A person can struggle with depression for years and not know that is what they are experiencing. It can become a chronic state that people “just get used to”, and may not remember when it wasn’t this way. People can misjudge depression and call it anxiety, grief, or sadness. However, depression is a much more serious mental illness and can be a product of several factors.
Suffering from depression can be a long tiring journey that never seems to end. It feels like there is a dark cloud hovering above you everywhere. It weighs you down so you can’t experience anything positive.
People experience depression in different ways. Clinical depression presents itself as an obstacle in people’s lives, making them unable to perform routine tasks. It takes away the desire to do the things that you used to love to do and the energy to do them. Depression can develop as a consequence of other conditions and chronic illnesses and in turn it can make those conditions and diseases worse.
Many experts consider depression a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication can indeed help many people to recover from depression, though this understanding does not paint the whole picture. Depression can develop for multiple reasons and can have a biological component to it. People also experience depression differently. Often depression in men shows up as extreme irritability and various somatic or bodily symptoms.
Depression can become cyclical and there are different forms of depression including bipolar depression, in which depressive moods can cycle with manic or hypomanic moods. Particularly in the case of bipolar depression, medications are often a crucial element in successful treatment and the therapist, client and psychiatrist need to work together as a team.
Aside from the medical model of understanding depression, it can also be understood as the result of a life which is out of balance and depression can be treated through a holistic approach trading body, mind and spirit.
Yes, people can and do recover from depression. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to recovery from depression. Research shows that what helps people the most is the right kind of counseling along with the right kind of medication. Developing a mindfulness practice can also be an important part of treating depression.
Depression can also be positively affected through lifestyle changes including proper nutrition and developing healthier habits including exercise. Exercise is therapeutic for many people who suffer from mental illnesses. It allows for a release of stress and frustration through physical movement and discharging energy and the feeling of relaxation after a workout session can put the mind at ease.
James Brillon is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with extensive experience treating various forms of depression.
Call for a free consultation at (714) 388-6457.