Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapies today. Most effective for Depression & Anxiety Disorders.
Coping With Depression
What is Depression?
Depression is one of the most common and treatable of all mental disorders. It is a real illness, and not a passing blue mood or sign of personal weakness. Symptoms of depression affect thoughts, feelings, the body, and behavior. Without treatment, the symptoms can last for months, years, or a lifetime.
How Does Depression Differ from “the Blues”?
Everyone feels “blue” or “down” over certain things that happen. Grieving over a loss, feelings of sadness or discouragement are natural parts of the human healing process. But, when these feelings last for more than two weeks, the person may be suffering from depression that requires treatment.
What Causes Depression?
Depression is often caused by a combination of factors. Stressful life evens, difficult family relationships, a family history of depression, and chemical imbalances in the body all contribute to the illness. Certain drugs and medical conditions can also cause a person to feel depressed.
What are the Emotional Signs?
Persistently feeling hopeless, worthless, guilty, sad, bored, having recurring thoughts of death or suicide, and/or exaggerated guilt or fears about physical disease or poverty are all emotional signs of depression.
What are the Physical Signs?
Physical signs include low energy, fatigue, a sloppy appearance, sleeping problems, loss of appetite, unexplained weight or gain, irritability, digestive problems, excessive crying, difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
What are the Social Signs?
Social signs of depression include loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, including sex; withdrawal from others; problems with drugs or alcohol; compulsive spending; unsocial or rude behavior or irritability.
What are Some Signs at Work?
Some signs of depression in the workplace are decreased productivity, poor performance, morale problems, lack of cooperation, excessive worry, frequent accidents, absenteeism, chronic aches and pains or health changes that seem to have no cause, and frequent complaints of being tired.
What are the Hidden Signs?
Depression is often ignored or attributed to stress, the flu, emotional problems, a personality weakness, or alcohol and drug abuse. Becoming familiar with the signs of depression can aid in early diagnosis, so people can be treated as outpatients and avoid lost time at work as well as high treatment costs.
Can Depression be Cured?
Nearly all depressed people who receive proper treatment do recover. People with mild depression respond very well to “talk therapy”, and most effective is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. 90% of all depressed people are successfully treated with anti-depressant drugs. The combination of both can be most effective. See later for more facts on the treatment of depression and for a preliminary self-awareness test.
Are You Depressed?
Take a simple quiz to find out. For each question, consider how you have felt for at least two weeks and give yourself points as follows: 0 = No, Not at all. 1 = Not Much. 2 = Sometimes. 3 = yes, Definitely.
1. I feel sad and lonely 0-3 ______
2. I can’t Concentrate 0-3 ______
3. My appetite or weight has changed 0-3 ______
4. I have frequent crying spells 0-3 ______
5. I am restless 0-3 ______
6. I have lost interest in doing things 0-3 ______
7. I have no energy 0-3 ______
8. People annoy and irritate me 0-3 ______
9. I have insomnia 0-3 ______
10. I think about committing suicide 0-3 ______
(if you answered “yes” or “sometimes”
to question 10, please seek professional
To Score: Add up the numbers to all 10 questions. If you score 12 or higher, you need to seek a professional evaluation for depression. Even if you don’t score that high, and still suspect you are depressed, seek professional help.
HOW IS DEPRESSION TREATED?
Professional Evaluation: Some medicine and medical conditions can cause a person to feel depressed. Before any treatment program begins, a medical evaluation is essential for an accurate diagnosis. A good evaluation involves complete physical checkup and family history of health problems.
Therapy: People with severe depression respond more rapidly if given prescribed medication, such as bipolar illness, may need to stay on medication to prevent or lessen further episodes. Medication is often combined with therapy for effective treatment. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, according to research, yields the best results thus far.
Seeking Support: Dealing with depression can be frightening and disturbing, not only for the person with the illness, but for family members, friends and co-workers. Support groups provide an opportunity for sharing, voicing concerns, learning about the illness, understanding how to help the depressed person, and receiving emotional support.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who Suffers from Depression?
Over 10 million Americans, of all ages, nationalities, backgrounds, and lifestyles, suffer from depression. One in four women and one in 10 men either have, or will develop, depression. Episodes can occur once, twice, or several times in a lifetime.
Do Children Suffer from Depression?
Depression is more widespread among children and adolescents than is generally thought. Depressed youngsters may exhibit a wide range of symptoms, from “acting out,” in rowdy ways to withdrawal, negative self-esteem, guilt, sadness, and thoughts of self-destruction. Depression in teenagers frequently leads to suicide.
Can Depression Go Away by Itself?
People who have depression cannot merely pull themselves together and get better. A combination of professional therapy and medication is needed for recovery. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Yet, depression is one of the most treatable diseases. When the right steps are taken, people do recover.
Will Talking About Depression Make it Worse?
Talking can help open the door to recovery from depression. Understanding and concern can be very healing. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Be reassuring that, with time and help, things will get better. DO not ignore any remarks about suicide.
How Can I Help People Who are Depressed?
Give emotional support and encouragement to seek help. Offer invitations to participate in outings or things they used to enjoy doing, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities. Don not push for too much too soon. A depressed person needs diversion and company, but, too many demands can increase feelings of failure.
Is Suicide a Possibility?
Talk of suicide should always be taken seriously. Left untreated, a severely depressed person may carry out suicide. If a person has a specific, detailed plan for committing suicide, get professional help immediately. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in America; doctors think depression causes the majority of suicide. Approximately, 30,000 Americans commit suicide annually.
For more information, please call:
Gabi L. Deak, LCSW
or email us at: