Depression: Coping and Cure
February 4, 2009 by Vauna Beauvais
Everyone feels sad or “blue” on occasion
It is also perfectly normal to grieve over upsetting life experiences, such as a major illness, a death in the family, a loss of a job / way of life, or a divorce. But, for most people, these feelings of grief and sadness tend to lessen with the passing of time.
However, if a person’s feelings of sadness last for two weeks or longer, and if they interfere with daily life activities, something more serious than “feeling blue” may be going on.
Does Depression Differ From Occasional Sadness?
Depressed individuals tend to feel helpless and hopeless and to blame themselves for having these feelings.
People who are depressed may become overwhelmed and exhausted and may stop participating in their routine activities.
They may withdraw from family and friends. Some may even have thoughts of death or suicide.
What Causes Depression?
There is no single answer to this question.
Some depression is caused by changes in the body’s chemistry that influence mood and thought processes.
Can Depression Be Successfully Treated?
- Yes, it can.
A person’s depression is highly treatable when he or she receives competent care.
It is critical for people who suspect that they or a family member may be suffering from depression seek care from a qualified and accredited counsellor or psychotherapist, who has training and experience in helping people recover from depression.
Simply put, people with depression who do not seek help suffer needlessly.
Unexpressed feelings and concerns accompanied by a sense of isolation can worsen a depression; therefore, the importance of getting appropriate help cannot be overemphasised.
Several approaches to psychotherapy—including cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal, transactional analysis, and psychodynamic —help depressed people recover.
Counselling and / or Psychotherapy offers people the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to their depression and to deal effectively with the psychological, behavioural, interpersonal, and situational causes.
Skilled therapists can work with depressed individuals to:
- Pinpoint the life problems that contribute to their depression and help them understand which aspects of those problems they may be able to solve or improve.
- Explore other learned thoughts and behaviours that create problems and contribute to depression.
- Help people regain a sense of control and pleasure in life.
Are Medications Useful for Treating Depression?
Medications can be very helpful for reducing the symptoms of depression in some people, particularly in cases of moderate to severe depression.
Some people do not need antidepressants – counselling will be enough.
However, if your level of functioning is very low, i.e. you are not able to work and do not groom yourself anymore, then a combination of psychotherapy and medications is the best course of treatment.
Always discuss this with your GP.
Depression can seriously impair a person’s ability to function in everyday situations. But the prospects for recovery for depressed individuals who seek professional care are very good. By working with a qualified and experienced therapist, people suffering from depression can help regain control of their lives again.
In addition to listening to you and understanding what you are going through, your therapist will assist you in changing negative thinking,cultivating supportive relationships, attaining healthy lifestyle habits, and reducing stress. This will lead the way to move through depression into your recovery.
Your life is waiting