This Coronavirus Makes Me Feel All Alone

Like everybody else, I have been at home a lot for an extended period. Perhaps some of you are spending time with a few members of your family. But as for me, I have to deal with the situation all by myself. Don’t get it wrong. I live alone because I work far from my family. I lived and stayed in another country for almost five years, so that explains why I am dealing with this situation single-handedly.

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Due to this negative news that I see and hear every day, I wonder. How much safety will this self-isolation provide me? What about my mental health? Why does it feels like social distancing is a form of torment that I follow without hesitation? Honestly, I may not have the answers to these questions, but one thing I know is sure. I am alone, and I can’t stop thinking about how depressing my situation is right now. I don’t want to sound so negative, but it is pretty hard to manage things at this point in my life. Not that I didn’t try every means out there that supposedly help me get through this condition because I did. Unfortunately, not a single one of them works.

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The Mental Struggle I Dealt With

I tried exercising since I know it can help in maintaining active brain waves while enhancing the body’s immune system. But after a couple of times doing at least 5 to 10 minutes of physical activity, my mind tells me I’m exhausted already. I also tried meditation. I understood the importance of a calm mind and body; that is why I did my best not to think about anything bad or worse in this situation. However, I failed to concentrate because the worries and fear I have for my family, considering they are far from me, is more significant than any of my attempt for mental calmness. I also diverted my thoughts by reading books. But after reading a few pages and a moment of pause, I began having negative thoughts all over again. It is as if these bad thoughts are only trying to wait for an opportunity to pop up in my head.

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Dealing with this situation alone is not everyone can understand. No one can tell me to do this or that. I tried not to think about these unhealthy thoughts. Admittedly, I know I am not weak because I managed to live my life away from my family for a lot of years. But this time, given this uncertain situation, my entire mental and emotional capability is fragile. To add damage to the situation, the stability I once had is now gone. I recognized that I am now at the point where my negative emotions are powerful than my will to survive in this global health crisis.

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What I Want To Say

For those of you who do not understand my situation, I humbly ask that you stop assuming that depressed people like us can follow your guidelines just like that. Please note that we are more than willing to do our best for the sake of our mental and emotional health. But the idea of you continually telling us that what we are feeling is something you can easily handle, I might have to disagree. We all have different levels of sadness, and we experience things differently, as well. Therefore, you have no right to tell us what we should and shouldn’t feel at this time of crisis. I understand that some of you are only trying to help by encouraging us to feel even a little positivity. But trust us, we are genuinely trying.

Helping A Depressed Sister Feel Better

When I went to the 2018 Depression Cell Conference, I had mixed emotions. In general, I felt honored to take part in such an eye-opening event. Everyone was welcoming; you could not feel a hint of judgment from the people around you.
However, it also saddened me to hear the ordeals that led folks to depression.

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Many of them were victims of abuse, and they could not forget it. Others lost a loved one and could not get over it.
But you know, that experience has later allowed me to help my sister overcome depression after a rather intense breakup. It made me that depressed loved ones need:
To Be Heard
Depression comes when negative thoughts pile up in your head. My sister was afraid of making us worry at the time, so she chose to bottle up everything. Once I encouraged her to speak up, though, the situation got better.

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To Feel Loved
Depressed folks are some of the loneliest people in the world. They feel like they cannot talk to anyone, even though they are almost never physically alone. When it happened to my sister, my parents and I made a point of calling her every day, talking casually about day-to-day events, and ending it by exchanging “I love you.”
To See The Reality Of Life
Depression makes you not want to deal with harsh facts. In my sister’s case, she could not accept that her four-year relationship came to an end. Without sounding too critical, I laid out the pros of splitting with her ex and made her see it in a different light. It was challenging, yes, but it was for the best.

 

Healing from depression did not take place in one day. My sister would still sometimes cry about the breakup even after a few months. But she gets more resilient every day and continues to learn how to respect herself more than any man in the world.
Remember the tips above to see your depressed sister, brother, friend, or any loved one heal.

