Depression Can Be Treated With Therapy
Do you feel like nothing in your life brings you pleasure anymore? Just getting out of bed for the day might be a monumental task that you aren’t quite prepared for. Depression can make all of the daily activities in your life feel extremely burdensome, but it doesn’t have to. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression can allow you to receive better help faster so that you can get back to living your daily life.
What is Depression?
Depression is a serious mental illness that can impact the way you function on a daily basis, how you think about things, and how you feel. Sometimes referred to as major depressive disorder, many people with this illness will exhibit similar symptoms. However, there are different degrees of severity that range from mild to incapacitating. It can lead to significant emotional issues and decrease someone’s ability to function in their daily life.
This mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of where they are from or the events that take place in their life. It is generally accepted that four different factors can play into a potential diagnosis:
- Biochemistry: The chemical makeup of the brain can influence how depression manifests itself in an individual.
- Genetics: Individuals with a family history of depression appear to be more likely to suffer from the condition themselves.
- Life Events: The things that go on around you, such as the death of a loved one, can definitely contribute to the development of depression. However, not all negative events will lead to a depressive episode.
- Personality: Some people have a negative outlook on life, a more anxious mindset, or a lower frustration tolerance that could lead them to become more depressed than other individuals.
Fortunately, depression is a completely treatable condition with the right kind of help. You simply need to be able to recognize the common symptoms of depression so that you can talk with your doctor about all of the possible options.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Do you know all of the potential symptoms of depression? Many people overlook some of the more common symptoms because they feel that these items could be contributed to another cause. All of these symptoms must exist apart from any medical issues that you might have, so it is important to work with your doctor to rule out other possibilities. Consider some of these common symptoms of depression:
- Feelings of persistent sadness
- Loss of appetite or significant increase in appetite
- Loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Trouble sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Chronic fatigue
- Increase in physical activity such as pacing or wringing hands
- Slower movements or speech
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- Thoughts of suicide and death
All of these symptoms must be present for at least a two-week period in order for a diagnosis to be made. Be sure to bring all of your symptoms to your doctor so that you can get help early on.
The Importance of Getting Help
Depression can sometimes go away on its own, but it often requires outside help to relieve the symptoms of the disorder. Refusing help can lead to worsening of the symptoms over time, significantly impairing your ability to function at work or school and in your home life. You may find that the symptoms become so severe that you are unable to get yourself out of bed each day, leading to unemployment and other health issues.
As we saw in the common symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts can be relatively common when the disorder worsens. You can avoid suicide attempts and harm to yourself by seeking the appropriate treatment early on.
Without early intervention, depression can also lead to other mental illnesses. Studies have shown that people with untreated depression are at a much higher risk for anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, and even schizophrenia. These issues, when combined with major depressive disorder, can be debilitating and much more difficult to treat. Getting help early on can help you to avoid some of these more extreme issues and help you get back to living your daily life.
A major depressive episode isn’t likely to last forever, but there are some types of help that can shorten the episodes you experience. Here are a few of the most popular changes you can make that may improve your depressive symptoms.
There are several different types of talk therapy that could be beneficial for managing the symptoms of a major depressive episode. Cognitive behavior therapy tends to be the most popular, but dialectical behavior therapy can be a close second. In cognitive behavior therapy, you will examine your perceptions of the world and how they influence your overall behavior or feelings. Over time, the goal is to change your perceptions (or cognitions) until you can have a more positive response.
Dialectical behavior therapy offers a similar approach that allows patients to examine their responses to certain events. They are given coping skills to help them stay in the present moment and make wise decisions. The goal is to reframe negative thoughts into more positive ones, ultimately helping to lift some of the depressive fog.
Unfortunately, there can be a lot of negative stigma when it comes to seeing a therapist. Many people believe that you have to be crazy to see therapist or a counselor. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Patients often attend therapy to help them work through a few specific issues and then discontinue their sessions. It isn’t uncommon to find that a patient has no diagnosis at all but still chooses to be in therapy for the additional help and emotional support. There is absolutely no shame in deciding to participate in therapy.
One of the most important things you can do to help pull yourself out of a depressive episode is to make some key lifestyle changes. You need to make it a priority to exercise regularly, eat well-balanced meals, and obtain the proper amount of sleep each night. Even these simple steps can make you feel a little better on a daily basis.
There are definitely medications that you can take to help you work through a depressive episode. Medication tends to work best when used in combination with therapy and other lifestyle changes. Remember that you will want to work with an experienced doctor if you are considering using pharmaceuticals to assist with your depression. Talk to your regular physician or obtain a referral to a local psychiatrist for more help with this.
Depression is a completely treatable condition, even if you may feel hopeless about your situation right now. Remember that help for your depression is available, but it is essential to talk to your doctor about your options as soon as possible. The sooner you can get help, the better you will feel in a shorter period of time.
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