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Depression - Mood Disorders

Depressive disorders can involve long-term feelings of sadness, emptiness, loss of hope, irritability/anger and the inability to get things done.  They can include the experience of no pleasure from life, weight gain or loss, trouble with sleep, tiredness, slowing down, difficulty concentrating, excessive guilt, poor self-esteem and even thoughts of suicide.

These kinds of emotions can also come on quickly in response to known circumstances or without an apparent reason.  Although it may feel similar, normal grieving is not depression. Physical problems may be associated with depression: The emotions may cause body discomfort. Also, pain or limitations in functioning may contribute to the depressive emotions.  Sadness is an inherent part of life, but when there is little or no joy to offset the sadness we have depression.

Depression is a multi-faceted disorder. All of the components contribute to and support all the others. So if you can address one of them effectively the result will begin to generalize to the others. If you can address more than one, the effect is compounded.

 

Some of the components of treatment are:

Physical Health

  • Eating well
  • Monitoring all drug use
  • Getting regular gentle (or more strenuous if you are able) exercise
  • Stretching
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • etc.

Connection to Life

  • Seeking and developing positive and supportive interpersonal contacts
  • Addressing problems in existing close personal relationships
  • Looking for a meaningful context for your life

Positive Assumptions and Beliefs

  • Examining ways of thinking that contribute to depression and working at making changes as needed
  • Expanding coping and problems-solving strategies and skills, working through old learning that may sabotage your current functioning

 

There is not a one-size-fits-all formula, but exploring these components may suggest some specific interventions for you to try.

At any given time 10% of the population is estimated to have a mood disorder.

20% of us will will experience a depressive disorder in our lifetime.

At any given time 10% of the population is estimated to have a mood disorder.

20% of us will experience a depressive disorder in our lifetime.