In 2020, over 264 million people, globally, had been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, the leading cause of disabilities. In the United States alone, 17.3 million adults have experienced at least one major depressive episode or been diagnosed with an illness. These numbers are staggering. The question remains: what can be done? The answer, a lot. Thanks to a myriad of depression therapies, it is among one of the most treatable mental disorders. Depression therapy ranges from psychotherapy and medically supervised self-help to lifestyle changes.
Mental illnesses, such as depression (major depressive disorder), have associated symptoms prevalent throughout the body and damaging effects on a person’s mental state. Mindful Living Group believes in the association and importance of the mind-body connection; the licensed professionals come together with each of their collective specialties with the common goal of balancing that connection by mindful living, utilizing natural health approaches, and various therapies.
Common Types Of Depression Therapy
Depression is not caused by a single factor but rather a kaleidoscope of pieces. Common causes stem from poor diet, environment, genetics, biology, vitamin deficiencies, or chronic health conditions. The symptoms surrounding a depressive episode can vary vastly between two people. Still, on average, the most commonly experienced are decreased mood (persistent sadness), change in appetite, difficulty sleeping or sleeping excessively, and excessive or reduced fatigue levels. Furthermore, an abundance of physical symptoms can differ in each person, such as an increase in headaches, body aches, gastrointestinal abnormalities, and many more.
There are many readily available therapies and treatments for depression that have gone through rigorous testing and shown high levels of efficacy. Commonly used depression therapies include, but are not limited to, forms of psychotherapy, self-help under the advisement and supervision of your licensed psychotherapist or pre-licensed therapist under the control of a licensed provider, and lifestyle changes that act as a therapy and treatment.
PSYCHOTHERAPY: Psychodynamic Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Behavioral Activation
Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is approached in various ways, and therapists and counselors typically specialize in one of the many areas such as CBT, DBT, or psychodynamic therapy. Professionals can use multiple forms to create an individualized therapy program that meets the needs of each patient. Because depressive episodes can be affected by many influences, the integration of psychotherapies such as interpersonal therapy and behavioral activation is critical.
We have all seen it, the movie scene of a dark room, tall ceilings, philosophical-looking therapist sitting in a chair with his notepad and pen in hand. The woeful patient hesitantly reclines on the chaise, only to be asked to recall everything that has ever happened to them in life and explain “how it makes them feel.” Hollywood’s interpretation has caused many to be wary of this Freudian-styled psychodynamic therapy. The reality is you are more likely to sit down in a comfortable setting with your therapist, who is there to listen and help without any judgment. Psychodynamic therapy focuses on unresolved past experiences to find the answers to and solve current-day problems.
This short-term psychotherapy is rooted in the relationships you have with others and the influence on your mental health. Depression affects our social lives significantly. Some people will completely withdraw. Meanwhile, others throw themselves into everything to avoid the pain they feel. The latter may not seem terrible on the surface, but that’s the key. During this time, relationships lack a meaningful core or support. Interpersonal therapy breaks down into several variations. Dynamic and metacognitive are the most common. Depressive disorders commonly exist alongside other mental health conditions, many of which interpersonal treatment is effective in treating, especially personality disorders.
A common symptom of depression (and anxiety disorders) is reduced interest or pleasure in activities you love doing. A decrease in participating in activities or hobbies you enjoy results in a reduction of positive stimuli, increases isolation, and provides your mind the opportunity to sink deeper into a depressive state. Behavioral activation has a dual role as a therapy and a coping strategy for depression, encouraging you to encounter positive and rewarding activities that support the lifestyle you want. You must create a list of essential things for you, not what you think is expected. Activities that are specific and have a measurable level of progress are optimal. When you can see your progress, provide yourself with direction and room for motivation. If you offer yourself clear guidance, you are eliminating (as much as possible) any chance of feeling overwhelmed – why not help yourself get a win?