Depression From Frustrations

[Supporting Your Husband Dealing With Frustration]

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Depression can come from goals and dreams that did not become a reality. Many people may live the rest of their lives trying to chase the opportunities that they think will lead them to their goals, but sadly some opportunities knock only once.

“There seems to be a misunderstanding that depression is crying all of the time and not getting out of bed. However, increased irritability is a common symptom,” says Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D, LCSW.

Continue reading →

Understanding Post-Adoption Depression

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Some couples cannot have a baby of their own. No matter how many years of trying, they still end up with just the hope of holding a little angel in their arms. So instead of prolonging the agony, some couples decide to go through the process of adoption. But like any other life-altering decision, there are many considerations and consequences that should be pondered upon before finally going through the process. Many couples ignore those things because of the excitement they are feeling. They believe that adoption could once and for all be the solution for their longing for a child. Continue reading →

Saving A Sinking Ship: Reaching Out To A Depressed Partner

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Paying attention to depressive disorder cues is vital in helping your partner go through the condition with proper diagnosis and treatment.

 

The Ripple Effect

 

When your partner is depressed, your marriage is also depressed because this illness reverberates and erodes the concept of sexual and emotional intimacy while suffusing a relationship with resentment, isolation, pessimism, and anger.

Dr. Susan Whitbourne, Ph.D., even said, “[P]eople who have major depressive disorder (the clinical form of depression) have higher levels of distress in relationships, feel that their marriages are less satisfactory, and become unusually upset when problems develop in their relationships. They are more likely to blame their partners when things go wrong, and they tend to shut down emotionally instead of reach out and connect.”

Even the most radiant, capable person can be sucked into depression’s forceful undertow of scenarios like:

 

  • Being overwhelmed by extra chores inside the house that your partner refuses to finish due to lethargy.
  • Being resentful due to your spouse’s behavior that he or she cannot just snap out of.
  • Taking the blame for somehow causing the illness.
  • Feeling alone for unwillingness to convey problems inside the house that are related to your partner’s condition.
  • Wondering whatever happened to a once joyful, humorous, and fun relationship.

 

Do not allow depression to seep in and destroy your marriage from inside out. If you think that your significant other is depressed, you have to act not only for the welfare of your spouse but also for your relationship. After all, you wouldn’t want to be just another statistic in the divorced archive.

 

Getting Your Partner And Your Life Back

 

Initially, the most important requirement to help a depressed better half is to know how to spot depression; therefore, one must pay enough attention in recognizing the following clues, according to Dr. Dina Cagliostro:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or emptiness

  • Irritability, frustration, or restlessness

  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that used to be enjoyable

  • Difficulty sleeping, sleep disturbances or sleeping too much

  • Fatigue and lack of energy

  • Difficulty thinking clearly, remembering, concentrating, or making decisions

  • Appetite or weight changes

  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or back pain.

 

  1. Be Perceptive Of Minor Behavioral Changes

 

Like a thief in the night, depression comes slowly and sometimes, imperceptibly. It will take time for couples to recognize a pattern and will take further time to accept that depression might be the main reason for minor behavioral changes. Sometimes, the depressed person is so in denial that all kinds of explanations are provided – it’s just a phase, it’s because of the economy, it’s because of the new baby.

 

With this kind of attitude towards the disorder, the spouse must initiate in diagnosing their partner’s condition because the illness hinders the depressing ones from realizing that there’s something profoundly wrong with their behavior. If you notice that there’s something awry about how your partner thinks, acts, or feels, suspect that your spouse might have depression. Furthermore, if your spouse has developed vices or habits like being workaholic, alcoholic, or has become a thrill-seeker, depression might be the culprit.

 

  1. Reach Out Before It’s Too Late

 

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Waiting for a ship to sink before going out on a limb to help is a huge mistake because once you head on out to rescue, the person has sunk deep. This scenario is similar to helping a partner whom you think might have depression. Letting a person hit rock bottom before offering help is like allowing cancer to spread and then hoping that the malignancy will be cured.

Dr. Emmanuel Maidenberg, Ph.D., also said, “[I]f you become concerned about someone, talk to them about what you have noticed and see if they need support. It can be incredibly helpful to intervene before things get worse.”

