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Psychologists and How They Help the Depressed

We all have our sad moments. Depression is something else. It is characterized by sadness and despair that continues for an extended time. It hinders the person from living his daily routine and may even lead to physical pain. What’s great is that depression is treatable.

Depression, also referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is among the most prevalent mental conditions in America these days. 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.

Defining Depression

There are obviously many different ways depression affects different individuals, depending on their specific circumstances.

However, these are the most usual symptoms that can be seen in the depressed:

> Persistent sadness

> Feelings of desperation, guilt or worthlessness

> Hostility and irritability

> Uneasiness

> Lack of focus

> Constant fatigue

> Abnormal sleep patterns

> Considerable changes in appetite

> Constant pain, such as stomachaches, headaches, etc.

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

> Withdrawal from relatives and friends

> Thoughts about death or suicide

Depression is the product of many different factors – genetic, biological, social, psychological and environmental. A person with a family history of depression and chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, etc., is more likely to have depression than one who doesn’t. Depression is usually triggered by trauma, stress or a major life event, but sometimes, it happens without any known cause.

Seeing a Psychologist for Depression
Licensed psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals with experience in helping patients recover from depression.
Licensed psychologists are well-trained and experienced mental health professionals who can help a person recover from 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 makes it easier for patients to know what’s causing their depression and what they can do to improve their situation. It also allows them to set realistic goals for themselves. It corrects distorted thought process and bad behavior that cause feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Very importantly, it educates the patient about symptoms of depression and how an episode can be averted.

Here are the two most common evidence-based therapies for depression being used today:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is focused on teaching patients how to identify and manage negative thoughts and behavior patterns that aggravate depression. The process also helps patients interact with others more positively.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

In Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), the patient learns how to improve their relationships with people by knowing healthier and more effective ways of self-expression and problem-solving.

At the end of the day, there’s no such things as good therapy or bad therapy. But psychologists can make therapy work, thanks to their expert knowledge and skills in drawing up the most suitable treatment plan for every patient.

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