Depression is an epidemic of the new age. The reason why it is an epidemic is not because there is no cure for it but because most of the people that are depressed don’t seek help.
There are many ways to help someone who is suffering from a depressive disorder however in order to help yourself or someone else first thing you need to know is what depression is.
Who needs depression help?
Depression help is recommended for all those people that are afflicted by depression. Don’t fall into a trap that many people do thinking that depression will go a way by it self. Indeed that is possible however that is just a possibility for mild depression.
More severe types of depression need to be treated. Usually if you are depressed and you do nothing about it your depression gets more serious. This is why it is strongly recommended to seek help for depression no mater how severe it is.
For example if you are mildly depressed one or a few meetings with a professional could help you a lot. What is even more important is that you could learn what you need to do so that you don’t develop a more severe type of depression.
The worst thing you can do, if mildly depressed, is to take an antidepressant. Taking antidepressants only when you feel “blue”, off and on, is doing everything else but helping you even though for short period of time you might feel better.
What depression help is available?
There are many types of psychotherapy: psychoanalytic therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, family therapy etc.
1. Depression help: Psychoanalytical type of therapy
Psychoanalytical oriented therapies are based on hypothesis that there is a big part of our psychic that is unconscious and that that part should be explored and addressed because all the answers are there.
The patient’s past is talked about and studied as well as her/his dreams, habits, defense mechanisms, miss articulations etc. This type of depression therapy is most thorough but time consuming and expensive.
2. Depression help: Interpersonal Therapy
Interpersonal therapy is a relatively new and very promising depression treatment. It is a short-term psychotherapy and it usually lasts for about 12-16 weeks. This therapy is developed for depression treatment, specifically major depression. It is quite successful, especially with treating less severely depressed patients.
This type of therapy focuses on the “here and now” factors that are contributing to depression. Its goal is to locate and fix the problems that are causing or nourishing depression. Interpersonal therapy is looking for those problems in present and not in the past as psychoanalysis does.
For example problems in relationships between patient and people around her/him definitely can contribute to depression and sometimes, even cause it (if it is a really close relationship). Interpersonal therapy teaches the patient how to better solve relationship problems, cope with them and socialize in general.
3. Depression help: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This is another promising depression treatment. According to cognitive-behavioral therapists major depression is caused and maintained by self-rejection, self-criticism and dysfunctional behavior. Therefore negative thoughts and dysfunctional attitudes are addressed and worked on.
In this therapy therapists are focused on the way you think and behave and will try, together with you, to change unproductive and unwanted ways of thinking and behaving. One of the ways this is done is by homework assignments. They are given so that patient’s vicious circle of negative thinking and behaving is stopped.
4. Depression help: Family Therapy
Family therapy is very useful depression treatment. It is useful because it teaches whole family to understand and support in the best way their beloved one who is afflicted by clinical depression.
When someone is depressed the whole family suffers and someone in family can be doing certain things that are making a depressive person even worse. This is why it is recommended that family therapy should be part of a healing process. Even more importantly family therapy can have a big role in prevention.
5. Depression help: Antidepressants
Antidepressants are of big help in treating moderate and severe depression. However there is a dispute if there is a need for antidepressants in treating moderate depression or psychotherapy is enough.
There is an old generation and a new generation of antidepressants. Both generations are in use; even though the new one has advantages sometimes only an antidepressant from the old one works on a particular patient.
Antidepressants are safe only when taken under the supervision of a medical doctor. When taking antidepressants you must be disciplined and take them regularly. You should never stop taking antidepressants without consulting your doctor or therapist.
Also you should never take antidepressants by yourself. Antidepressants are not the cure for depression even though in some cases they are an essential part of therapy. It is in psychotherapy that a person understands the causes of their depression and learns how to deal with them.
There are many other ways to help a depressive person. Depression help is everywhere around us. Sharing your pain with people that love you and care about you can help a lot. Also, doing physical exercises and taking time to enjoy favorite activities is recommended.
No matter how hard it is in the beginning don’t get discouraged because once you make the first step towards your healing the second step will follow.