THERAPIES TO DO FOR YOURSELF – BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT
Between sessions with your therapist or counselor, it is essential to continue looking after yourself. Through the advice and guidance of your counselor or psychotherapist, create a list of ways to better care for yourself. Depressive disorders are as harmful to the body as physical injury. It is essential to give yourself the space and patience to heal. It is not typically discussed, but the ugly side of depression is that people can forget to care for themselves, such as hygiene and chores.
Surprisingly, personal hygiene can be one of the first things that get put on the back burner when experiencing a depressive episode. Understandably so, too. While lying in bed, the thought of having to get up, brush and floss your teeth, get into the shower, wash your hair, shave, and so on can be exhausting! The hard truth to face is at times can also be that you may feel worse in a few days. Be gentle with yourself and require that you meet a certain standard each day. Aim to brush your teeth and at least bathe once a day; if you have some extra energy, add on a hair wash or shave. Remember, it is always acceptable to ask for help. If there is someone available, ask for help washing your hair. You do not have to battle this on your own.
Chores around the house can be exhausting for anyone; tack on a mental illness that causes extreme fatigue, and life can begin to feel impossible. However, tasks must be done. Many household to-do’s such as dishes, laundry, daily cleaning, and yard work are likely to be neglected if the person responsible suffers from depression. The piles of mess become overwhelming and eventually seem too extensive to deal with. If you live with someone struggling, work out a new system to help take some of the responsibility off of them. An excellent rule of thumb for people experiencing a depressive episode is the “2-minute rule”. On average, when you are heating up something to eat, it takes around two minutes. During that time, do your best to get as much done as possible in the area around you. This not only becomes a little game with yourself, but you just may feel better having accomplished something.
Depression Therapy Options With Mindful Living Group: LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Diet plays a sizeable role in maintaining healthy mental wellness. Diets heavy in sugar, carbohydrates, and processed foods have been linked to an increased risk of depression. There is a strong connection between the gut and brain. When regularly consuming foods that are unhealthy or hard for the body to process, the result can create high levels of inflammation. The inflammation in the gut, if ignored, can eventually cause brain inflammation. Low mood, “feeling bad,” and low self-esteem are these consequences. Consulting with your therapist at MLG about your current diet, changes to make, and any beneficial supplements and vitamins to add is an excellent start.
Depression affects both the brain and body. It must be treated holistically. A shared trait of people experiencing a depressive episode is either over-eating – in efforts to self-soothe – or the complete loss of appetite. Both ends of this spectrum cause an imbalance in nourishment. Specialized and compassionate psychotherapists with Mindful Living Group can sympathize with this struggle. In a judgment-free zone, they will help you create a plan that will encourage you to move in the right direction of a well-rounded diet that provides vital nutrients to your body and brain.
How Depression Therapy Benefits You:
The primary use of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or its various forms in approaching depression and its symptoms has proven to be monumental in efficacy. The negative thoughts that often create a worsening spiral of depressive episodes are challenged with positive, mindful, present thoughts. You can learn more about CBT and its many uses here. Reportedly, it has been shown that 80-90% of people who sought out depression therapy and treatment saw improvements in their symptoms. Many unexpected benefits happen with depression therapy. Better, restorative sleep is possible to achieve when you begin to heal from the illness. Relationships, whether with your partner, friends, or family members, reap the benefits. Reduced or complete loss of libido is also a commonly reported symptom among people suffering from a major depressive disorder. This can result in stress on relationships, and in turn, feed into depression. The guilt and worthlessness of depression can make you believe just that, the illness talking. You deserve to live a life full of joy, love, gratitude. To live Aloha. It is never too early or too late to seek help for your depression.
The degree of depression (moderate, severe) or type of disorder you have should determine the kind of doctor you seek out. It is vital to be honest and open with your licensed health care professional, psychotherapist, or counselor to receive the best guidance and treatment. Depression does not go away on its own, unfortunately. If you need a compassionate, empathetic, and non judgemental counselor, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist, contact Mindful Living Group today. Remember, you do not have to fight this battle alone, nor should you. We are here and ready to help you live a fulfilling life.