Psychologists and How They Help the Depressed
All of us feel sad sometimes. Depression goes deeper than that. It’s extreme sadness or despair that is felt over a significant amount of time. It gets in the way of a person’s everyday activities and can even translate to physical pain. What’s great is that depression is treatable.
In America, depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses today. Based on an estimate by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), no less than 15 million adults in the country (around 7% of the U.S.’ entire adult population) have been majorly depressed at least once in their lives.
What Really Is Depression?
Depression obviously has different effects on people, depending on what they’re struggling with.
However, you can usually find the following symptoms in those who have the disorder:
> Persistent sadness
> Feeling helpless, hopeless, guilty or worthless
> Hostility and irritability
> Lack of focus
> Unreasonable fatigue
> Out-of-the-usual sleep patterns
> Considerable changes in appetite
> Constant pain, such as stomachaches, headaches, etc.
> Loss of interest in things or activities that used to be enjoyable
> Social withdrawal
> Suicide or death thoughts
Depression is the result of genetic, psychological, biological, social and environmental factors. People who have depression or chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, etc.) in their family history have a higher chance of becoming depressed. Big life changes, stress and trauma usually trigger an episode, although in some cases, it can occur without any palpable cause.
Seeing a Psychologist
Licensed psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals with experience in helping patients recover from depression.
Licensed psychologists are professional who have the training and experience needed to help a patient recover from depression.
There are many approaches to psychotherapy that have been proven effective, especially in people with mild to moderate depression.
For one, psychotherapy makes it easier for patients to know what’s causing their depression and what they can do to improve their situation. It also aids them in goal-setting. It corrects distorted thoughts and unacceptable behavior that bring about feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Very importantly, it teaches the patient how to deal with symptoms and to prevent future depressive episodes.
Below are the two most popularly used evidence-based therapies for depression nowadays:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, patients are taught how to single out and avoid negative thoughts and behaviors that feed their depression. The process also helps patients develop more positive interactions with others.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a type of therapy that aims to improve patients’ relationships with others by teaching them how to express themselves and solve their problems in healthier ways.
In the end, therapy can’t be wrong or right as it is. But psychologists can make the therapy work based on their expertise in designing a treatment plan that suits the patient.