Looking for a way to cope with depression? Many like you have found help dealing this condition successfully. This article shows two things you need to know.
Major Depression – A Common Mental Disorder
Major depression also known as major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. The Institute of Mental Health reports that it affects about 6.7% (16.1 million) adults aged 18 and over. This condition can appear at any age, but the likelihood of onset increases with puberty and peaks in the twenties.
Symptoms of major depressive disorder
Do not think that symptoms of major depression is limited to feeling “sad.” In fact, symptoms can vary and include both emotional and physical changes. Common symptoms of depression can include the following:
- Frequent crying and feelings of overwhelming sadness
- Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Irritability or anger
- Changes in eating patterns, including significant weight loss or gain
- Loss of pleasure in normal activities
- Psychosomatic complaints including headaches, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal distress
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of suicide
One with symptoms of major depression can find it difficult to attend to normal daily activities and this can reduce productivity. It negatively impact employment or schooling, relationships or social functioning, and other areas of functioning.
Although major depressive disorder can totally affect a person’s way of life, it take courage to step out of its shadows and ask for help. If it is a real challenge to you or someone you know suffering from major depression to seek help and follow through on treatment, read on to know two things you must know.
Are you afraid of seeking professional care? See some reasons why some hesitate to get treated and overcome your fears.
Finding help to cope with major depression
Major depressive disorder is treatable with professional care, though success rates and length of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the depression. To help you get a head start, you need to understanding available possible treatments and how to find the right professional (a therapist) for you.
Treatments for major depression
Although treatment is individualized, several standard treatments are recommended:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Process-oriented talk therapy
- Family therapy
- Hospitalization if necessary
- Residential treatment if necessary
- Alternative treatments (nutrition plans, exercise plans, meditation or mindfulness strategies)
How to find the right therapist
Having confidence in your therapist plays an essential role in establishing a connection. To find the best therapist for you, it is recommended that you speak to more than one therapist. Be prepared to ask potential therapists questions that include both practical matters and treatment strategies.
Things you might need to know
Consider these questions when you speak to potential therapists:
- Do you accept my insurance?
- Do you specialize in children, adults, families, or all three?
- What experience do you have treating major depressive disorder?
- If I need medication, can you prescribe it for me or refer me to someone who can?
- What are your credentials?
- What is your treatment approach?
- How will you help me overcome depression?
- How long do you expect treatment to last?
- What happens if I don’t start feeling better in the typical timeframe?
- Are there things I can do on my own to improve my treatment outcome in addition to therapy?
- How many sessions a month do you typically provide for someone with depression?
- What if I can no longer afford the cost of treatment?
- Do you provide sliding scale rates?
Referrals Help Too
Once you have your list of questions, it’s time to seek out referrals. If you know other people in your area who suffer (or have suffered) from depression, ask them. Word of mouth can be a great way to find a good match. If this is not possible, begin with your physician. If medical conditions are ruled out as a cause of the symptoms of depression, ask your primary care physician for a list of referrals for therapists.
If you still need further recommendations, your insurance carrier, local hospitals, and outpatient clinics have referral systems in place.
Depression isn’t something to be bottled up. If you are always depressed or have been trying to cope with depression that won’t subside for some time, do not be shy to seek professional care and support. Take your time to find a therapist or professional that is best for you. If you can not seem to open up to a therapist, start by telling your spouse or your loved ones how you feel.
- 1. National Institute of Mental Health, “Major Depression Among Adults,” retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml.
- 2. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2013: Page 165.