Changes in the body’s chemistry influence mood and thought processes -- biological factors contribute to some cases of depression. In addition, chronic and serious illnesses such as heart disease or cancer may be accompanied by depression. For many individuals, however, depression signals first and foremost that certain emotional aspects of life are out of balance.
Significant changes and major life stressors such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job can help bring about depression. Feelings of a loss of identity or self-esteem may also contribute. The causes of depression are not always immediately apparent, so the disorder requires careful evaluation and diagnosis by a trained mental health care professional.
Sometimes the circumstances involved in depression are ones over which an individual has little or no control. At other times, however, depression occurs when people are unable to see that they actually have choices and can bring about change in their lives.
Yes. Depression is highly treatable.
There is still some stigma, or shame, associated with seeking help for emotional problems, including depression. Unfortunately, feelings of depression often are viewed as a sign of weakness rather than a signal that something is out of balance. The fact is that people with depression cannot simply “snap out of it” and feel better spontaneously.
People with depression who do not seek help suffer needlessly. Unexpressed feelings and concerns accompanied by a sense of isolation can worsen a depression.
There are several approaches to psychotherapy – including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, psychodynamic and other kinds of “talk therapy”. These include:
Having one episode of depression greatly increases the risk of having another episode. There is some evidence that ongoing psychotherapy may lessen the chance of future episodes or reduce their intensity. Through therapy, people can learn skills to avoid unnecessary suffering from later bouts of depression.
The support and involvement of family and friends can play a crucial role in helping someone who is depressed. Individuals in the “support system” can help by encouraging a depressed loved one to stick with treatment and to practice the coping techniques and problem-solving skills he or she is learning through psychotherapy.
Living with a depressed person can be very difficult and stressful for family members and friends. The pain of watching a loved one suffer from depression can bring about feelings of helplessness and loss. Family or marital therapy may be beneficial in bringing together all the individuals affected by depression and helping them learn effective ways to cope together.
American Psychological Association
Child and Adult Therapy
Lynn Goya, M.Ed., Psy.D., Psychologist
Email Dr. Goya at firstname.lastname@example.org
For an appointment or free phone consultation.
Mililani Tech Park 100 Kahelu Ave. Suite 109 Mililani, HI 96789