Chronic depression is harder to treat, can severely affect the relationship, and is more likely to happen again.  But the terrifying risk of not reaching out before it’s too late is the possibility of your spouse resulting in suicide. Around 60% of those who attempted suicide either have minor or major depression or has a different mood disorder.

 

  1. Support Is Vital

 

When seeking help, see to it that you are there when the diagnosis is revealed. A lot of illnesses which includes diabetes, chronic pain, viral infections, and heart diseases can influence similar symptoms related to depression. For this reason, once the physician rules out various underlying causes and divulges the diagnosis, it is crucial that you are there to support and comfort your spouse. There will be times that depressed patients will be denying the result or will not be able to focus on the recommended treatments. During these moments, an ally is required.

 

Ask your spouse’s consent first. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having someone around even if it’s their significant other. Respect your spouse’s decision whether he or she wants you to be physically there when the evaluation is given.

 

Remember that the percentage of success is promising if depression is treated early on. The road is relatively quiet simple – counseling or therapy, antidepressants, or a combination of both. But don’t be discouraged if recovery is not yet discernable within the few months of treatment. The road to success in battling depression is long and winding and requires a lot of patience, time, and understanding.

 

Frequently Overlooked Indications That Depression Is Ruining Your Relationship

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Marriage dissatisfaction and depression are said to be interlinked that their correlation also goes both ways. Meaning, depression can contribute to marriage dysfunction, or it could be the other way around.

 

Since the majority believes that a person’s well-being is dependent on the relationships they form – platonic or romantic – the difficulty to enjoy life ensues. Happiness can be occluded by the mere fact that when problems arise, especially along the sensitive subject of mental illness, many people are baffled about the reality that depression exists and is one of the reasons why relationships are going astray.

 

If you are one of many who takes your partner’s condition for granted, here are some pointers on the commonly overlooked indications that mental illness like depression is destroying your relationship one symptom at a time.

 

Disturbed Sleeping Pattern

 

Depression affects a person’s sleeping pattern – it can either be oversleeping or under-sleeping. For Dr. Wendy Troxel, Ph.D. and collaborators, there is a relationship between sleep and marriage. She elucidated, “given that the marital relationship is the primary social context for most adults and that most married adults sleep with their spouse, marriage may have important implications for sleep. Indeed, a substantial body of evidence suggests that marital status is associated with sleep outcomes, with the divorced typically having more sleep problems compared to their married or single counter-parts.” Put simply, depression This affects the relationship in a way that your significant other might be tossing and turning at night then gets drowsy in the morning that, instead of investing time in the relationship, your significant other will nap the time away. There is a fine line between laziness and depression, and you cannot solely disqualify a person’s mental condition thinking that sleeping all day is intentional.

 

Persistent Mood Swings

 

Mood swings that are mostly juggling from irritability to melancholia to anxiety have become a daily thing. Usually, these mood swings would present the following:

 

  • Withdrawn or disinterested
  • Uncommunicative
  • Needs continuous affirmation
  • Constantly worried about a lot of things
  • Abandonment fears with no specific reason

 

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Due to these mood swings, your partner’s sex drive is also diminished to the point of being distrustful of your show of affection. Mood swings are also due to the toppling of energy leading to fatigue that causes a lack of motivation to engage in usual relationship activities like going on hikes, shopping, and completing home projects.

In a study by John Grohol, Psy.D., he said that “denying one has mood swings, especially if others bring it to your attention, isn’t going to make things any better. Getting help for them can.”

Unexplainable Annoyance Towards Circumstances Or People

 

It’s just not you who takes the blame, but your partner is always annoyed by the sight of other people or the realization of certain circumstances either inside or outside your home. This behavior presents unusual demeaning or being critical of the partner by magnifying even the smallest flaws. Immediate and unpredictable outbursts are also apparent due to anger or frustration over inconsequential occurrences. Therefore, if your significant other instantly becomes annoyed over the littlest things, it might not be your fault entirely.

