Depression: Treatment and Help
Depression is a complex illness that affects millions of Americans. Depression has a wide range of symptoms, from the mildly inconvenient (the temporary “blues”) to the downright debilitating (inability to get out of bed or to keep a job). Depression is the root cause of many mental, spiritual, and physical problems, so getting depression help can have a beneficial impact for anyone suffering from depression.
Depression is the unseen culprit beneath many relational conflicts.
It has been estimated that one-fifth of the population suffers from major depression at some point of their lives! It follows, then that unresolved—perhaps undiagnosed—depression may be a root cause of conflicts within many a marriage. Counseling clients are sometimes relieved when I observe signs of depression, because it is treatable and can result in better relationships at home and at work.
There Are Different Types of Depression
I help my clients identify the type of depression they may be experiencing, so we can find the proper treatment. There are three main types of depressive disorders, and I have experienced working with all three in my practice.
Major depressive episodes are disabling to the point that work, study, sleeping and eating are affected. Sufferers often describe these events with the word “dark.” Generally lasting for at least two weeks, these episodes include numerous specific symptoms that help a therapist diagnose the condition, such as:
- persistent sad, empty moods
- fatigue or notably decreased energy
- pessimism or hopelessness
- helpless or guilty feelings with no apparent cause
- disinterest in activities previously enjoyed, including sex
- indecisiveness, even in minor matters
- difficulty concentrating
- unusual sleep or lack of sleep
- unintentional weight loss or weight gain
- increased thoughts about death or suicide
- actual suicide attempts
- physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach pain that don’t respond to medical treatment
Major depressive episodes can occur frequently in one’s life, or just once or twice.
IMPORTANT: the above list is not all-inclusive, and having any or all of the listed symptoms does not mean that an individual has major depression. Symptoms are part of the tools a licensed therapist uses to evaluate the client’s condition.
Dysthymia is a long-term yet less severe form of depression. It can be harder to shake than major depression, because it does not interfere with daily living activities. It includes some of the above symptoms, such as energy, eating and sleeping issues. Stress and irritability are hallmarks of this condition.
Sufferers are sometimes called “sophisticated negative thinkers,” because they function well but with an inability to derive pleasure from their activities.
The politically-incorrect term for bipolar disorder is manic-depression. This is a brain disorder where the person experiences mood swings from highs to lows, without warning. Covering a spectrum of feelings, bipolar disorder symptoms range from high energy and activity (sometimes resulting in impulsively bad choices) to extreme sadness and hopelessness, similar to major depression. Symptoms can mimic other conditions and it may take a long time for a diagnosis of bipolar to be made.
Serious yet treatable, bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness that can be successfully managed once it is diagnosed, just like heart disease or diabetes.
IMPORTANT: I cannot stress enough how important it is to NOT self-diagnose yourself or a loved one. Please contact me or another therapist if you suspect that bipolar disorder is a possibility.
Medication Can Be Avoided
Depression treatment often includes prescription medications, but there are practical steps you can take to eliminate–or avoid taking in the first place—anti-depressant drugs.
My clients who are suffering from depression learn
- the hope of recovery
- healing ways to overcome depression
- how to use simple steps to improve mood and motivation
Many of the healing techniques seem like common sense and can be found in any self-help magazine. These involve exercise, nutrition, spirituality and social skills. But these require self-discipline, which is hard when you’re depressed.
I show you how to effectively put these skills into place.
I understand that depression has various causes. It impacts each person differently. Through getting to know you and your individual situation, such as your work and lifestyle, sleep patterns, interests, and goals, I can design a depression treatment plan that you will follow.
Depression treatment integrates spiritual, medical, and psychological principles.
It may involve adopting small steps that are easy to implement, so you can feel success instead of overwhelm. I teach healthy changes that you can make for the rest of your life, to improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones.
What You Can Expect from Working with Me
With a healthy balance of sound research, theory, and practical advice, my clients come out of depression.
- They better understand common problems and how to more effectively deal with them.
- They are better-equipped to deal with the normal stresses of everyday life.
- They gain more of a feeling of control over their lives.
- They acquire an awareness of how to prevent future depression.
Please contact me for a free consultation. I can help you discover that life can be beautiful and worth living to the fullest.