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Understanding Depression


What causes Depression? Family ... and cope with their problems. ... avoid treatment as a way of coping Intervening with a depressed friend Be empathetic and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding Depression

Understanding Depression
What causes Depression?
  • Family History (Biological)
  • Having a family members who has depression may
    increase a persons risk
  • Imbalances of certain chemicals in the brain may
    lead to depression

  • Major Life Changes (Psychological)
  • Positive or negative events can trigger
    depression. Ex. death of a loved one.
  • Major Illnesses such as heart attack, stroke or
    cancer may trigger depression.

  • Certain medications used alone or in combination
    can cause side effects much like the symptoms of
  • Use of Alcohol or other Drugs can lead to or
    worsen depression.
  • Depression can also occur for no apparent reason!

Symptoms of Depression
  • Vary from person to person
  • 2 key signs are loss of interest in things you
    like to do and sadness or irritability

Additional Signs include
  • Changes in feelings which may include
  • Feeling empty
  • Inability to enjoy anything
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Loss of warm feelings for family or friends
  • Feelings of self blame or guilt
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Inexplicable crying spells, sadness or

Changes in behavior and attitude
  • These may include
  • General slowing down
  • Neglect of responsibilities and appearance
  • Poor memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviors
  • Difficulty making decisions

Physical Complaints
  • These may include
  • Sleep disturbances such as early morning waking,
    sleeping too much or insomnia
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Unexplained headaches or backaches
  • Stomachaches, indigestion or changes in bowl

Common Types of Depression
  • Major Depression
  • Dysthymia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Major Depression
  • This type causes symptoms that may
  • Begin suddenly, possibly triggered by a loss,
    crisis or change
  • Interfere with normal functioning
  • Continue for months or years
  • It is possible for a person to have only one
    episode of major depression. It is more common
    for episodes to be long lasting or to occur
    several times during a persons life

  • People with this illness are mildly depressed for
    years. They function fairly well on a daily basis
    but their relationships suffer over time.

Bipolar Disorder
  • People with this type of illness change back and
    forth between periods of depression and periods
    of mania (an extreme high).
  • Symptoms of mania may include
  • Less need for sleep
  • Overconfidence
  • Racing thoughts
  • Reckless behavior
  • Increased energy
  • Mood changes are usually gradual, but can be

Season Affective Disorder
  • This is a depression that results from changes in
    the season. Most cases begin in the fall or
    winter, or when there is a decrease in sunlight.

  • Professional treatment is necessary for all
    these types of depression.

Treatment for Depression
  • Medication
  • Antidepressants can help ease the symptoms of
    depression and return a person to normal
    functioning. Antidepressants are not habit

  • This can help many depressed people understand
    themselves and cope with their problems. For
  • Interpersonal therapy works to change
    relationships that affect depression
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people change
    negative thinking and behavior patterns

If you or someone you know has symptoms of
  • Take Action!

  • See a doctor for a complete check up.
  • Go to the counseling center and talk to a
  • Talk things over with a friend, family member or
    a residential life staff member.

  • Dont expect too much of yourself
  • Take a break
  • Get some exercise
  • Avoid extra stress and big changes

Things to do
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Exercise or engage in some form of physical
  • Eat a proper, well-balanced diet

  • Obtain an adequate amount of sleep
  • Seek emotional support from family and friends
  • Focus on positive aspects of your life
  • Pace yourself, modify your schedule, and set
    realistic goals

Things to Avoid
  • Dont make long-term commitments or important
    decisions unless necessary
  • Dont assume things are hopeless
  • Dont engage in emotional reasoning (i.e.
    because I feel awful, my life is terrible)
  • Dont assume responsibility for events which are
    outside of your control
  • Dont avoid treatment as a way of coping

Intervening with a depressed friend
  • Be empathetic and understanding
  • Dont try to cheer up a depressed person
  • Avoid critical or shaming statements
  • Challenge expressions of hopelessness
  • Empathize with feelings of sadness, grief, anger
    and frustration

Helping a depressed friend
  • Dont argue about how bad things are
  • Dont insist that depression or sadness are the
    wrong feelings to be experiencing
  • Dont become angry even though your efforts may
    be resisted or rejected

Helping a depressed friend
  • Encourage them to seek help, go with them to the
    counseling center
  • Be supportive of counselor or doctor suggestions
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