 

Increased Alcohol Or Drug Consumption

 

Recreational drugs or alcohol are major relationship destroyers for they can significantly influence the way your partner treats you and talks to you. As Dr. Cory Crane, Ph.D. and co-authors, had found, “daily diary studies show that alcohol consumption increases the odds of perpetrating verbal and physical aggression later that day by both men and women.” If your partner becomes alcoholic or has been increasingly secretive about what’s inside his stash, suspicion of addiction or abuse should ensue. But you have to realize that drug usage and alcoholism are just symptoms for a lot of mental and physical disorders happening in this modern-day society; therefore, it is essential that you stay adamant in knowing what the real problem is behind the abuse.

 

If you or your partner can identify with two or more symptoms that are listed, most likely, depression is looming and is hurting your union. Although it may take a lot of self-determination and courage to recognize that your partner is experiencing mental instability, acknowledging the problem is beneficial in finding a solution in mending your relationship.

 

High-Functioning Depression: Five Signs To Watch Out For

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Admit it, when someone utters the word “depression,” the first thing that comes to mind is someone who doesn’t have the energy and willingness to do things, even getting out of bed.

 

High-functioning depression is breaking that stereotype of what melancholia actually looks like. Just because you’re not experiencing bouts of sadness or are not listless to go to work, doesn’t mean that you don’t have depression. You do, but you’re just too familiar with your condition that you have managed to hold it together, making people believe that you’re doing just fine.

Margaret R Rutherford Ph.D. says that “People with high-functioning depression are able to use the skill of compartmentalization, where you suppress your own personal feelings for the moment and instead, attend to the needs or expectations of the present.”

Five Telltale Signs

 

Technically, high-functioning depression is chronic, untreated depression. Probably the most challenging facet of identifying high-functioning depression is people’s lack of understanding because high-functioning depressed people blend in so perfectly.

 

How do you know if you have high-functioning depression?

 

  1. You’re Often Anxious Or Worried

 

While it’s so easy to equate unexplained sadness and constant lack of energy to depression, people tend to overlook one common emotion that is strongly connected with the condition, and that is anxiety or constant worrying. It is essential to point out that anxiety is not just limited to the idea of fear of the unknown because it can manifest in several different ways as depression does. Anxiety, more often than not, causes people to experience confusion, mental disturbance and restlessness, and that nagging feeling in your gut.

 

  1. You Abstain From Social Gatherings

 

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According to information published by the Harvard School of Public Health, high-functioning depression looks similar to a long-term, low-grade despondency that can persevere up to five years. And even though high-functioning depression does not make someone feel hopeless or devastated, it can severely dent that quality of living, diminishing your eagerness to work, go to school, attend social events, and curb your enthusiasm for family and relationships. “People with high-functioning depression still go to work and interact with people, but outside of work, they may stop hanging out with friends, and make excuses like ‘work’s been really stressful,’” says Dr. Jason Stamper.

 

Abstaining from social gatherings or declining invites is said to be one of the first prominent signs of high-functioning depression. People with the condition will still work, interact with co-workers and other people, but once they go outside of their workplaces, they’ll go on an excuse-spree to just avoid hanging out. Most individuals who have high-functioning depression are likely to be isolative that then translate into dissociative relationships.

 

  1. You Have Type A Personality And Is Successful

 

Affluent literates or those who are living the good, prosperous life are said to lean more towards high-functioning depression as compared to those who don’t have a high pay grade or living a luxurious lifestyle. Paradoxically, high-functioning depression affects educated people who have important jobs in their chosen field of interest. While they have the privilege of being well-educated and well-off, their careers become triggers for stress. It turns out, it’s better to be low-functioning if it means saving you from a lifetime of depression medications and therapy.

 

  1. Your Definition Of Sleep Is “Disturbed”

 

Just when you thought you could get that well-deserved slumber, you end up wide-eyed at 3 am, having an existential crisis, begging the heavens for a sweet reprieve. More so, you’ve noticed that when you’re at work, nodding off comes easily and light snoozing becomes a habit. But when that time of the day approaches when you really need the shut-eye, your system sends you a message: Error! Sleep not found. “Many people with depression also struggle with anxiety, which impacts quality of sleep as well, and the symptom of insomnia crosses over between the two,” says Rachel Dubrow.

