Many people wonder how to help depression and whether depression is a disease that can be treated. Depression is one of the most common mental diseases of our time and according to the World Health Organization, affects millions of people in the world. When talking about how to deal with depressionwe should always have in mind that depression is a disease that can be treated, and it can be treated successfully when treated early.
Do I have depression?
Everyone will feel at some point in their life the symptoms of depression. It is normal. If you have noticed, however, that some of the following symptoms appear for two or three weeks or more, you should visit a psychologist or psychiatrist, to assess if you are suffering from depression and give you help on how to overcome depression.
Change in mood
A change in your mood is an early sign that you may suffer from depression. The symptoms that may lead to changes in the mood are: sadness, disappointment, desperate, crying very easily and irritation. Furthermore you will notice that you are worried, stressed, but many times do not know why. You start being upset with small things that you did not notice in the past. You are not happy, and you do not enjoy your hobbies and activities that used to please you. Nothing can please you and you feel that your life is full of failures.
Changes in the physical well-being
Troubles with sleep, wake up frequently at night or very early in the morning or have excessive sleepiness during the day. The appetite and your weight have dropped (sometimes for some people these symptoms are the opposite: appetite and weight are increased). You have headaches and nausea, dizziness; you feel pain in the feet and hands. You have no desire for sexual relations. When you get up in the morning, you feel tired and you do not get any rest from sleep. You are nervous and you get tired very easily. Activities that you performed in the past very easily, now they seem like a mountain to you. Many times you do not even have the will to get out of the bed.
Changes in thinking
Everything seems vain. You are constantly overcome by feelings of guilt, you start blaming yourself for everything it is happening, you feel that you do not deserve anything, you feel alone, helpless, trapped in dead ends. The future scares you, seems bleak and threatening. You are having troubles to concentrate and you cannot recall information that you recently accepted. You are only considering the unpleasant and negative aspects of things and you exaggerate them.
Changes in daily life
You do not wish to interact with people that once pleased you. You do not have the mood to talk or make conversations. All resemble boring, tedious and meaningless. You stay at home and you do not care about your personal hygiene or your appearance.
Depression: the modern malady
A series of life events seem to increase the risk for depression. For example: the death of a beloved person, a divorce, job loss, immigration and economic recession. Also, some people interpret the world around them based on some assumptions that are not real or correct and this results in an ultimately negative image about themselves and anything around them. The risk of getting depressed when you have close relatives suffering, especially from serious or chronic diseases, is increased.
Some non-psychiatric disorders have been found that can cause Depression. These act on the central nervous system and affect the operation of those regions of the brain that regulate emotion. Such disorders are Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, the stroke, endocrine disorders, AIDS, systemic disorders such as anaemia and metastatic cancer, and also various medicines, such as cortisone and alcohol.
How to help depression
No treatment can claim exclusivity for helping depression. What is needed is a combination therapy according to the needs of the patient that is decided by the therapist to be the more effective. Besides that, the goals of each type of therapy are different. The physical treatments such as pharmacotherapy, aimed more at improving physiological functions such as sleep, appetite, etc., while psychotherapy aims to improve the interpersonal functionality and better functioning of the individual. The therapist chooses for each patient the appropriate treatment and psychotherapy composition. The aim is to help depression and make the patient feel confident about their self.
Psychotherapy has different forms and types. In general these types are categorized into short term and long-term therapies. The most effective forms of psychotherapy than can help depression are individual psychotherapy and interpersonal psychotherapy.
The individual psychotherapy is the most widespread psychotherapeutically approach to Depression, where there is an emphasis on past experiences of the patient and aims in identifying unconsciously motivated behaviour. This method helps depression indirectly by improving interpersonal relationships; trust in other people, defence mechanisms, emotional sensitivity, creativity, productivity, etc. The improvement of all these is possible through thorough analysis and interpretation of significant problems and conflicts during the patient’s childhood. The individual psychotherapy is a long-term treatment and appropriate in cases where the person’s life is disturbed by unconscious conflict.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy focuses more in the present problems of the patient, is completed in 12-16 sessions that are held once per week. It aims in the alleviation of symptoms, seeking to solve the problems that derive from the interpersonal relations, family life and work environment. The therapist informs the patience for the problems identified and educates him on how he/she will improve his/her skills in the interpersonal communication. Interpersonal psychotherapy is effective and can help many forms of depression.
Creative Treatments via Art, Art Therapy, Music therapy, Dance therapy
This type of treatment can be applied alone or they can be combined with other psychological treatments as well as with medical treatment. Through the symbolism and the transport of a problem in an artistic form (narration, fairy tale, dance, drama, improvisation, musical pieces, drawing), the individual is encouraged to examine the problem from the safety of aesthetic distance, to develop sentimentality and become creative again, giving an existential meaning in the life and his action.