Depression: Proper Management through Counseling and Therapy
According to the World Health Organization, depression affects more than 264 million people worldwide.
In Canada alone, one in five people will suffer from depression in their lifetime. Some people may experience depression once while others go through it intermittently and it could begin to affect their quality of life.
What is depression?
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines depression as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.”
Depression affects more women than men and it’s a leading cause of disability around the world, according to the World Health Organization.
Depression can also lead to suicide, which is why it needs to be addressed during its early stages to help a patient improve quality of life and prevent any suicide ideations in the future.
What causes depression?
Although there’s no clear cause for depression, it is usually triggered by extreme life events such as physical and psychological trauma, unemployment and grief.
Some experts also suggest that some chronic medical conditions can be interlinked with depression since patients have a hard time coping with their diagnosis.
Depression is also related to risk factors such as genetics. Studies revealed that depression could run in families. Some people with personality problems such as low self-esteem and pessimism are also more at risk for depression.
What are the signs of depression?
The signs and symptoms of depression may vary among patients depending on their risk factors. But most people who suffer from depression experience a sudden feeling of extreme sadness, loss of energy, tiredness and loss of interest in doing things that they love, difficulty sleeping and doing purposeless physical activity just to ease themselves.
If you live with depression, you may have noticed a change in your appetite and weight. You may also be experiencing other symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, frequent fatigue or energy drain episodes, challenges in concentrating and making decisions, psychomotor agitation, and/or suicidal feelings. There are several factors that might have caused your depression or that of a loved one. These could include biological factors, unresolved issues, a difficult breakup, abusive circumstances, or even a stressful move
Occasional feelings of depression especially when things don’t turn out as you had expected is normal. However, when these feelings and symptoms become persistent, it may be a sign that it is time for you to get help.
Forms of Depression
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), depression affects nearly 300 million people around the world. Depression occurs in two main forms: seasonal affective disorder and the major depressive disorder. The seasonal depression is common during the winter months and is prevalent in people living in colder climates. The major depressive episode is defined by DSM-V as the loss of interest, pleasure or mood in nearly every activity for a period of at least two weeks.
How can you get help for depression?
The WHO’s mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) cites depression as one of its priority conditions. This is why the condition is now treatable and it doesn’t have to take away precious moments in your life.
If you think that you are depressed, make sure to seek depression counseling and therapy right away so you can turn things around for the better.
It’s not easy to be in that dark place called depression. But there are professionals who can help you by listening to your struggles and guiding you in making better decisions to fight your depression.
Don’t let this condition rob you of a great life. Seek help right away.
How Can Therapy Help?
Depression can be summarised as a form of inactivity that results from a cycle between negative behaviour and negative thoughts. It is the inactivity that activates the feelings of hopelessness, which if left unchecked could turn into a downward spiral. Combining counselling and medication can be an effective way of dealing with the feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and worthlessness. When you step out and look for help, you may be able to access medications such as antidepressants from your doctor and access a range of counselling approaches (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, and Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT)) from your therapist.
Remember, depression can be treated. You can develop the coping mechanisms necessary to lead a productive and healthy lifestyle.