depression symptoms and therapy

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Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a widespread and debilitating mental illness that has a detrimental impact on how one behaves, believes, and performs. The above issue is treatable with the appropriate means of treatment and prescription. A depressed person is prone to feeling lonely or losing pleasure in things that he or she once found exciting. When depression is not handled in a timely manner, it can lead to other types of physical and mental issues, limiting a person’s ability to perform efficiently at home and at work. For one to be positively diagnosed with the condition, a patient must show signs and symptoms of depression for at least two weeks.
Research Summary

Symptoms

Depression exists in numerous forms with the unique characteristics. Brooke and Myers (2015) argue that the presented forms of depression each have specific symptoms which are considered during diagnosing. The first form for consideration is the persistent depressive disorder. The identified form of depression is also referred to as dysthymia. Persistent depressive disorder lasts for two or more years in a row when an individual faces depressed spirits. The person in question is highly likely to have major depression episodes alongside severe symptoms of the condition. However, the noted symptom should last for at least two years for the condition to be positively identified as persistent depressive disorder (Durbin, 2014).

Perinatal depression is also a common form of depression which a patient may suffer from. The presented condition is considered to be much more serious in comparison to baby blues, a mild depressive disorder which is counteracted by anxiety symptoms which typically clear off after about two weeks of having given the birth. Women diagnosed with perinatal depression suffer from it after the delivery of a child or during the pregnancy. The common feelings experienced during the presented period include anxiety, sadness, and exhaustion which make it difficult for the new mother to accomplish all their daily activities for themselves and for their babies (Durbin, 2014).

Psychotic depression is also a common form of depression with unique symptoms. The presented form of depression is noted when a person has severe depression alongside some form of psychosis. Apparently, the patient in question is known to be delusional in that they complain of seeing or hearing things which others do not hence they become upset in the long run. The symptoms of psychotic are known to have a typical depressive theme such as the delusion of poverty, guilt or illness.

Seasonal affective disorder is featured by the onset of depression when winter season sets. Apparently, an individual begins showing symptoms of depression in instances when there is less natural sunlight. The symptoms begin to subside in cases when summer and spring periods begin. The presented form of depression is accompanied by a form of social withdrawal, weight gain, and increased sleep, and it is predictably returns every year when the season comes into play. Brooke and Myers (2015) summarizes the presented depression symptoms by indicating that they can vary from being mild to severe. Some of the symptoms identified by the author include the trouble of having enough sleep, loss of appetite, displeasure in the activities that one once had interest in and an increase in the engagement of purposeless physical activity. It is worth noting that various medical conditions such as brain tumor, thyroid problems and vitamin deficiency can mimic the symptoms of depression (Durbin, 2014). Therefore, it is advisable to rule out the overall medical causes of the symptoms that a patient is exhibiting before settling for depression as the major point of concern.

Therapies of Depression

Even in the most severe cases, it is possible to treat depression through the use of medication and therapy. The form of treatment administered becomes more effective when treatment is initiated earlier. The different forms of therapies offered to a patient diagnosed with the condition are focused on reducing the noted symptoms. Brain stimulation therapies and electroconvulsive therapies are some options of therapies explored in the presented case of depression.

According to Brooke and Myers (2015), several types of psychotherapy can help an individual with depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can assist an individual with depression to change the negative form of thinking they have which contributes towards their depressive conditions. Through the identified form of therapy, one can easily interpret the environment and further interact with it in a more positive and realistic manner. It may also assist an individual in recognizing the things that lead to depression, thus driving one to change the behavior may be making the condition even worse. Interpersonal therapy is also a common form of psychotherapy which may be administered to a patient to treat depression. The presented form of therapy is focused on assisting an individual in understanding and working through a troubled relationship which prompts the development of depressive symptoms. Brooke and Myers (2015) indicate that when a behavior is causing negative symptoms, the presented form of therapy may come in handy in changing the behavior in question, thus making it easier for an individual to explore major issues which may further result to the depression such as grief.

Problem solving therapy is also an important form of therapy which may be useful in addressing the presented concern of depression. Problem solving therapy is effective since it improves the ability of an individual to cope with stressful experiences in life. The identified form of therapy is considered as an effective option of treatment, especially for the older adults who are diagnosed with depression. Through the use of a step-wise process, the problems which result to the depression are identified and realistic solutions established. Problem-solving therapy is a short-term therapy which may be conducted within a group format or in an individual setting (Durbin, 2014). For a mild to a moderate form of depression, psychotherapy may be considered as the best option. Despite it, when severe depression is evident, psychotherapy may not be considered as the only effective form of treatment. In such instance, it is recommended that the administered form of therapy should be counteracted with medication to ensure that the symptoms do not recur at a latter day.