 

It’s frustrating and debilitating to be sleep-deprived. Aside from not being refreshed the next day and to be a useful citizen of your community, having too little sleep can worsen your depressive symptoms.

 

  1. Vices And Addiction Are Comforting

 

If you’re the type of person who’d rather stay at home and indulge in activities like playing video games, binge-watching, or if you find yourself drinking alcoholic beverages more than usual, or worse, if you have attached yourself to recreational drugs, then you most likely have high-functioning depression. To cover up the loneliness, you turn to your vice or addiction as an emotional bolster.

 

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The disconcerting thing about wallowing in addictive substances and behaviors is that it, instead of just treating depression itself, may require you an additional layer of treatment and care. Substance and alcohol abuse further aggravates your condition, intensifying sleep deprivation, anxiety, and agitation that can directly affect your ability to cope.

 

High-functioning depression may be the less prominent sister of depression, but it is what most people in this generation are experiencing, especially those who belong to the working class. Just because you think that people who have high-functioning depression are doing well doesn’t mean that they are not slowly dying inside. Therefore, once you notice that you might have high-functioning depression, the best thing to do is get help and support.

 

 

Closing The Chapter Of A Depressed Relationship

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When does one know how to end a crumbling relationship that has reduced itself to a mental health condition?

 

Falling apart is never an easy occurrence in one’s life especially if you plan on leaving someone who is struggling with a psychological disorder that debilitates not only himself or herself but the relationship as well. The reality of leaving someone behind is downright painful but is sometimes necessary for your sake. Difficult choices must be made to move on and close another chapter of your life.

 

Making Tough Choices

 

Nobody wants to be blamed for abandoning somebody during times of despair, but this does not mean that you should remain in a relationship that has been strained by depression and has no conceivable future due to guilt or duty. “Unfortunately, it’s a waste of your energy when they’re deep in depression, and actually leads to disconnection and distance,” says Caitlin Cantor, LCSW, CST. “This way of attempting to help can easily lead to arguments because your partner is unable to agree or see your efforts as helpful.”

For the sake of your mental state, sometimes the best thing to do is to bid goodbye.

 

Before Stepping Out The Door

 

You have to make sure that before you permanently close this depressing chapter of your relationship, you did what you can to salvage your partner’s mental health. Otherwise, you would find yourself drowning in a state of self-doubt and guilt that may haunt you for the rest of your life.

 

What are the steps that you should take before ultimately calling it quits?

 

  1. Ask For Help

 

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Aside from professional help, you also need people outside of your relationship to help you figure things out. Share your thoughts and concerns with family and friends who you trust and ask for support and advice on how to manage or deal with your situation. You have to realize that aside from your partner’s needs, yours are important, too.

“You’re living in a difficult, stressful situation,” notes Robert Taibbi, LCSW. “Therapy can help you not blame yourself, help you stop walking on eggshells, provide you with tools to help you stay grounded, and give you the support you need to manage the day-to-day.”

 

  1. Not Everything Is About You

 

Your partner is depressed for a multitude of reasons, which is why therapy is necessary to find out the reason behind the condition, pluck it out, and treat it. Regardless of what you might think, you are not the primary cause of your partner’s mental illness. People who are constantly on the brink of depression may do or say things that they don’t mean. Your partner’s psychological status causes him or her to become irrational, moody, and irritated.

Mark D. White, PhD, says that “partners will not feel truly involved in the relationship if they are not held responsible for their part in it, including both the things that go well and the things that go badly. Being relieved of responsibility and blame occasionally might feel good, but if a person is never held responsible for his or her actions, it becomes insulting and demeaning: it means that person is not being taken seriously.”

 

  1. Ponder On Practical Conclusions

 

Living with someone who has a depressive disorder and sustaining the relationship for the sake of proving to yourself, your partner, and to other people that you have survived and thrived despite the condition, is noble but impractical. Most of the time, what happens in real life is that as the mental illness progresses, the unaffected individual would also be helpless and hopeless that there will be some reprieve.

