Most people can identify with feeling depressed. Nearly every one has felt down or blue at some point in their life - albeit briefly. But Depression becomes a problem when it continues for several weeks or more. Depression can be so overwhelming that it affects a person's daily functioning.

     Common symptoms of depression include a mostly unremitting feeling of depression, often described as feeling sad, hopeless, down in the dumps or  blue. The person with depression has no interest in the activities that used to be pleasurable. They may experience a shift in their appetite, either eating too much or not eating enough. Sleep can also be affected in the person with depression. They may sleep too much, or find that they can't sleep enough. Often depressed people find themselves stayng up through the night and then trying to sleep through the day. It is also common that the person with depression experiences a feeling of lethargy or sluggishness. Sometimes they experience the opposite, a feeling of agitation and restlessness. Feelings of low self esteem, worthlessness and guilt are common in people with depression. The depressed person has difficulty with focus and concentration, and struggles with routine decision making. Thoughts about suicide are also a feature of severe depression. This may involve a vague desire to not be alive anymore, or it may involve a more detailed plan about how to end one's life. The depressed person will isolate from others, and will find it very difficult to reach out and seek help.

     Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the ideal therapy for depression. Indeed, CBT was originally developed for the treatment of depression. The cognitive component of the therapy would involve helping the person with depression to recognize their negative, pessimistic or catastrophic thoughts, and then practice reframing them in a more realistic or neutral way. For example, the person with depression might say "My life sucks." and they would feel hopeless. With cognitive therapy they might acknowledge that "My life sucks sometimes, but most of the time it's O.K." and this would result in feeling less hopeless and, maybe a bit more optimistic. 

     The Behavioral component of the therapy involves helping the person with depression to start engaging again in activities that they have been neglecting. Most importantly, they need to get back to a regular sleep cycle. This would entail getting out of bed at roughly the same time each day. Once this has been accomplished, the person with depression can start gradually adding more activiities to their schedule - thus breaking that overwhelming feeling of inertia.



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Karron at 310 285 2280 or send an e-mail