Do you ever feel sad and alone? You may even categorize it as feeling’ depressed’. While the words “depression” and “depressed” are thrown around a lot in our society, one must understand that it’s unfair to do so. Depression is a serious mental disorder, which is such that it hinders the fundamental functioning of the one suffering from it. It may not show up unconcealed in the individual’s behavior, but the fight against depression can take a hard toll on a person. On some days, it becomes difficult for those who suffer from depression to even climb out of bed to get a glass of water. It consists of feelings of perpetual tiredness and sadness, but people learn to hide it well over time.
The Seriousness Of Depression
The physical symptoms of depression include changes in sleeping patterns, i.e., sleeplessness or oversleeping, and fatigue despite; an increased or decreased appetite, weight loss or gain, etc. Other symptoms cover a general feeling of discontentment, hopelessness, disinterest in daily activities, extreme sadness, loss in motivation, etc. Here, we can see that depression can play a hindering part in both aspects of our personal lives – physical as well as mental. Additionally, due to these symptoms, it can even affect life in the social and professional spheres. Depression as a disorder, and its seriousness, varies in its intensity from one afflicted individual to another. Some people suffering from an intense depressive disorder can even have thoughts of suicide. This is incomparable to when we may just be feeling ‘blue’ or sad.
Categorization Of The Depression
There are multiple different classifications of depression, where the most widely known is major depressive disorder (MDD), commonly known as clinical or major depression. Another type of depression is persistent depressive disorder (PDD), more commonly known as dysthymia, also categorized as long-term depression, with symptoms lasting for two or more years.
There are variations of the major depression, that can come as seasonal depression, menstrual cycle-related depression, childbirth-related post-natal depression, etc. While these forms of depression are different because of the causal factors, the symptoms are common to those of MDD. More kinds of depression pertain to the stage of life of the individual afflicted with it. Childhood depression is another type which refers to when depression develops in a child.
Breaking The Myth Behind Therapy
When we talk about therapy and mental problems, a lot of people seem to become very uncomfortable. Going to ‘shrinks’ seems an absurd concept to many people. A lot of people associate going to therapy with being ‘crazy.’ While this is a gross misuse of such a term, and that is a whole topic to cover altogether, it is important to see how people use it to understand the stigmas attached to mental health and its related concepts. It is one of the biggest misconceptions about going to see a counselor or therapist, that something has to be wrong with you for you to do so.
If you have a partner, you would know how comforting it is to have someone to talk to at the end of the day, especially if it has not been such a great day for you. It’s okay to feel sad and alone sometimes and in need of someone with whom to talk. A therapist is just that–someone for you to talk to. Hence, contrary to popular belief, it’s okay for people who are not suffering from mental illness to have a therapist as well.
The Importance Of Therapy For Depression
Yes, having a loving support system is vital for those fighting depression. However, we cannot and must not put away the concept of therapy here. Therapy for depression is essential for combating stress to lead to a fruitful life. Depression can be chronic, in which case it’s categorized as dysthymia, or of several other kinds, as mentioned before. When it comes to chronic depression, it’s difficult to be completely rid of the disorder, but going to a therapist helps to alleviate the symptoms to an extent. Depression is not entirely ‘curable’ per se. However, going to therapy can help manage the symptoms, help manage and relieve stress that could further aggravate the condition, and, all in all, help you lead a fruitful life despite battling depression.
What Comes Under Therapy For Depression?
Psychotherapy, or therapy, does not consist of a single, straight, rigid line. No, different approaches come under it, and it is the choice of your therapist which method is the most appropriate for your treatment. It can often be a combination of two or more methods. After your diagnosis, your therapist selects which approach to inculcate to help you manage your depressive symptoms.
Here, you must know that psychologists and psychiatrists are different, in the sense that psychiatrists have the authority to prescribe medication, while psychologists do not. If the psychotherapeutic methods do not work well for you, you may be prescribed medication, i.e., antidepressant drugs, and in the case in which it fails, even electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) by a psychiatrist. ECT is a form of non-painful biomedical treatment carried out by psychiatrists. Here, two nodes are attached to the patient’s brain, and the psychiatrist passes mild shocks to induce convulsions, which stimulate the dopamine and serotonin-producing areas of the brain. Some of the therapeutic methods for the treatment of depression are as follows.
Freud’s psychodynamic approach is one of the most commonly known therapeutic approaches, which involves free association, i.e., free speech, and the analysis of dreams. It is what most of us picture when we think of therapy – the Freudian sofa. Behavior therapy looks at learning and unlearning specific patterns of behavior; cognitive therapy looks at irrational thoughts and fears to be the causal factors of depression. A combined cognitive behavior therapy, i.e., CBT, is another form of treatment. It attempts to soothe the biological, social, and psychological spheres of a person’s life during therapy sessions. This is carried out by using relaxation techniques, environmental manipulation, and cognitive and behavior therapies, respectively. It is one of the most common methods to treat depression and anxiety, as it is highly effective.
Tools Other Than Therapy For Dealing With Depression
There are several tools other than psychotherapy that can accompany the same while fighting depression. Meditation is a fantastic tool that can help alleviate stress and anxiety related to depression. Yoga is also something that inculcates meditation and allows you to stretch your limbs and body. This helps rid you of fatigue and also allows you to focus on your breathing as a therapeutic procedure.
Eat and drink health, experts believe that food rich in omega-3 fatty acid and folic acid could help in easing depression. Studies show that consuming 3-5 cups of green or herbal tea a day helps in reducing anxiety and depression, as the L-theanine present in green tea has a calming effect.
A person who is depressed is susceptible to a lot of mood swings. For some time, you may feel extremely happy about something, but those feelings may turn into something very negative, very rapidly, at the slight hint of a trigger. Some days can be especially difficult, while others are relatively easier to get through. Therapy for depression comes in right from the diagnosis of the disorder by a professional; it is a must. Psychological treatment for depression is essential, as is the unconditional support and love of the people around.
Another secret to dealing with depression is pushing yourself to do little things. It can be something as simple as going and getting yourself that glass of water. Small goals are the way to go in dealing with depression. When you set little milestones for yourself, these goals seem and feel achievable. When you get those things done, it does wonders for uplifting how you feel. Accomplishing something – anything – enables a person to feel worthy and capable, which are necessary feelings to instill in a person suffering from depression; it helps bring back feelings of motivation and hope.