Browse Month: May 2019

Psychologist Explains The Psychology Of Depression

It is no surprise that depression can often get misunderstood. That is because people rarely talk about it. That even if a lot of individuals know the condition is prevalent; they ignore and sometimes don’t do something to address it. That explains why healthcare professionals, such as psychologist entirely want to help out. There is this eagerness to explain the psychology of depression to aid the stigma of mental illness.

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One out of ten individuals worldwide experiences some diagnosable depression. That is pretty alarming, to be honest. Considering its signs and symptoms are sometimes misdiagnosed, things can get pretty much overwhelming. Yes, everyone experiences sadness from time to time. However, not because someone is sad; it does not mean he has a mental illness. So, when does the condition tip the scale? When can we call the psychological crisis as a depressive disorder?

What Is With Depression?

Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness,” says Deborah Serani, PsyD.

The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose a condition defines significant depression as something that impairs an individual’s occupational, social, or other areas of functioning. There is this unexplained mood crisis, considerable weight loss or gain, fatigue or loss of energy, insomnia, psychomotor agitation, diminished ability to concentrate, as well as recurrent thoughts of death. People usually refer to major depressive disorder when they think about depression. However, there are other diagnoses. Apparently, in general, all of the depressive conditions share the same signs and symptoms. These include emptiness and sadness. There is the presence of physical and cognitive dysfunction as well. Overall, the state affects a person’s capacity to function for at least two weeks.

“Depression is serious. The World Health Organization ranks depression as the third most common burden of disease worldwide and projects that by 2030 it’ll be number one,” says Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen.

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So What Causes Depression?

“The fact is, despite decades of research into this question, scientists at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and research universities around the world still don’t really know the cause of depression,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Unlike neuroscientist, psychologist places a lot of focus on social and cognitive factors that play a role in depression. They believe that what a person thinks will say something about his condition. That explains why there is a lot of particular questions that guarantee a result in finding someone susceptible to the disorder. Some of these questions are the view of the individual of himself and others, and the way he chooses to cope with problems.

Usually, depression comes from repeated failure in life. It includes failed decisions, disappointing results, and even mishandled relationships. There is this intense feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. In unfortunate cases, there is an abandonment of self-trust and self-confidence. But we must understand that not everyone who faces difficulty life problems becomes depressed. The situation still varies from one person to another. However, prolonged exposure to stressors can entirely preempt depressive episodes. The condition can escalate quickly, especially to those individuals who do not have a strong foundation of social support such as friends, family, or concerned community.

On the cognitive side, depression, specifically centers in negativistic thinking. It is the condition’s foundation. It is a takeover of an individual’s thoughts that is overly critical and pessimistic. With that, there is often an expectation of disappointment and failure at every turn of life events. The co-existence of these two unwanted mental states make a lot of people wonder what comes first. But research shows that even an optimistic individual is also at risk of depression after exposure to too much stressful life events. Therefore, it seems like the negativistic thinking is more likely a result of the depressive disorder and not the other way around.

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Is There A Solution To The Condition?

Of course, there is. Like so many other disorders, comprehensive research says that depression is treatable. As long as there is a combination of medication and therapy, a positive result is achievable. These two are more equally effective in treating depressive symptoms. Although, therapy promotes longer-lasting effects after completion compared to medication alone. Yes, medicine does an excellent job of managing the signs and symptoms of depression. But therapy is the one that is best in addressing the condition’s underlying causes. With a specific type of therapy, there is knowledge of what leads an individual to feel persistent loneliness and sadness.

Depression is an ongoing mental health battle that most of us are experiencing. There are things that we think we know about it but seem complicated to address adequately. It is entirely essential that we don’t just rely on what we know and should start learning and understanding more of it.

 

How To Deal With Depression And Anxiety Without Spending Too Much

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I am usually forgetful when it comes to dates, but 2014 is the year that I will always remember due to bittersweet reasons. For one, that is when I have managed to prove to myself and to everyone else that I am a tough cookie, that I can overcome whatever challenges that life throws at me. Before coming to that conclusion, however, I have had to deal with depression first, which has comorbid with a minor case of anxiety later.

My situation at the time was similar to what many other mental health patients are probably going through right now. No one knew that I was in such a dark place, not even my housemates. I smiled every time they chatted with me, although I practically felt dead inside. The more hopeless I felt, the more I got scared of being around people, too. There were a lot of occasions in which I would turn off the lights in my room for a couple of days and text them that I was at my parents’ place so that I could avoid having to talk with anyone.

I had too many worries back then. I was afraid of my loved ones getting wind up of my mental instability. No matter how welcoming the community may be to individuals with depression and anxiety, after all, I assumed that that’s not true for anyone. There was also the fear of going in an event one day and seeing folks talk behind their hands while looking at me. I realize now that they are silly thoughts, but such worries have seemed too valid for comfort at the time.

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Now, I have a secret to tell you. After getting diagnosed with the two disorders, I have never come back for therapy or medication. The psychiatrist who wanted me to do so was sweet and friendly, but I could not honestly afford all of that as I was still studying then. Nevertheless, I got better with sheer determination and by doing the following activities that did not cost me much, money-wise, but gave me hope to fight for myself again.

Work On Puzzles

The first thing that I did when my brain was getting overloaded with negative ideas was to buy a box of puzzles. I tried downloading games on my smartphone before that, but it made me unable to concentrate more. I turned to books as well, yet the words merely caused me to feel nauseous. So, I considered all my non-digital options during a quiet moment and came up with the thought of trying to put puzzle pieces together when the voices in my head didn’t want to stop. And it worked for me.

Puzzles are one of the objects that you can use to distract yourself when your depression or anxiety is on active mode. There is undoubtedly a plethora of things that will allow you to focus less on the dark images that cross your mind. As soon as you find it, you should keep it by your side until you are ready to expand your horizons.

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Open Up To Friends And Family

When your anxious or depressive episodes lessen, you will have time to consider when’s the proper time for you to open up about your ordeal to your loved ones. That’s an idea that may never give you peace if you think of it during the onslaught of anxiety or depression, you see. Worse, your troubled brain might even feed you with darker thoughts and crush your hopes further.

Nonetheless, the revelation will have to come at some point. You may try to deal with the problem on your own, but why bother? Let your friends and family members help you; fill them in on what’s happening in your life. They would surely love to know about it from you instead of from acquaintances. They. Want. You. To. Live. Happily.

Recover At My Own Pace

Another reason why I did not want to get therapy was the fact that no psychologist could guarantee how long the treatment would take. They usually have a guesstimate, but it may extend if you don’t respond well to their program. While my therapist was explaining that to me, all I could think of was, “Gosh, I don’t have thousands of dollars laying around!”

By doing the two things mentioned above, there was no need to think about the money that I would have had to spend on therapy. I did not have to pressure my loved ones to help me out financially either. Thus, I managed to recover at my own pace.

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Final Thoughts

As a disclaimer, I do not encourage you to quit your treatment merely because such activities allowed me to get better without spending too much. It’s impossible to guarantee that my fate would be similar to yours. Not to mention, the severity of our conditions may not be the same. While you are getting treated for your depression and anxiety, though, it does not hurt to know all the other healing methods you can tap into.

Good luck!