Psychologists and How They Help the Depressed
We all feel sad sometimes. Depression is something else. It’s extreme sadness or despair that is felt over a significant amount of time. It gets in the way of a person’s everyday activities and can even translate to physical pain. The good news is, there is treatment for depression.
Depression, also referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is among the most prevalent mental conditions in America these days. Based on an estimate by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), no less than 15 million adults in the country (around 7% of the U.S.’ entire adult population) have been majorly depressed at least once in their lives.
What Really Is Depression?
There are obviously many different ways depression affects different individuals, depending on their specific circumstances.
However, these are the most usual symptoms that can be seen in the depressed:
> Persistent sadness
> Feelings of desperation, guilt or worthlessness
> Anger and irritability
> Lack of concentration
> Unexplained fatigue
> Out-of-the-usual sleep patterns
> Noticeable change in appetite
> Constant pain, such as stomachaches, headaches, etc.
> Loss of interest in things or activities that used to be enjoyable
> Social withdrawal
> Suicide or death thoughts
Depression is the result of genetic, psychological, biological, social and environmental factors. A person with a family history of depression and chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, etc., is more likely to have depression than one who doesn’t. Depression is usually triggered by trauma, stress or a major life event, but sometimes, it happens without any known cause.
Seeing a Psychologist
Licensed psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals with experience in helping patients recover from depression.
Licensed psychologists are well-trained and experienced mental health professionals who can help a person recover from depression.
A lot of approaches to psychotherapy have been shown to work against depression, especially in people who are mildly to moderately depressed.
For one, psychotherapy makes it easier for patients to know what’s causing their depression and what they can do to improve their situation. It also allows them to set realistic goals for themselves. It corrects distorted thoughts and unacceptable behavior that bring about feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Very importantly, it teaches the patient how to deal with symptoms and to prevent future depressive episodes.
The following are the two most common evidence-based therapies used to treat depression these days:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is focused on teaching patients how to identify and manage negative thoughts and behavior patterns that aggravate depression. The process also teaches patients to interact more positively with other people.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
In Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), the patient learns how to improve their relationships with people by knowing healthier and more effective ways of self-expression and problem-solving.
In the end, therapy can’t be wrong or right as it is. But psychologists can make the therapy work based on their expertise in designing a treatment plan that suits the patient.