What is a depression?

In behavioral psychology we rarely use the word depression. Instead, think of a bouquet – it’s a collection of flowers, but not a flower. Once you remove all of the flowers from the bouquet, you no longer have a bouquet. Similarly, depression is a collection of symptoms – sadness, crying spells, withdrawal from friends and family, too much or too little sleep, thoughts of hopelessness. Once you treat each symptom, there is no depression.

Did you know?

Depression is estimated to affect roughly 1 in 10 American adults. The Centers for Disease Control reports that this mental illness can be found in people of all ages and backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Could I need treatment for depression?

If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, seek help immediately. Not only does the illness produce a host of negative symptoms that may worsen with time, but it can also lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control report that depression can have an adverse effect on the long-term outcomes of chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

What should I expect during depression treatment?

If you seek psychiatric care for depression, you’ll avoid the need to get anti-depressants from a doctor and therapy from a psychotherapist. Instead, your psychiatrist will be able to talk with you and educate you about the disease you are suffering from. Whether you experience chronic and severe depression or periodic episodes, your psychiatrist will help you better understand that you are not being judged for your feelings and that no amount of right-thinking or willpower can heal depression.

Will I need to make any lifestyle changes to facilitate my treatment?

In addition to taking any medications you are prescribed, you’ll need to continue visiting your psychiatrist for follow-up appointments. In between visits, your psychiatrist may recommend engaging in more exercise, getting more sunlight, or practicing meditation.

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