What To Do About Depression From A Client’s Viewpoint.
Depression runs on a continuum. It can run from very little depression to a full-blown, down in the deep hole kind of depression where suicidal thoughts are serious and suicidal acts are often acted upon. Depression can last for years, a month, or it can occur on a regular basis, where it comes and goes. Some depressed people experience only feeling down. Others can experience mood swings. The one thing most people can tell you about depression is, it doesn’t feel good and sometimes it can be quite painful.
There are many factors that can cause depression. Every person who has depression is different when it comes to etiology. Some forms are caused by situational loss and grief. Others are caused by trauma, such as child abuse, car accidents, death, fighting wars; physical illnesses; accumulated stress over many years that affects the neurotransmitters in the brain; neglect; and inherited tendencies. It is a very complex disease.
Treating it is also complex. What works for one person may not work for another. Medications given at the lowest effective dose can be quite beneficial for some. The medication needs to be prescribed by a Dr. The depressed person and Dr. have to work as a team to find the right medication and the effective dosage. They both have to give each other feedback on side effects, how is it helping or not helping. The client also has to be willing to give the drug a chance and work with the Dr. on following directions for taking the medication. Medication has been quite helpful for me. Depression runs in my family and I have seen positive effects for others as well. I do know for some people, it has not been helpful.
Psychotherapy is also helpful in many ways. Especially the kind in which trauma can be processed after learning skills that can help one regulate, and tolerate emotions, change thoughts, and reevaluate behavior patterns that may not be beneficial in one’s life. The more tools one has to fight depression, the better. I have found dialectical behavior skills to be quite helpful in my life. The processing of trauma and loss is also quite helpful. Getting enough sleep and nutrition is critical. Lack of self-care can create more depression. It takes energy to fight depression. The difficult part is, depression can take one’s energy away.
Depression makes it hard to want to be around people or get involved in activities that one enjoys. The reality is, it’s important to get out of one’s house, be with people, and do the things one loves. This is not easy to do. Some times it seems impossible.
That’s when family and friends can get involved. Encouraging depressed people, being willing to take the time to help can some times get good results. Having compassion can also help. Realize that each depressed person has to put energy into doing these things. When one has depression, there is often little energy. Doing this, can be quite hard. The depressed person has to be willing to try whatever may help, and have the resources to do so. One has to work to get a good quality of life when depressed. It is never easy and there is no simple remedy. However, to enjoy life some of the time, the depressed person has to try.