Depression is common and may be a serious medical illness that negatively affects how you think, feel, and behave. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems that affect your capability at work or home. Depression can affect your ability to problem solve or to appreciate and enjoy your life. It can interfere with your eating, sleeping, or your usual daily activities. Depression can be very destructive.
Is your depression a medical condition that is on-going or is it situational that is caused by a loss in your immediate life. Depending on the cause and effect will make a difference in treatment. We have all gone through times when we felt sad and frightened – that is a part of life. Depression is intense and more confusing and longer lasting.
Ask yourself if this depressed feeling has been on-going or has it occurred because of a particular event. Get help with resolving the conflict that is occurring in your life. Find ways to gain stability and a sense of control in your life. Evaluate the events in your life and determine the source of the depressed mood. Has there been a death in your family or friends? Are you in a turbulent situation with divorce or moving or job changing? What are the external events in your life that may have led to discouraged feelings. Are you feeling depressed or just disappointed about a situation? Are you being too hard on yourself about a decision you made and now regret it?
Being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each person and has some features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from your usual activities.
You may begin by focusing on solutions and/or acceptance of the situation. How might you bring more hope and joy into your life? What are you hoping will happen now and how will you help that happen? Is there someone that you may ask to help with the difficult situation you are in now? Consider your support system and ask for help – remember we all go through trying times and need a little help from others.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to help in treating depression or extreme sadness. CBT is a form of therapy focused on problem solving in the present. CBT helps you recognize distorted/negative thinking with the goal of changing thoughts and behaviors to respond to challenges in a more positive manner. You learn to look at the facts of a situation and apply logical thinking that helps you solve the problem.
Learn Cognitive Behavioral Skills to: