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How a Psychologist Can Help with Depression

All of us feel sad sometimes. Depression goes beyond that. It is characterized by sadness and despair that continues for an extended time. It affects a person’s day-to-day life and can even manifest as a physical pain. What’s great is that depression is treatable.

In America, depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses today. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM), around 7% (roughly 16 million) of the whole adult population in the country has had at least one severe depressive episode.

Defining Depression

Depression obviously has different effects on people, depending on what they’re struggling with.

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

> Sadness that never seems to go away

> Feeling helpless, hopeless, guilty or worthless

> Anger and irritability

> Uneasiness

> Lack of focus

> Unexplained fatigue

> Unusual sleep patterns

> Noticeable change in appetite

> Unceasing pain, like tummy aches or headaches

> Loss of interest in things or activities that used to be enjoyable

> Withdrawal from relatives and friends

> Thoughts on death or suicide

Depression is the result of genetic, psychological, biological, social and environmental factors. People with a family history of depression and other chronic diseases like heart disease or cancer, are more likely to develop depression than those who don’t. Big life changes, stress and trauma usually trigger an episode, although in some cases, it can occur without any palpable cause.

Seeing a Psychologist for Depression
Licensed psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals with experience in helping patients recover from depression.
Licensed psychologists and trained and experienced professionals who are experts in helping patients overcome depression.

Several approaches to psychotherapy have been identified and proven effective in treating depression, especially in mild to moderate cases.

For one, psychotherapy lets patients to see the issues in their lives that cause their depression, and to know what they can do to help themselves. It also helps them set realistic goals for themselves. It sets crooked thought processes straight and corrects bad behavior that ultimately lead them to feel hopeless and helpless. Very importantly, it educates the person as to the symptoms of depression and how they can prevent or avert an episode.

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

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches patients how to pinpoint as well as avoid negative thoughts and behaviors that can add to or trigger their depression. The process also helps patients interact with others more positively.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a type of therapy that aims to improve patients’ relationships with others by teaching them how to express themselves and solve their problems in healthier ways.

In the end, therapy can’t be wrong or right as it is. However, psychologists can always make therapy work, thanks to their expertise in customizing treatments plans that suit each patient.

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