A misconception about depression is that if a person feels intense sadness for a small period of time in reaction to some event, then that is depression. Not to imply that depression cannot be in reaction to an event, but crying after the loss of a life in the family is not depression- that is called the grieving process. That process is necessary and healthy, capable of lasting days.
The grieving process or normal sadness becomes no longer healthy when that crying goes on for weeks to months and includes feelings of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness for oneself and for one’s own life. But a diagnosis of depression is not only comprised of a long duration of a sad feeling. Five things everyone should keep in mind when trying to detect possible depression themselves or those close to them are:
Depression can be treated with medication, psychological counseling, or a melding of the two. The counseling is necessary to discuss the loss of interest in activities a depressed person may have enjoyed and/or loss of concentration with work/school. By discussing what the depressed was getting out of an activity, he/she may slowly find reason to recommit to doing the activity, which can be therapeutic on many different levels.
Because depression tends to be internalized, it manifests itself as self hatred. Having thoughts of suicide can oftentimes seem to the depressed person who is thinking them a safe alternative to homicidal thoughts; they are not as dangerous as homicidal thoughts or not wrong at all. They do not grasp the gravity of their thoughts because a depressed person is playing by the rules of the depression and not normal behavior. If someone speaks about suicide, even flippantly, it should be taken very seriously. Whomever a depressed person confides in should constantly press for therapy and or medication as the next step.
Depression does not only manifest itself mentally. Huge amounts of weight loss or weight gain; insomnia or oversleeping, and loss of energy are all physical signals of depression.
Do not abandon therapy if your first counselor does not feel right for you. Therapy should be treated like a doctor’s diagnosis: if a second, third, even fourth opinion or trial is necessary then so be it. Finding the right therapist is a heavy commitment made according to personal choice. When people are not making progress in therapy, they think that something is wrong with them and that it is not the fault of the professional. Maybe perhaps you and the therapist are not melding first as people regardless of the professional-client relationship. Maybe, the therapist reminds you of some one who drudges up negative feelings from your past causing more stress. This is something to discuss with a new therapist.
Life events like a job loss, a family member or friend dying, work stress, failed goals, marriage, as well as a divorce, new medications and drug use-can all trigger depression. Some of the preceding may even be done in reaction to an onset of depression. Some may think that it is a normal feeling to feel helpless in the aforementioned circumstances, but depression can deprive you of the ability to change your situation. To avoid a relapse, a person prone to depression should learn to recognize when an event may become stressful and try to intercept the onset of the illness. Also depressive people avoid indulging in negative thinking by writing these feelings down in order to see their irrationality. Also a person susceptible to depression should refrain from alcohol and drugs abuse because such activity could trigger an episode.