This Depression thing…

This Depression thing…

The startling increase in suicide has been brought to the nations’ attention.  It is almost impossible to talk about the subject without talking about “this depression thing.”  When I am talking about depression, I am not meaning the occasional sadness or loneliness that most people feel from time to time.  It is more of a pervasive feeling of being listless, lethargic, sad, lonely…add your own description here.  Professionals tend to use the term depression as if everyone experiences it the same way.  But the person who has experienced depression, feels it in a very personal way, not in some generic description.

What causes depression?  An imbalance in the chemicals in the brain is one cause.  Sometimes these chemicals can be brought into balance with the help of medication thru a psychiatrist or primary care physician.  Other times depression seems to be brought on by being overwhelmed by the demands placed on a person.  It could be their “world view.”  Or, perhaps it is a series of unfortunate incidents that happen very close together that seem to knock one off of her/his feet.  Often one refrains from telling others for fear of that person saying, “You think you have it bad…did you hear about ???”  Here’s another infamous comment to a depressed person, “You need to have more faith, pray more, trust in Jesus.”   As a clergy told me once, “I did all of those things, and I got depressed anyway!”  Being depressed does not mean you are not a person of faith.  I have counseled many Christians over the years who struggled with depression.

What does a depressed person need?  The individual does not need flippant comments like, “just get over it.”  If it had been that simple, they would have stopped being depressed long ago.   May I suggest:

  • They need your support, not your judgment.
  • They need an arm around the shoulder, a touch on the arm, a hand held.
  • They may appreciate a listening, nonjudgmental friend who understands that listening is a form of therapy.
  • They need to be included in your life and in your activities.

There are treatments available for depression.  Several forms of therapy are available.  CBT therapy, Behavioral therapy, Interpersonal therapy, and medication can be helpful.  Family therapy can help the one who is depressed and assist other family members in gaining understanding about depression.  Our office now offers brain training thru NeurOptimal.  It has been reported as being effective for depression.  I also do brain training with the MUSE, a neurofeedback that helps one learn to calm the brain.  Call 972-680-8986 Today for more information.

There IS hope for depression and for those who love a person experiencing depression.