 

If you feel that hope and affection have gone out the window, it is practical for you to sever ties completely. However, walking away from a struggling relationship with a depressed partner is not as easy as it seems especially when you already tied the knot and children are involved. Pondering on practical conclusions like you and your children’s well-being is necessary. So weigh the pros and cons before separating.

 

  1. Commit To A Deadline

 

Though it is a harsh setup to impose a deadline on your partner suffering from depression, it can save you from further damage. Often, things would be unbearable not only for your partner but for you, which is why considering a deadline for change is essential. But this does not entirely mean that you should easily give up after a couple of weeks that your partner has decided to go on treatments. You must also assess if your partner is willing to take the necessary steps to get better or if he or she keeps on delaying treatment and giving out excuses. Only then should you consider your options for staying or leaving.

 

  1. Decisions Must Be Carefully Thought Of

 

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Being hasty in making decisions is detrimental to the relationship that can still be salvaged by a compliant partner who tries his or her best in getting better. However, there will be moments of clarity wherein you can no longer deal with the person because he or she is dragging you down. If this happens, take a quick break by keeping distant for a while. Seek brief respite to arrive at a decision, and if you’ve finally come to your senses, permanently part ways.

 

When dealing with a depressed partner, always take time to carefully weigh your alternatives before drawing the line and heading out the door. Because the moment you decide that you want to end your relationship, it’s something that you have to live with for the entirety of your life.

 

 

Types Of Counseling Psychotherapies For Depressive Disorders

 

 

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More than just two people talking or conversing about personal matters, talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, involves a therapist providing a variety of treatment modalities to a patient to resolve psychological and emotional issues. Psychotherapy is also a potent tool in creating aspired changes in one’s life.

 

One of the primary mental disorders that psychotherapy can treat is depression because it helps people delve deeper into the underlying cause of their condition while acquiring or learning new coping mechanisms.

 

Types Of Psychotherapies Used In Counseling

 

Psychotherapy does have a lot of varieties that are commonly used in counseling sessions. Further studies show that if combined with antidepressants, psychotherapy’s positive outcomes are enhanced due to the biophysical connection of majority of mood disorders.

 

Majority of the treatment modalities that are mentioned below specifies evidence that supports effectiveness in managing depressive disorders.

 

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  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT) is the combination of the previously known cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. CT focuses on the individual’s behaviors and thoughts that are mainly responsible for depression. “Cognitive-behavioral therapy, in a nutshell, seeks to change a person’s irrational or faulty thinking and behaviors by educating the person and reinforcing positive experiences that will lead to fundamental changes in the way that person copes,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D. Therapists who prefer cognitive behavioral therapy help patients with:

 

  • Teaching useful ways to respond to daily situations and defy preconceptions
  • Creating goals that individuals must work on as their homework
  • Showing patients that in every situation, there’s always a silver lining that one needs to focus on instead of dwelling on the negative
  • Identifying usual patterns of pessimistic thoughts and transforming it into optimistic ideations
  • Making individuals identify their displeasing behaviors and finding a way to change or eliminate them by utilizing operant and classical conditioning

 

         2.  Psychodynamic Therapy

This type of psychotherapy is established on the belief that depressive disorders occur due to unresolved, mostly unaware conflicts that often emanate from childhood experiences. Usually, psychodynamic therapy is for the individual whose goal is to gain sufficient consciousness on the extent of their emotions, which include disturbing and conflicting ones. As a result, the person will become more resilient and capable of bearing their feelings and utilizing them to grow more favorable to their viewpoint. “Psychodynamic therapy is the oldest of the modern therapies. (Freud’s psychoanalysis is a specific form and subset of psychodymanic therapy.) As such, it is based in a highly developed and multifaceted theory of human development and interaction,” Jim Haggerty, MD, writes.

