Counseling for depression

Counseling for depression

Depression is a medical illness that affects both the mind and body; it affects how you feel, think and behave. Depression is more than just a bout of the blues: it is a chronic condition that usually requires long-term treatment. When feelings of extreme sadness or despair last for two weeks or more and begin to interfere with normal living, you may be a suffering from a depressive disorder. Depression is not just "sadness" or feeling down. Individuals who have depression feel helpless, hopeless, and tend to blame themselves for feeling this way. Depression can interfere with their ability to function in their daily lives, hold a job, or maintain a relationship. Some people with depression may even have thoughts of suicide or death.

Here are ten common signs of clinical depression:
1. Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
2. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
5. Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling "slowed down"
6. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
7. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
8. Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
9. Thoughts of death or suicide or actual suicide attempts
10. Restlessness or irritability

There are two main types of psychotherapy that have proven to be effective in treating depression: Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) focuses on helping people change negative styles of thinking and behaving that may contribute to their depression and correcting or re-purposing the thinking process toward a more positive response. CBT challenges the automatic internal beliefs a person has about themselves and teaches people to view themselves through a more realistic and positive lens.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) focuses on helping people understand and work through troubled personal relationships that may cause their depression or make it worse. Addressing issues in past and current relationships can be useful in helping a person remove themselves from toxic situations that may make their depression symptoms worse.

Self Help Strategies
Social Support Network – A compassionate and understanding social support network can be instrumental in the recovery of a person with depression. Close personal relationships with family, friends, and the community is directly linked to a person's general sense of well-being. Positive feedback and support can help motivate a person to stay the course of treatment. In addition, many people with depression benefit from joining a support group or online support community. Swapping stories of success and failure can lead to some very important self-awareness improvements and inspiration. Since many people with depression isolate themselves from others, having someone they can reach out to who understands their struggles can be very beneficial. However, advice from friends or support groups should never be used as a substitute for care from a psychologist or mental health counselor.

Healthy Lifestyle – Eating well, avoidance of drugs and alcohol and getting plenty of regular exercise can provide significant relief from depression symptoms. A person's physical well-being is directly linked to their mental and emotional well-being. Even on days when a person doesn't feel like it, making the effort to get fresh air, drink water, eat well, and do some light exercise like walking or stretching can make an impact on a person's depression symptoms, even if it's only for a certain period. For people with depression, even a small break from their symptoms can be a tremendous relief.



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