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Coping With Depression: Finding the Support You Need

by Vanessa Valerio, May 27, 2019

It’s common for people to feel “blue” periodically, but when persistent feelings of sadness begin to disrupt day-to-day living, it’s possible that you – or a loved one – is suffering from depression. In 2017 alone, approximately 17.3 million American adults suffered from major depressive disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

 Depression affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves and can lead to not just emotional challenges, but also physical problems.

 As a leading home care provider, Care Indeed can offer trained staff to help your loved ones diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as depression. As we continue our series on Mental Health Awareness, our goal is to better educate our clients, caregivers and community and offer the support needed to cope with depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Depression affects individuals in a variety of ways, so the signs and symptoms may vary. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms include:

 Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Treatment Options for Depression

Treatment options are determined by professionals based on the severity of the disorder. You – and your loved ones – have options, though, when it comes to treatment for depression.

  • Psychotherapy: Many individuals begin treatment for depression with psychotherapy. It can be helpful to discuss the feelings and behaviors experienced with the disorder, especially when the patient has a strong relationship with a therapist. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, psychotherapists focus on a variety of methods that may include:
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy allows the patient and the therapist to identify negative thoughts and change these patterns that can worsen depression.
    • Interpersonal Therapy: Interpersonal therapy, also known as IPT, offers patients a chance to learn how to interact with others and develop strong relationships. This type of therapy also seeks to identify lifestyle habits and patterns that could be contributing to depression.
    • Psychodynamic Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on past experiences and negative behaviors that are attributed to past trauma. In some cases, psychotherapists will evaluate unconscious processes that are contributing to the disorder.

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  • PsychoEducation: Education is essential when it comes to treating depression, which is why psychoeducation focuses on the basics of the disorder and teaches patients how to cope with the symptoms. This type of treatment may involve joining support groups and meeting with individuals also struggling with the disorder.
  • Medication: Antidepressants are commonly used to help control or reduce the symptoms of depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Some of the most common medications for depression are classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro. In addition, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are also common antidepressants and include medications such as Effexor, Pristiq and Cymbalta.

 

  • Brain Stimulation: When an individual does not find relief from other types of treatment, many physicians and therapists suggest brain stimulation therapies. These may include:
    • Electroconvulsive Therapy
    • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
    • Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Finding the Support and Care You Need

A mental health disorder can affect individuals at any stage of life and age. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild, but mental health disorders, such as depression can also be life threatening.

 This is why support and care is essential at the onset of a mental health disorder. It’s important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disorder affects everyone involved and to also identify coping skills. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living.

 Life with any type of mental health disorder is challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with grief and loss when coping with the symptoms as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.

 Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need while living with Dementia today