Depression brutally assaults us and promotes hopelessness. This is because depression is not a pure feeling but an effort to ward off a complex mix of unwanted ones. Anger, frustration, irritation, and grief are feelings we tend to find intolerable, we don’t want to feel them, we avoid them. When we’re depressed, we’re engaging in a psychic battle to blot out these unwanted feelings. It’s a battle with your self. Usually, the part of yourself you’re scared to face or the part you’re traumatized by. Common psychic defenses against painful feelings include ignoring feelings, projection.
We got to do better at becoming our best selves everyday. In today’s world, depression carries with it a very high cost in terms of relationship problems, family suffering and lost work productivity and mental illnesses. Yet, depression is highly treatable.
Every feeling is a state of mind . Hence, depression is a state of mind of being deeply pressed over a situation.
States are locations, a state of mind– is a location in your mind and we can change locations cant we? The intention of this post is to remind you that every kind of sickness is a mental state of being as it is physical. Therefore, if we can heal the mind we can heal the body and vice versa. All you need do is change your state (location) of well-being and you can heal the illness. In my last post, Let’s Talk Therapy, i wrote about what psychotherapy is and how it plays a major role in helping to alleviate the most common types of disorders or illnesses.
When depression appears in your life, think of it as a cry for help from your subconscious. Listen to it, find out what it’s trying to tell you. Only when you confront and understand the true cause of your depression, then take action to address it, will you finally be liberated from it no matter what the temperature outside.
Depression does not have one single cause. It can be developed for a number of different reasons, some include:
Stressful life events. An upsetting incident such as a death in the family or the breakdown of a romantic relationship can lead people to depression. Job stress or financial woes are also common causes. Early life experiences can also play a role. People who try to deal with these issues on their own and shut themselves off from family and friends are especially vulnerable to developing depression.
Personality and heredity. People who have certain personality traits are also susceptible to depression. Those who are excessively self-critical or have very low self-esteem are at particular risk. Moreover, if you have a family history of depression – such as a depressed parent or sibling – it is possible you could become depressed yourself. However, this is not a given, many people with such histories do not become depressed.
Illness and aging. Any illness can trigger depression in certain individuals, especially if it has repercussions on your activity level or sex life. In particular, people with life-threatening or recurrent illnesses are prone to depression. Thyroid problems and head injuries can also lead to mood swings. In addition, aging can make some people feel depressed.
Drug and Alcohol Use. People who turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with problems are more likely to end up even more depressed because these substances can bring on or worsen depression. Moreover, those who become addicted often experience family or work problems, which can also contribute to depression.
Giving birth. Postnatal depression can be triggered by the emotional, physical and hormonal changes that accompany giving birth as well as the responsibility and challenges of caring for a baby and changes in the family structure.
Core Symptoms of Depression
- A persistent low mood and/or feelings of sadness, with or without weepiness.
- Lack of energy and motivation: this is marked by lack of interest or pleasure in activities you may have previously enjoyed.
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes
- Sluggish movements or agitation
- Difficulty in concentrating and day to day problem solving
- Feelings of guilt and/or worthless
- Suicidal thoughts
How to hunt down your own depression
Rather than viewing depression as a monster to flee from, look it in the eye, investigate the feelings that you are “depressing” and avoiding. For example, you may say, “I feel depressed today.” The questions that follow should be: Why today? What am I ignoring? What issue am I not addressing?
When does depression need treatment or psychotherapy?
Any bout of depression that lasts more than two weeks can benefit from treatment, and the earlier it is begun, the better. Early treatment has the highest likelihood of bringing about full remission of symptoms and preventing relapse or recurrence. The so-called burden of depression is great, as the disorder is a major cause of missed work and poor productivity, and it has a devastating effect on relationships, family life, physical health, and general quality of life.
How Does Psychotherapy Help Depression?
Psychotherapy helps people with depression:
- Understand the behaviors, emotions, and ideas that contribute to his or her depression.
- Understand and identify the life problems or events — like a major illness, a death in the family, a loss of a job or a divorce — that contribute to their depression and help them understand, which aspects of those problems they may be able to solve or improve.
- Help to restructure ways of thinking, negative attributes and attitudes someone has about himself, and ways in which faulty thinking may perpetuate depression.
- Regain a sense of control and pleasure in life.
- Learn coping techniques and problem-solving skills.
Types of Therapy for Depression
Therapy can be given in a variety of formats, including:
- Individual: This therapy involves only the patient and the therapist.
- Group: 2 or more patients may participate in therapy at the same time. Patients are able to share experiences and learn that others feel the same way, and have had the same experiences.
- Marital/couples: This type of therapy helps spouses and partners understand why their loved one has depression, what changes in communication and behaviors can help, and what they can do to cope.
- Family: Because family is a key part of the team that helps people with depression get better, it is sometimes helpful for family members to understand what their loved one is going through, how they themselves can cope, and what they can do to help.
Approaches to Therapy
While therapy can be done in different formats — like family, group, and individual — there are also several different approaches that mental health professionals can take to provide therapy. After talking with the patient about their depression, the therapist will decide which approach to use based on the suspected underlying factors contributing to the depression.
Therapy works best when you attend all of your scheduled appointments and participate actively in the work of treatment. The effectiveness of therapy is not a passive process depends on your active participation. It requires time, effort, and consistency. As you begin therapy, establish some goals with your therapist. Then spend time periodically reviewing your progress with your therapist.
Psychotherapy vs Counseling
Psychotherapy and counseling both use psychological methods to help patients with a mental or emotional problem or disorder.
Some people make a small distinction between the two terms: “Counseling” is a brief treatment that targets a specific symptom or situation, while “psychotherapy” is a longer-term treatment that attempts to gain more insight into someone’s problems. However, many people use the terms interchangeably and over here at Barisity we offer both services.