depression is a common illness that affects more than 350 million people worldwide. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, feeling blue, lack of energy and negative thoughts about themselves and others. Depression is very treatable. There are many different causes of depression.
Major depressive disorder can be caused by factors such as nutrition, hormones, medications, lifestyle, gender, low self-esteem, unforeseen life events etc.. The earlier this illness is treated the better the outcome. It can affect people at any age, including children. There are many forms of treatment such as cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and play therapy, to mention a few. At the Mind Wellness Center each treatment plan is fitted to meet the clients needs and abilities and is changed when needed.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mental disorder that affects individuals both mentally and physically. It is important to note that having major depressive disorder is more than just a moment of feeling down. People who are depressed usually suffer extreme feelings of sadness or despair that last for two weeks or more. These interfere with a person’s day to day living. Depression usually is linked to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and self-blame. Often time depression interferes with a person’s ability to function. As a result of this; some may have trouble holding a job, maintaining relationships, being themselves, and some may have thoughts of suicide or death.
Depression is tough. The good news is that it is treatable with therapy and/or medication. A psychotherapist can help you understand what is the most effective treatment option for you.
What Does Depression Look Like?
Depression is different for everyone. This is not to be confused with bouts of sadness due to stressful events, loss of a loved one or even a break-up. According to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV some of the signs and symptoms include:
Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness most days
Loss of interest in activities
Major increase or decrease in appetite, along with weight gain or weight loss
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Feeling restless or sluggish
Loss of energy
Thoughts of death or of suicide
Depression And Grief/Bereavement Are Different
Depression is often linked to triggering events such as loosing someone either because they passed, or because a relationship ended. These are difficult life events that people go through. Additionally, going through job loss or major changes can be just as hard. It is natural to experience feelings of sadness or grief in situations like these. Often people might describe themselves as ‘being depressed’ or ‘having depression’ despite not being clinically depressed.
It is very important to understand that feeling down and sad when you have experienced life changes is a normal response. The grieving process is different for each individual and often times shares some of the same symptoms of depression. However, the duration and intensity are different when you feel sad because a loved one has passed away. They are also different in several other ways:
In response to the death of a loved one; painful feelings are intermittent. They are intermixed with both the sadness of loss, as well as the positive memories of the person that passed away. People who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder are in a persistent depressed mood and are unable to feel much happiness overall.
Individuals who are grieving usually have no change in general self-esteem, while those that are going through a Major Depressive Episode (MDE) commonly experience feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness.
In grief, individuals might think of wanting to be with the deceased one, often times to tell them things that were left unsaid or to communicate to them how much they are missed and loved. In MDE when individuals think about death, or have such thoughts, they usually have to do with ending one’s own life due to difficulty in coping with their negative thoughts or feeling that they are unable to handle life.
What Are Effective Ways To Treat Depression
There are several ways in which depression is treated. Each type of treatment depends on the individual themselves, their psychological and psychosocial history, the severity of the depression and other medical issues. Depression even though it is the most common mental disorder, and the leading cause of disability worldwide it is highly treatable. The good news is that 80 to 90 percent of people respond well to treatment. Depression may be caused by medical conditions such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies. A medical evaluation including blood-work will help determine if that is the case.
There are effective treatments for individuals depression such as psychotherapy also known as ‘talk therapy’. This may be used alone for people who have moderate or mild depression, and sometimes used in conjunction with medication; for people who suffer from severe depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat this type of issue. It is a type of therapy that focuses on the present thought processes, and how these affect mood and behavior. It is also very much focused on problem solving and finding ways to cope with life. There are many other forms of therapy that have also been shown to improve functioning, make sure you do your research in finding a provider. Click here for some tips.
Psychotherapy may be individual or it may involve the spouse or family. Therapy length depends on the extent of the depression and on the individual themselves. It can vary from 8-15 sessions. Clients have shown to already feel a little better with just a couple of sessions. Before starting any type of therapy you may want to try these and see if you feel any better.
Unfortunately, brain chemistry may sometimes be a contributing factor to depression. Some people, may be prescribed medication to help regulate specific chemicals in the brain, along side psychotherapy.
How Do I know Dr. Kreinberg Is The Right Therapist For Me?
Dr. Kreinberg has years of experience working with individuals that suffer from a myriad of issues including depression, anxiety and trauma. She has a proven track record helping hundreds of people find hope and see change. Sometimes it may only require a few sessions to get a good start.
Things can change- Take a chance.