Depression Therapy Services
What is Depression?
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about what exactly depression is. Simply put, depression is not just a temporary mood swing nor is it a sign of weakness. Depression is a real medical condition that encompasses and expresses itself through very real emotional, physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms. Depression is not a character flaw nor is it something anyone should feel any shame or guilt about. Depression is a real health problem. Fortunately, Depression Therapy is available. However, you must be aware of it and it is imperative that you know how to ask for help. Knowing one needs depression therapy and asking for it is the first step in treating depression.
What Causes Depression?
No one is exactly sure what causes depression. It seems to be a combination of life events, personal factors such as, family history, personality, serious medical illnesses, and drug and alcohol use. It is believe that depression does run in families, leaving some individuals with a greater genetic risk of developing depression. Some individuals, especially those with perfectionist tendencies, tend to have a personality that is higher at risk to developing depression. The constant stress and worry about coping through a personal or close serious medical injury can increase sensitivity and make one prone to depressive moods. Finally, drug and alcohol use can both lead to depression and many who currently suffer from depression have issues with substance abuse.
How Can Depression Therapy Help
There is a wide range of depression treatment programs available to those who believe they or a close loved one is suffering from depression. This means that there is not one proven way to help people recover from depression and treatment is different for every individual. The first step is speaking with a professional first before determining a mental health recovery plan. From there a health professional can help you guide you towards the right lifestyle changes and social support programs. Typically, a combination of medication, talking, and lifestyle changes prove to be some of the best results. There is a large range of individual and group organizations that provide support for people who are experiencing and suffering from depression. Some individuals may benefit from one particular type of depression therapy health professional, while others may benefit from seeking out a range of different types. The good news is that depression, when managed properly, is 100% treatable and many individuals who seek treatment continue to live happy and fulfilling lives.
Types of Depression
Just like there is no one-treatment style or type to treat and manage depression, there is more than one type of depression. Depression can be caused from a wide range of things such as genetics, loss, illness, stress, and substance abuse. Seeking treatment for any type of depression can drastically and positively alter the quality of an individual’s life.
Major Depressive Disorder
This is the most common form of depression. Major depressive disorder can be characterized by a relatively lengthy period during which an individual may feel sad, hopeless, lacks focus in life on a daily, or almost daily basis, for the better part of each day. These feelings typically last upwards of at least two weeks. This particular type of depressive condition is often associated with other symptoms that can have dramatic and harmful consequences emotionally, socially, professionally, as well as in any other significant areas of an individual’s life. Thankfully, when managed properly, recovery is possible.
Also known as SAD, this type of depression frequently occurs among individuals who live in areas, where, during the winter loss of daylight is common. Another name for seasonal depression is also, Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is an extremely common form and affects nearly 3% to 5% of adults. The onset of this type typically occurs during fall and will lift around the arrival of spring. SAD is treatable and can be managed appropriately and effectively.
While the birth of a child is truly a wonderful and joyous experience, it also can have a dramatic effect on a woman’s hormone levels. As a result of this profound dip in hormones, a new Mother is most likely to feel symptoms of depression. Studies suggest that postpartum depression is linked to rapidly shifting hormones. This is completely normal and very common among new Mothers. It does not make a Mom a bad Mom, but professional treatment management is highly recommended.
Everyone grieves in his or her own way and no two people grieve necessarily in the same way. It can be an extremely painful process, but grief is completely normal and necessary response to a significant loss or trauma in one’s life. The period in which grief can last will vary by individual and can last anywhere between a few weeks, to a few months, or even years. A traumatic loss or event can trigger genuine depression.
Signs of Depression
The signs and symptoms of depression are distinct, yet easy to miss or write off. Those who are currently suffering from depression may benefit from this signs checklist. If you are currently being treated for depression, this checklist is a great way to track and monitor to your progress and success. Keep in mind that it is important to discuses with your doctor all of your symptoms that you may be having.
Depression can manifest itself in various forms and can have dramatic effects on your overall physical health and well being. Here is a list of the physical symptoms those suffering from depression, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, may experience:
- Dramatic weight loss or weight gain in a short period of time.
- Aching joints
- Back Pain
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Stomach pains
- Fatigue or lack of energy
Remember, these are not the only physical symptoms you may experience, as everyone’s body is different. However, these are the most common physical symptoms that will likely be expressed when depressed.
Many people who don’t understand what depression is exactly often think that it’s just people who are “sad”. While prolonged sadness is a symptom, it is much more than just being “sad”. The emotional symptoms can take an extreme toll on your mental and physical health.
