I wanted you to know that October is National Depression Awareness Month. Research indicates that most people will experience at least one of the nine types of depression in their lifetime. Depression ranges from situational to chronic. It can occur due to life’s stressors or because of a chemical imbalance. It can be treated with medication, or without it.
Major depression is characterized by:
- low energy
- insomnia, or the desire to sleep all the time
- poor appetite or overeating
- poor concentration
- inability to make decisions
- indifference to life
There continues to be a stigma attached to depression. People, especially men, consider it a weakness. There is an underlying belief that depressed people should “just snap out of it”. Although many people can work out of their depressive states with the help of counseling and/or medication, there are others who must manage it indefinitely.
There are common remedies for 85% of all people who experience depression, but utilizing them requires psychoeducation and assistance from professionals. The remedies include:
- individual counseling
- group counseling
- herbal therapy
- light therapy
- vitamin therapy
It is not your fault if you are depressed! If you suspect that you suffer from depression, talk to your physician or make an appointment to be assessed at a mental health facility.
Most of my clients get better when they learn to be proactive about their depression. For those who experience chronic depression, they learn what they can do to offset it. I have a client who has lived with chronic depression her entire life. She has been on a variety of medications, has had ECT (electroshock therapy), and has had to leave her job and is presently on disability. Does that sound horrible? Well, it isn’t. This client has educated herself about her illness. She has pursued several types of therapy and believes it to be a Godsend in the management of her depression. She has been involved in women’s groups, individual therapy and a depression support group. She receives medication regularly. She depends on her friends and family for extra support. Not only has this client educated herself about her illness, but she has lost over 200 pounds, has just returned from a trip to Europe, volunteers at a not-for-profit center, makes weekly appointments to visit friends, and reaches out to others with similar problems. She is an inspiration to many, despite the fact that she continues to battle her depression.
If you want more psychoeducation on depression, I highly recommend a book called How to Heal Depression by Harold Bloomfield. I also recommend a depression recovery coach. A great web site to visit is Dave@overcomingdepression.com. Dave will send you free information on depression and keep you updated on depression and current treatment modalities.
Don’t put off getting the needed help to make your life more enjoyable. No matter what type of depression you may have, there is help. Your mental health should be a top priority.