When someone breaks a bone there’s a generally known protocol to encourage healing. 1. Go to the hospital, 2. Get an X-ray, 3. Suffer through life with a cast for a few weeks (and make all your friends sign it), and 4. Get lots of rest! But what about when someone is recovering from a condition that’s not quite as tangible?
Depression Isn’t Simple
When someone is going through depression the path to healing is more complex. There are no bones to mend or casts to wear, in fact there are often no physical cues at all. As a therapist, when clients present to me with depression treatment isn’t as simple as prescribing an antidepressant and some “positive thinking.”
While a broken bone is a sign of a broken bone feeling depressed can be a sign of disconnection, trauma, neurochemical imbalance, grief, hormonal imbalances, and more. As a result there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.This can be incredibly frustrating and painful for the depressed individual and their loved ones. To add to the helplessness depression saps motivation, energy, and concentration – this is why it’s not helpful to tell someone who’s depressed to “go work out” or “do something social.”
So, instead, it’s crucial to explore a number of areas that may contribute to depression. Based on what we uncover I work with my clients to make small, realistic changes that are likely to result in feeling better overall. Occasionally we uncover something physiological, like thyroid disease or a nutrient deficiency, but other times it’s something more nuanced: a breakup, a challenging familial relationship, or an unfulfilling career.
Improving quality of life with depressed clients involves assessing a number of areas to determine what factors are contributing to their depression.These areas include social factors such as relationships and cultural pressures; physiological issues such as genetic predisposition or disease; lifestyle influences such as diet, career, spirituality, addiction, or stre