Presentation on theme: "Understanding Depression. What causes Depression? Family History Having family members who have depression may increase a person’s risk Deficiencies of."— Presentation transcript:
What causes Depression? Family History Having family members who have depression may increase a person’s risk Deficiencies of certain chemicals in the brain may lead to depression
Major Life Changes Negative or particularly stressful events can trigger depression. Examples include the death of a loved one or a job change. Major Illnesses such as heart attack, stroke or cancer may trigger depression.
Certain medications used alone or in combination can cause side effects much like the symptoms of depression. Use of Alcohol or other Drugs can lead to or worsen depression. Depression can also occur for no apparent reason at all!
Symptoms of Depression Vary from person to person 2 key signs are loss of interest in things you like to do, and pervasive sadness or irritability
Additional Signs include: Changes in feelings such as: Feeling empty Inability to enjoy anything Hopelessness Loss of sexual desire Loss of warm feelings for family or friends Feelings of self blame or guilt Loss of self esteem Inexplicable crying spells, sadness or irritability
Changes in behavior and attitude These may include: General slowing down Neglect of responsibilities and appearance Poor memory Inability to concentrate Suicidal thoughts and feelings Difficulty making decisions
Physical Complaints These may include: Sleep disturbances such as insomnia, early morning waking, or sleeping too much Lack of energy Loss of appetite Weight loss or gain Unexplained headaches or backaches Stomachaches, indigestion or changes in bowl habits
Common Types of Depression Major Depression Dysthymia Bipolar Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Major Depression This type causes symptoms that may: Begin suddenly, possibly triggered by a loss, crisis or stressful change Interfere with normal functioning Continue for months or years It is possible for a person to have only one episode of major depression. However, It is more common for episodes to be long lasting or to recur several times during a person’s life
Dysthymia People with this illness may be consistently and mildly depressed for years. They function fairly well on a daily basis, but their relationships and self esteem suffer over time.
Bipolar Disorder (A.K.A. Manic-Depression) People with this type of illness change back and forth between periods of depression and periods of mania (an extreme high, sometimes with agitation or irritability). Symptoms of mania may include: Less need for sleep Overconfidence Racing thoughts Reckless behavior Increased energy Mood changes are often gradual, but can be sudden
Season Affective Disorder This is depression that coincides with changes in the season. Most cases begin in the fall or winter, when there is a decrease in sunlight (more common in regions farther north) Less often, depression can occur in late Spring or summer
Professional treatment is helpful for all these types of depression.
Psychotherapy Counseling can help many depressed people understand, accept and feel better about themselves. People also learn more effective ways of coping with life’s adversities and difficulties. For example: Interpersonal therapy works to change how people how to accept self and relate to others that affects mood and self-worth. Cognitive therapy helps people change negative thinking, behavior patterns and attitudes that affect self esteem and overall sense of well being.
Medical Treatment for Depression Medication Antidepressants are an option (most often for more severe cases) that can help ease the symptoms of depression and return a person to a better level of functioning. Medication is often crucial for cases of bipolar (typically a mood stabilizer). Antidepressants are not habit forming and generally have minimal side effects.
If you or someone you know has symptoms of depression… Take Action!
See a medical doctor for a complete check up. Some medical problems, such as an under-functioning thyroid, can cause depression. Go to the counseling center and talk with a professional counselor. Talk things over with an under- standing friend, family member or student services staff.
Don’t expect too much of yourself until your energy and mood improve Take a break Get some exercise Avoid extra stress and big changes
Things to do Reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol or drugs Exercise or engage in some form of physical activity Eat a proper, well-balanced diet Establish a regular sleep pattern
Obtain an adequate and consistent amount of sleep—not too much, nor too little Seek emotional support from family and friends Focus on meaningful, positive aspects of your life Pace yourself, modify your schedule, and set small, realistic goals Remember, depression is a temporary difficulty, not a reflection of your whole life or self worth.
Things to Avoid Don’t make long-term commitments or important decisions unless necessary while you are feeling down Don’t assume things are hopeless Don’t engage in “emotional reasoning” (i.e.: because I feel awful, my life is terrible) Don’t assume responsibility for events which are outside of your control Don’t avoid treatment-take some action to cope Don’t be critical of yourself; avoid critical others
Dealing with a depressed friend Be empathic and understanding Don’t try to “cheer up” a depressed person—it can feel minimizing. Simply ask if there is anything you can do to help—the answer will often be “no,” but the support will be felt. Avoid critical or shaming statements Challenge expressions of hopelessness Empathize with feelings of sadness, grief, anger and frustration (other feelings will come in time)
Don’t argue about how bad things are or are not Don’t insist that depression or sadness is not warranted for their situation Don’t react with anger even though your efforts to help may be resisted or rejected Helping a depressed friend…
Advocate for their recovery— convey hope Emphasize that depression is very treatable Seek consultation (professional counselors from the counseling center are always glad to consult—by phone or in person). Encourage your friend to seek help; offer to go with them to the counseling center Be supportive of counselor or other doctor suggestions