 

  1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

A type of cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy is aimed at teaching patients vital skills to deal with stress, improve relationships, and control emotions. Dialectical behavior therapy is a derivative of dialectics, a known philosophical method that is primarily based on the idea that all things in this world comprise of opposites, and change will occur when the opposing energy is stronger and more influential than the other. Furthermore, dialectical behavior therapy integrates mindfulness, a therapeutic technique based on Buddhist traditions.

 

Other Kinds Of Talk Therapy Formats

 

  1. Family therapy –when working on the dynamics within the family, this type of psychotherapy is most beneficial.

 

  1. Individual therapy –this treatment modality incorporates confidential discussion between therapist and patient. Here, the patient is given full attention by the therapist. However, there are certain limitations wherein the therapist is not given the opportunity to assess their patients within their family or social relationships.

 

  1. Group Therapy –usually involving more than ten patients, group therapy offers the chance to share and receive support from different individuals by coping with specific issues while a therapist observes the interaction. “Getting different perspectives is often helpful in promoting growth and change,” says Michael Herkov, Ph.D.

 

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Finding the most appropriate depression treatment entirely depends on what you prefer, what your counselor believes to be most suitable for your condition, and whether or not you and your therapist will get along.

 

 

The Depressed Ones: Convincing Your Youth to Seek Therapy

 

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When children are in dire need of mental help due to depression, there’s no easy way to relate to them that psychological therapy is a must because most of the time, for various reasons, these kids are apprehensive to get mental treatment.

 

Breaking the news gently to your depressed child is difficult because you are anxious about his or her reaction to the scary notion of therapy.

 

Is your child going to be angry or defensive? Or will your son or daughter form this idea that you see him or her as somebody who’s broken and needs fixing? How do parents let their children understand the concept of therapy and how should it be introduced in a way that won’t offend them?

 

Introducing Therapy To Your Kids

Usually, children who are dealing with depression, who are aware that they are going through a dark tunnel, are easier to convince than those who don’t believe or are in denial that they are in emotional pain.

“Some parents experience grief and loss while their child feels abandoned or unloved,” says  Támara Hill, MS, LPC. “Some kids become very angry with their parents and may resent them.”

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Before diving into the unknown, parents must first expect the worse. And what that means is that parents should be prepared for whatever reaction their kids might have. So how do parents introduce therapy to their depressed children without being seen as aggressive or domineering and without being offensive?

 

  1. Timing Is Important

Wait for things to calm down; don’t tell your child that he or she must be sent to counseling during heated or chaotic moments. Wait for situations to calm down then raise the concern. Children who are experiencing depression may become riled up and might immediately become upset.

 

  1. Confess The Problem

Children appreciate it when they are not lied to. Once you get the chance to talk to them, you should first air out that you’re merely concerned and worried about their condition. Divulge your observations calmly and soothingly.

 

  1. Explain The Solution

As parents, you wish you could be enough for what your child needs and magically make the condition disappear. Unfortunately, life’s not like that. There are still problems that are entirely out of your hands unless you’re a licensed therapist. The moment you’ve elaborated the depressive symptoms and offered compassion, inform your child that there is a way out of the condition. If children show the willingness to listen, grab the opportunity to thoroughly explain what therapy is. Also, provide information on why it is needed and how it can help in dealing with their depressive symptoms. “Therapy is kind of like going to a personal trainer. The two of you develop goals and a plan of action, the professional guides and supports, and you do the heavy lifting to reap the benefits,” says Ryan Howes, Ph.D.

 

  1. Don’t Give Up

Being turned down is part of the therapy introduction process, but the important thing is that you’ve aired out your concerns and have placed the solution on the table. It will take some time for your child to digest the reality that there’s something deeply wrong with him or her and psychological help is required.

“It takes time to see progress. Everyone moves at different paces in therapy,” says Helen Nieves, LMHC.

So don’t give up just yet. Allow the truth to sink in; eventually, children will realize that you are only doing this for their good. Don’t get discouraged and continually be comforting and understanding.

 

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During Therapy

Remember that therapy is just the start of successful treatment. Once your child agrees to see a therapist, the parents must follow and support the therapeutic plan all the way through. Always offer encouragements and make your children feel that they are not alone in their battle against depression.