- Sadness throughout the day, nearly everyday, for a period of up to 2 weeks or longer.
- Excessive or inappropriate feelings of guilt.
- Loss of interest in activities, hobbies, or jobs that one interested you
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble making decisions
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling restless
- Self loathing
Emotional symptoms, over time, often develop into physical symptoms. This is why it is so important to recognize the emotional or physical symptoms as soon as they being to rear their head.
When you aren’t feeling well mentally or physically, it’s very common to begin to act out in ways that you normally wouldn’t. As stated earlier, depression isn’t just being “sad” it impacts every facet of your life. Behavioral symptoms can have damaging and life altering effects when not addressed immediately and properly.
- Reckless Behavior (drunk driving, unprotected sex)
- Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)
- Tasteless food
- No interest in socializing
Depression is not a life sentence. There is a cure and with proper care and management it can be possible to regain life as you once knew.
What Causes Depression
The question, “what causes depression” is somewhat of an oversimplified question for an answer that is quite complicated. There are a multitude of reasons why depression affects some individuals and not others. As modern medicine begins to better understand what depression is and how to treat it effectively, so does our understanding of what can cause depression. For now, we know there are about 3 factors that can make an individual susceptible to developing depression or depression like symptoms.
Some individuals, unfortunately, are genetically predisposed to developing depression at some point in their life. Often times this predisposition is revealed with the help of environmental factors and psychological factors. However, just because someone does have a predisposition does not mean that they have to suffer at the hands of depression. Even with a genetic disposition, treatment is still possible and extremely effective. In fact, knowing if you do have a predisposition can greatly alter how successful your doctor can be with identifying and treating your depression therapy.
Everyone’s brains are wired differently. Some people have an easier time with a sunny disposition, while others are a bit mellower. With that being said, everyone handles outside influences differently. Each person’s thoughts will determine how their life experiences affect them. It is believed that much of our world and our view of the world are shaped during our early childhood. So it is no surprise that children who grow up in a strict or negative home environment will grow to view the outside world as the same. The way we view the world reinforces the negative difficulties we experience in life, therefore predisposing us to greater emotional suffering.
Extreme stress like loss of a job, financial hardship, moving, loss of a loved one or family member can all trigger depressive episodes which can eventually lead to full blown depression. Social isolation can be a result of depression and only further harm an individual who is suffering from intrusive and negative thoughts. Health issues, like chronic health problems, can adversely impact an individual’s mental health. These environmental factors are often out of an individual’s control and can lead to a mental downward spiral.
The biggest struggle with treating depression is depression itself. A depressed person often removes themselves from the comfort of loved ones, friends, and family as well as dropping personal interests. Reintegrating those things back into their life can have a wonderfully positive effect when treating depression.
Depression Therapy Counseling
If you believe that you are suffering from symptoms of depression, it is so important to seek help as soon as possible. Depression can have a spiraling effect and without the proper treatment and care can dramatically impact the quality of life. The signs and symptoms are nothing to scoff at nor are they something anyone should ignore. This means that even if you aren’t suffering, but you notice a friend, family member, or loved one suffering with symptoms, speak up and reach out. For those interested in seeking counseling, but have never sought counseling in the past, here are a few tips.
Take it Slow
Whether you are a first timer or have experienced counseling in the past for depression therapy, taking treatment slow is the best way to control what’s happening. It’s impossible to cure depression over night and even with the best treatment, there are still going to be dark days. Though, this shouldn’t scare any one away, just know that you are not alone and you are not failing at treatment.
It’s so important to ask questions before and throughout your treatment process. Asking questions allows your doctor to effectively explain what is happening every step of the way. Not only that, but asking questions also helps you gauge what you are comfortable with and not comfortable with. Some doctors will want to prescribe medication and others may not. Asking your doctor questions helps to identify if medication is right for you or if the medication he’s prescribing has adverse side effects.
Depression is such an individual experience and not every doctor or medical treatment center will feel right for you. This means that it may take a couple of tries and first visits before finding the treatment program and doctor for you. This also helps to avoid feelings of “failure” that sometimes people have when they don’t necessarily click with a counselor or doctor. If you feel comfortable, ask friends or family if they can recommend any one or do some online research.
Depression therapy is one of the best ways to help alleviate and treat depression and its symptoms. No one should have to suffer alone carrying the weight of depression. Depression therapy offers a wonderful opportunity to take back your life and return the quality back to your life. Treatment is possible with patience and persistence. It won’t always be easy, but is worth it.
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