Depression

“DEPRESSION” IS A COMMONLY USED WORD. WE OFTEN HEAR SOMEONE SAY, “I’M DEPRESSED” OR THEY DIAGNOSE THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. HOWEVER, IT IS A SERIOUS PSYCHIATRIC PROBLEM AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE DISORDER AND ITS TREATMENT.

Some of the most common mental illness in the U.S. are Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder. These can cause enormous problems in one’s relationships, job and social life. Unfortunately, depression is often minimized or not noticed by families or friends. Symptoms range from sleep disturbance, sadness and anger to lack of energy, poor school or work performance and even suicide thoughts or attempts. Sometimes hospitalization is necessary, due to threats of suicide.

Depression is thought by the medical community to be genetic in nature and “inherited” from one’s family of origin. However, it can also result from specific life situations or incidents. Medical conditions or substance abuse may also cause depressive symptoms. Major or persistent depressions can last for years if not treated. Bipolar depression includes cycles of severe sadness and mania.

Successful treatment of depression is best achieved by both counseling and medication. Counseling can address symptoms such as social problems, lowered self-esteem, anger, isolation, alcohol abuse and hopelessness. Medication usually helps lift the patient’s mood on a long-term basis.

Depression can cause people to

  • lose interest in normal activities
  • have less energy
  • develop lower self-esteem
  • isolate themselves
  • drink excessive alcohol
  • sleep more or less
  • become angrier
  • have hopeless outlooks or feel helpless to cope with normal life activities

Bipolar Disorder is a form of depression that can result in a crisis if not treated. Severe sadness is one symptom. Another is mania, which can severely disrupt one’s life and lead to behaviors that are hard to recover from. A manic episode can last for hours or days and often ends in a serious situation for the patient’s family. People in this manic state are not able to calm themselves and may engage in extreme, excessive or obsessive actions.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a common depression diagnosed in women and can affect all who have begun menstruation.

If you or a friend suffers from any of these disorders, call Becker Counseling at 732.406.4422. We are here to help!

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