Brain stimulation therapy is also an effective form of therapy which can be utilized to remedy depression symptoms among individuals. In cases where medication has proven to be ineffective in reducing the presented forms of symptoms, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be put to use. The presented form of therapy is carried out on an outpatient basis and can be administered in a series of session which lasts up to four weeks. The presented form of therapy is not painful based on the fact that one does not feel the electrical impulses. Before the procedure is initiated, a patient is put under a brief anesthesia and provided with a muscle relaxant (Huber, Zimmermann, & Klug, 2017).

Computer and internet based forms of therapies can also be implemented when it comes to the treatment of depression. The presented forms of therapies have their basis on two forms of psychotherapies identified above such as the IPT and the CBT in different formats. For instance, the person in question will interact with the therapist on an online basis whereby they get to interact and communicate through email or other forms of computer programs which allow for face-to-face interactions. Administering treatment over the online platform is characterized by various pros and cons. For instance, the presented therapeutic options available over the electronic platform have an increase potential of offering a more access to care to people available in rural areas (Durbin, 2014). Apparently, some therapists find it difficult to visit remote locations and offer treatment in such regions. However, if the patient is willing to attend therapy over the online platform, chances are higher that the patient will have access to treatment and care as anticipated based on their availability and the schedule of the therapists. Moreover, the presented form of treatment is also effective for the patients who find it uncomfortable to interact with the therapists on a one on one basis. Apparently, through the internet, they can easily open up and talk to the therapist over the screen without having to worry about being uncomfortable. It is also important to note that there are other disadvantages associated with the presented form of treatment, for instance, most insurance covers do not cater for the presented forms of therapy. As a result, the associated costs for the computer based therapies may be significantly higher than in the case of a face-to-face interaction.

Analysis of Key Findings

Depression is a major mental health concern which majorly affects the mood of an individual. The presented condition can be categorized into different formats, whereby each has unique symptoms. Depression affects approximately 6.7% of adults in a presented year. Moreover, approximately 16.6% of people will experience depression at a specific point in time in their life. The presented medical condition can strike at any point in time. However, on an average, the depression symptoms are first experienced among teenagers and individuals available within their mid-20s. The females are more vulnerable to depression in comparison to their male counterparts. Research shows that some women will find it difficult to control the presented depression symptoms, especially when they are experiencing a major depressive episode at some point in their life (Durbin, 2014).

Sadness and depression are two different concepts. It is highly likely that an individual may show similar symptoms of depression when in grief. After the death of a loved one, an individual finds it difficult to endure, therefore, showing feelings of sadness and grief is a way of responding to the presented situations. The persons undergoing such situations normally consider themselves as depressed. However, Huber, Zimmermann & Klug (2017) point out that being depressed is not the same as being sad. Grieving is a natural process which is unique to every person despite the fact that it comes with the same features of depression. Both conditions may be accompanied by a sense of withdrawal from normal activities and intense sadness. The symptoms of the two conditions vary significantly in that in grief, painful feelings exhibited by an individual come in the form of waves and at times it is intermixed with the positive memories of a deceased individual. On the other hand, in the case of depression, a person’s mood and interest in life are always decreased during a period of almost two weeks. Furthermore, in the case of grief, a person’s level of self-esteem remains in check unlike in depression cases when one feels worthless and self-loathing.

Treatment options available for depression are effective especially when a patient finds the best form of treatment which works for him/her. The presented factor stems from the fact that every individual is unique. Some may find it effective to undertake therapy and work on the problematic factors which cause depression. On the other hand, some may find that the counteracting of medication and therapy to effectively do away with the noted symptoms of the depression even in the future makes more sense.

Conclusion

To conclude, depression is a mental health condition which majorly affects the mood of an individual. A person diagnosed with the condition should show the symptoms of depression for at least two weeks before the administration of medication. Some of the common symptoms of the condition are delusions and hallucinations. Through this, one tends to lose their self-esteem levels and further become depressed. The use of psychotherapies such as CBT have proven to be effective in remedying the condition in the past. If the patient does not positively respond to the therapies, medications should also be administered to speed the process.

References

Brooke, S.L., & Myers, C.E. (2015). The use of creative therapies in treating depression. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas.

Durbin, E. (2014). Depression 101. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company

Huber, D., Zimmermann, J., & Klug, G. (2017). Change in personality functioning during psychotherapy for depression predict long-term outcome. Psychoanalytic psychology, 34(4), 434-445. doi:10.1037/pap0000129.

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