If you are suffering from depression help is available. It is very difficult to get better on your own.
Depression is the most widespread disability. Despite its prevalence, there is a negative stigma associated with the disease. An estimated 80% of those with depression do not seek treatment.
Because many depressed people hide their condition, it is very difficult to get a snap shot of the extent of the problem.
At least 10% of Americans will experience serious depression at some point in their lives, with women experiencing depression at nearly double the rate of men. It is almost a certainty that you or someone close to you will suffer from depression.
Depression is more than simply feeling a bit down.
Depression is a negative thought cycle that gets in the way of everyday function. The DSM-IV (the manual mental health professionals use to diagnose disease) defines depression as a “depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks” and lists symptoms as irritability, decreased interest, significant weight change, change in sleep, change in activity, fatigue, guilt, problems concentrating and thoughts of suicide.
With depression, even simple tasks can seem overwhelming. Insomnia and chronic fatigue are common among individuals dealing with the condition.
People with depression may lose their appetite completely or eat excessively. People with depression are 3-4 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence. Depression is linked to unemployment, anxiety, relationship problems, drug addiction and a host of physical ailments.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from depression, seek help.
The major indicators of clinical depression are a negative mood that lasts over two weeks and significant changes in weight and diet. Depression can lead to isolation, and outside support and encouragement are important in breaking negative thought patterns. While a professional therapist is recommended, you may want to seek additional support through in-person support groups or even online.
If you are experiencing depression, your doctor may be able to recommend someone who specializes in mental illness.
Your insurance provider may also be able to make a recommendation. Additionally, therapist directories are available online. The American Psychological Association recommends taking time to find the right therapist for you. Your therapist should make you feel comfortable and you should be confident in their credentials. Ask if they are licensed, how long they have been practicing, what they specialize in, and what types of treatments they use. Find a therapist that meets your needs and that you enjoy speaking to.
A professional therapist can be a valuable ally in fighting depression.
However, there are other options that may help alleviate depression and can be used alongside therapy. Support groups can be a valuable resource. Isolation is a major component of depression and meeting with other people who understand dealing with depression can help a lot. Many religious centers and schools have support groups available, or you can find one near you with this online tool (note: search by state rather than zip code).
The internet also has many forums where you can find support.
However, it important to be careful seeking advice on the internet. Many people are not understanding or have issues of their own and may attack you arbitrarily. Even well-intentioned individuals may give advice that is not professional. Online support groups have some advantages: They are easily accessible and anonymous. It can be very difficult for someone with depression to speak in front of a group in person. For some, the anonymity of the internet helps them be more open and honest with their feelings.
Breaking the bubble of isolation is one of the most effective ways to counter depression.
Additionally, general healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way towards improved mental health. Improved habits can lead to improved moods. A better diet, more exercise, improved sleep and reduced alcohol consumption can all help alleviate depression. Goal setting is also an effective tool for battling depression. Physical health is one area where you can set achievable goals that genuinely improve your well-being.
If your depression has affected your ability to work, you may be eligible to collect disability benefits. Disability benefits are provided to help those who are unable to work due to a totally disabling condition. A totally disabling condition prevents the individual from working and lasts (or is expected to last) for a year or more. Depression is one of the most common reasons for a disability claim, however it is often combined with another condition. The attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed have experience with disability cases and can help you win the benefits you need. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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