Short Guide to Depression

A Frank Discussion About Depression

• Know the definition, signs and symptoms of depression

• Effects on workplace, children and family

• Obstacles to seeking help

• Treatments for depression

• How to talk to a depressed person about getting help


Basic Facts

• What is depression?

• How long does it last?

• Can it be cured?

• What are the types of depression?



What Causes Depression?

• A disorder of the brain

• Brain circuitry responsible for the regulation of moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior fail to function properly

• A combination of genetic, cognitive, and environmental factors are often involved in the onset of a depressive disorder



Signs and Symptoms of Depression

• Sadness

• Feelings of extreme guilt

• Suicidal ideas

• Insomnia

• Diminished interest in activities

• Difficulty concentrating

• Anxiety

• Appetite changes

• Weight changes

• Irritability

• Mood swings

• Distorted thinking

• Low self-esteem

• Feelings of hopelessness

• Exhaustion

• Feelings of helplessness

• Agitation

• Social withdrawal

• Indecisiveness

• Decreased sexual interest



Symptoms in the Workplace:

• Persistent sad & empty mood

• Feeling hopeless

• Loss of interest in ordinary activities

• Disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns; fatigue at work

• Irritability with co-workers

• Difficulty concentrating; missed deadlines; errors

• Thoughts of suicide


Effects of Depression in the Workplace

• Decreased productivity

• Morale problems

• Lack of cooperation

• Safety problems, accidents

• Absenteeism

• