Attacking Major Depression With Professional Treatments

The patient’s depression was crippling. He was in an out of psychiatric hospitals and could not work let alone function a normal life. All other treatments had failed him until neurosurgeon John Smider performed and operation. His skull was opened exposing his brain, in which they then placed a battery operated “pacemaker.” This pacemaker emits a rhythmic electrical pulse which alleviates depression whithout altering the thinking process or damaging the brain.

The operation was a success! The patient positive attitude soon returned and he was able to return to work. “You saved my life,” he told the doctor. “Now I can live a normal life.”

This man was one of many millions of americans suffering from chronic depression, a disorder that created intense feelings of guilt, helplessness and hoplessness. Many other symptoms of this disorder are disturbances in appetite and sleep, constant fatigue, crying spells and the inability to cope with life and derive pleasure from anything.

Only a very slight amount of people suffering from chronic depression require surgical treatment with a “pacemaker.” With most forms of major depression trained professions can help the patient.

What treatments are available? There are a variety. Some suggest that other methods do not work, and others suggest that multiple methods work together. Why is this?

Some researchers feel that severe depressions are caused by a physical defect in the body, such as a chemical imbalance in the brain, thusly medication such as antidepressants are considered a viable method of treatment. Others argue that the disorder results from faulty thinking and that the mind creates the imbalance and can thereby rectify it. These believe that the mind needs correction by “talk therapy,” psychotherapy. While both methods have experienced some good results, neither of them has the full answer.

Mind and Body Involved

The relationship between the mind and the body is a complex relationship because of the close interplay between the mind and body.

Each and every patient is different and mental disorders can be very complex. Only a trained doctor can make recommendations as to which approach is best for the patient. It is recognized that within every field of treatment there are often a wide range of practitioners. For example in psychotherapy there are over 130 different reported approaches.

Talk Out Depression

When one is sufffering from major depression, psychotherapy or “talk therapy” is one recommended approach. Since a depressed person usually has greatly disturbed ideas, many have been aided by their talking to a therapist. Such professionals may include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and others with specialized training. Many have also found great help in just talking with a caring friend of relative.

Armand DiMele, director of the Center for Psychotherapy, observes: “The depressed person is protecting himself by shutting down his mind and body and not allowing any stimulation. For example, when someone suffers a loss such as a death, he may go into a depression rather than face the loss.” The job of the counselor is to help the sufferer to face the feelings and anxiety that come from such a loss. DiMele continues: “If the therapist sitting with him can really nurture him through and tell him what to anticipate in body sensations, then the person gradually realizes he can cope with the emotion, and the depression lifts.”

Submerged feelings, such as anger, resentment and guilt, have often bred depression. For instance, a psychologist employed by the New York State Mental Health Department treated a 58-year-old woman suffering from severe depression. She felt that God had abandoned her and that everyone was talking against her. As this expert of 20 years’ experience began to talk with her in a kindly way each week, he noticed that in discussions about her family she never mentioned her mother, with whom she was now living. He probed. In time she revealed that she felt that her mother, by her neglect, was responsible for her beloved father’s recent death. Gradually the counselor helped her to overcome this resentment, and her depression melted away.

Since guilt is often a major symptom of depression, psychologists will endeavor to eliminate it along with the patient’s feelings of worthlessness. One woman became severely depressed when her child turned rebellious. “I was never really a proper mother, was I?” she cried to the psychiatrist. “That’s why she’s gone wrong.” The doctor helped her to see all the good she had done for the child. The guilt then vanished–and so did her depression.

However, the treatment of most cases is unsuccessful, according to Dr. Ronald Fieve. He reports in his book Moodswing–The Third Revolution in Psychiatry that not infrequently, after weeks, months and years of working with a moderate or severe depressive, helping him to analyze his behavior, “very little happened.”

Authorities in the field differ as to intensive psychotherapy’s effectiveness. One of the reasons for this is that many doctors feel that the chemical imbalance present in severe moodswings cannot always be corrected by psychotherapy. They advocate the use of . . .

Types Of Depression

The term depression refers to a type of mood disorder associated with feelings of sadness, anger, loss and frustration. Although people normally experience these feelings at one point or another, they usually pass within a short time. This medical condition is persistent and interferes with normal daily life yet it is one of the commonest illnesses that affect around 18 million Americans. It occurs in different ways, from mild to severe and as single or recurring episodes. According to many experts, depressive disorders are chronic conditions that need long-term treatment.

It is not clear what causes depressive disorders although experts believe they are associated with genetic, biologic and environmental factors. The sufferers may have unusual levels of neurotransmitters, which are types of brain chemicals. Factors that may lead to the conditions include:

– Biochemical and physical changes in the brain.

– Heredity

– Long-term stress

– Nutritional deficiencies

– Sleep problems

– Some types of medications, such as those used to treat irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol or high blood pressure

– Serious medical conditions like cancer and heart attack

– Social isolation

Types of Depressive Disorders

There are different types of depressive disorders and here are the main ones.

– Major depressive disorder has episodes that last for at least a fortnight and often take up to 20 weeks. Also known as clinical depression, the condition affects how people think, feel and behave. The sufferers tend to feel they do not have any reason for living and experience both physical and emotional problems. They find it difficult to carry out such normal functions as eating, sleeping or studying. Although people may experience several episodes during their lifetime, it tends to occur only once but treatment is often taken throughout one’s life.

– Dysthymia is a chronic type of depressive disorder that is relatively less severe. Its symptoms are similar to those of major depressive disorder, which the sufferers are likely to develop, except that they are milder. The symptoms may last for two years or more.

– Atypical disorder is linked to intermittent feelings of elation when those affected experience something good. It manifests different symptoms than the first two conditions. However, its name is deceptive because it is probably the commonest type of depressive disorder.

– Adjustment disorder is associated with the way the sufferers respond to different experiences in life. For example, some people react to the deaths of their loved ones in ways that manifest depressive symptoms.

– Psychotic depressive disorder involves a combination of severe depressive symptoms and some type of psychosis. The sufferers may break with reality and experience disturbing but false beliefs. They may also see or hear things that other people neither see nor hear. The two conditions are known as delusions and hallucinations.

– Seasonal affective disorder, as its name indicates, is associated with changes in seasons and occurs mostly when there is little sunlight. SAD often occurs in the fall-winter season and tends to lift in the summer-spring season.

– Premenstrual dysphoric disorder manifests its symptoms about a week before menstruation and disappears once the period ends.

– Postpartum mood changes occur in between 10 and 15 percent of mothers who have just delivered. Many new mothers experience "baby blues" because of physical and hormonal changes in addition to the added responsibility. However, this condition is more serious than this normal occurrence.

– Bipolar disorder is rare compared to other depressive disorders. It involves cycling mood changes that go from extreme lows to extreme highs, which is why it is also known as manic-depressive illness. The condition can affect relationships and performance at either work or school and may even lead to suicide. The first symptoms may be experienced during childhood although people tend to miss the early signs. Fortunately, the condition is treatable.

Different methods are used to treat depressive disorders and many professionals recommend the use of both antidepressants and psychotherapy, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most successful method.

Copyright (c) 2012 Embracing Depression

Acupuncture Can Cure Depression

One of the illnesses that acupuncture can heal is depression. Many people feel that acupuncture is just for pain but one of the many things that it can do is to cure depression.

Depression

Depression is not something a person admits to having. Many people have depression and they do not even know that they have it. According to statistics, in the United States seven percent of people has some time in their life has felt depression.

Reminder

However, one of the things that you need to do is to find an expert in acupuncture because there are many people there who claim they are experts but are actually scammers who want to have a quick buck. Many things can go wrong when ordinary people use acupuncture practice. So be forewarned.

Methods of how acupuncture treats depression

In acupuncture, the Yin and the Yang is important. Depression may be caused by the different imbalances in the yin and yang of the body. Worse, some of the organs in your body may have an imbalance in the flow of qi. It is the acupuncturist’s duty to determine the cause of the depression before healing it.

Be patient with the treatment

One of the most unfortunate things that you can do is to go in a treatment and then at the first sign of improvement you go out of treatment and resume your life without treatment. This increases the percentage that you will get the illness back. You need to be patient and go out and participate in the sessions until the acupuncture expert says that you are fully healed.

Conclusion

Acupuncture is a great way to go out and cure the depression that you have. There are a lot of treatment options that you can go to when you want to treat depression but acupuncture is simply the best.

Overcoming Non-Clinical Depression

Is  depression  the opposite of happiness? If the answer to  depression  is simply the re-calibrating of chemical imbalance with a dash of serotonin here and top up of dopamine there, then how is it that medical health forecasters are suggesting that within 10 years mental disorder will account for 40% of all medical death and disability in the developed world?

The chemical route appears to be providing less than encouraging answers. It seems that as community attitudes become better informed and sophisticated, that ever more acquaintances step out of the shadows to lay bare their burden. The opening up of a formerly frowned upon subject to discussion seems to have unveiled an epidemic.

There is a continuum that measures mental well-being and feelings ranging from euphoric through to well, melancholy, distraught, catatonic and ultimately suicidal. The extreme end of this scale represents a point of mental crisis that requires professional intervention.

Further upstream however before the edge of the waterfall is imminent, is the better place to implement strategies to dilute or negate the most serious and catastrophic of outcomes.

Few issues in life are black and white. The cause of  depression  could keep a debating society in material for ever. Yet without some reasonable understanding from whence this scourge emanates, effective treatment is hamstrung. Whatever the origins; chemical imbalance, social, environmental, irrational thinking or internal dialogue, alcohol and substance abuse; clinical mental disorder and any other number of triggers may evolve in to fully blown  depression .

What can be done therefore, to dilute this scourge and nullify it’s debilitating consequences?

Identify the symptoms early.

Symptoms can become triggers to ever escalating mood swings. Despair, irritability, change of appetite, expressions of worthlessness and guilt. At the lower end of the scale this is termed Dysthymia-or mood disorder. A benign sounding term, but sometimes a precursor to an altogether more serious affliction, which at its most extreme can manifest in suicidal thoughts.

Early intervention strategies.

Avoid non-prescription drugs and alcohol. Self harm and impulse behaviour is more prevalent, when the senses are dulled or heightened abnormally.

Connect and talk. Introspection in isolation can compound feelings of melancholy and warp reasoned and rational evaluation.

Participate in social and physical activities. Anything that interrupts the negative focus creates a different outlook and hence mood.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

There is a line of thinking that suggests that some forms of non-clinical  depression  is the result of a kind of learned habitual helplessness similar to that identified in animal studies.

In the absence of social support networks this can lead to a perpetual self defeating loop of replaying the past, but via the perception lens of irrationality. According to the father of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT); Albert Ellis, the cornerstone of extreme and dysfunctional emotional disturbance, are people’s irrational beliefs. Evidenced to the degree that the words ‘should’ and ‘must’ recur in their vocabulary.

It is hard to be happy or at least content, the enemy of  depression , if our beliefs require the world to always be in tune and accordance with our mental model of the way it should be.

Simplistic as it may sound, changing our use of language can dramatically reframe our experiences. as an experiment try discussing an emotive topic without using the word ‘should’ or ‘must’, or their equivalent. Finding new means of expression, changes the mental pictures that create our experience.

 Depression  has many guises and is often debilitating. In many cases however it is manageable. Acknowledging there is a problem is a start and caught early enough in many cases there are interventions that can make a difference.

Preventing Gifted Depression

 Depression  comes in many forms for the gifted adult. The word ‘ depression ‘ is used so commonly these days, the meaning people associate with it can be anything from feeling a little down or not quite yourself, to full-blown clinical  depression  that requires medication to address.

For the most part,  depression  among the gifted stems fundamentally from the gap between who you are and who you were meant to be. This is not always a conscious gap, but for sure you feel it there.

Gifted adults always have to be learning and exploring. That’s just part of your nature – a big part that you can’t live without. When you stop growing you start dying, in a sense, which for many shows up as  depression .

If you get bogged down with taking care of other people, or you find yourself stuck in uneventful routines day after day your brains start clamouring for your attention. And you start to feel it in your everyday emotions. Add to all of this the high levels of emotion you perceive regularly anyway and you have a recipe for trouble.

If you start to notice that you’re spending more time in the lows than in the highs in your life, take note of what you’ve been doing.

  • Have you been eating well and physically moving to help keep your body healthy?
  • Have you been taking time for yourself to explore some of the topics and do some of the things you’re interested in?
  • Have you been challenging yourself to do something unique that really excites you?
  • Have you been connecting with other gifted people so you can share your experiences with other people who understand you?
  • Have you been looking toward future ways to keep your life motivating?

If you’re feeling down and you’ve answered no to some of these questions, then you now have a place to focus on to begin picking yourself up. Pay attention to what helps you feel better and when (maybe you need to be busier in the morning instead of the afternoon, for example). And write down your reflections during your up times so you can go back and look for any connections between them later on.

And, above all, please share what works for you or someone you know so gifted adults can continue to learn and grow together.