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How a Psychologist Can Help with Depression

All of us feel sad sometimes. Depression is something else. It’s extreme sadness or despair that is felt over a significant amount of time. It hinders the person from living his daily routine and may even lead to physical pain. The good news is, depression can be treated.

Depression, also referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is among the most prevalent mental conditions in America these days. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM), around 7% (roughly 16 million) of the whole adult population in the country has had at least one severe depressive episode.

Defining Depression

Depression obviously has different effects on people, depending on what they’re struggling with.

However, any combination of the following symptoms are often observed those who are depressed:

> Sadness that never seems to go away

> Unreasonable guilt and feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness

> Anger and irritability

> Restlessness

> Difficulty focusing

> Constant fatigue

> Out-of-the-usual sleep patterns

> Noticeable change in appetite

> Unceasing pain, like tummy aches or headaches

> Loss of interest in activities that the person used to enjoy

> Withdrawal from people

> Thoughts about death or suicide

Depression is caused by a host of life factors – genetic, psychological, social and environmental – that zero in on the individual. 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.

Seeking a Psychologist’s Help
Licensed psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals with experience in helping patients recover from depression.
Licensed psychologists and trained and experienced professionals who are experts in helping patients overcome depression.

A lot of approaches to psychotherapy have been shown to work against depression, especially in people who are mildly to moderately depressed.

For one, psychotherapy lets patients to see the issues in their lives that cause their depression, and to know what they can do to help themselves. It also allows them to set realistic goals for themselves. It sets crooked thought processes straight and corrects bad behavior that ultimately lead them to feel hopeless and helpless. Very importantly, it educates the patient about symptoms of depression and how an episode can be averted.

The following are the two most common evidence-based therapies used to treat depression these days:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches patients how to pinpoint as well as avoid negative thoughts and behaviors that can add to or trigger their depression. The process also teaches patients to interact more positively with other people.

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, there is no right or wrong approach to therapy. However, psychologists can always make therapy work, thanks to their expertise in customizing treatments plans that suit each patient.

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