major depressive disorder family and friends, Treatment for depression

Relieving debilitating symptoms of major depressive disorder with therapy

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What is therapy?

Therapy is an intervention used to provide treatment for a disorder for the purpose of relieving the client from it’s debilitating effects. The word therapy means to cure/heal and originates with Greek latin. There are a few types of therapies used to treat depression that are useful for many and it is up to the client to decide which treatment works best for them. Some people only require help from a therapist for a short time while others may need ongoing help indefinitely.

When to seek therapy

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It may feel awkward for some people to ask for help for symptoms of depression but it is important for optimal health and well-being that intervention treatment start when the symptoms begin to become overwhelming. There isn’t one universal therapy that works for every person who has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder otherwise known as clinical depression.
When someone is suicidal it is vital for them to go to the hospital for emergency help; it is a serious and distressing illness at its worst. This is not an extreme measure; mental illness may be invisible but the symptoms are real. The rule of thumb for the right time seek help from a doctor or therapist is when symptoms of depression last for over two weeks.

Symptoms of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)

Major depressive disorder affects over 300 million people; children, teens, and adults can be diagnosed with clinical depression. There are common symptoms, though everyone is different and may experience them in differing intensities and combinations. Symptoms of this mood disorder includes:
  • despair
  • deep sadness
  • insomnia
  • hopelessness
  • inability to enjoy pleasurable activities
  • weight loss or gain
  • changes in appetite
  • fatigue
  • physical aches and pains
  • cognitive difficulties
  • change in psychomotor abilities- slow movements and speech
  • moving and fidgeting constantly
  • delusions
  • hallucinations
Research show that twice as many women suffer from depression. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder because of the many hats they are expected to wear and putting others first. Too many people don’t request help or treatment from a health care professional. When people seek help, there are various philosophies and therapies practiced in treating a client with depression.

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Therapies used to treat depression

People who receive treatment(s) for depression have a choice of the kind of help that they can receive; some need only one kind of therapy while others combine methods; two common types of therapy frequently combined are cognitive behaviour therapy and biological therapy. Research is ongoing attempting to find methods that improve the health and well-being of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Common therapies include:
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  • Insight therapy- a method of psychotherapy that helps the client understand themselves for relief of symptoms. It is a talking therapy. There are over 450 variants of psychotherapies; treatment now lasts for months instead of years.
  • Behaviour therapy- the goal of this type of therapy is for the client to unlearn old patterns of behaviour that was learned and replace the maladaptive behaviour with an appropriate response that is beneficial for the customer. Based on the principles of classical, operant conditioning and observational learning.
  • Cognitive therapy- is for people experiencing difficulties with irrational thinking, beliefs and ideas. The therapist helps the client with depression using cognitive-behavioural therapy. This is cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy in conjunction with one another.
  • Biological therapy- includes the main practices of drug therapy, (ECT) electroconvulsive therapy and psychosurgery. Therapists believe that depression is a symptom of a physical detriment such as not having enough seratonin being made for the proper functioning of the brain.
A professional therapist and/or a doctor helps clients find the optimal therapy that he/she needs for a brief period of time or for ongoing care. Depression varies in in its length of duration and some people suffer from multiple episodes.

Where to receive therapy for depression

Some types of therapy that treat major depressive disorder require face to face interactions while it is possible for clients to receive help online. A family doctor is a good starting point for finding appropriate treatment. Online counselling is suitable for sufferers of depression who are housebound receiving the help necessary in the comfort of their own home; this is much better than going without help. Free online counseling can be found at 7 Cups; this is an online service with 24/7 online chat and encouraging message boards for mental illnesses including major depressive disorder.

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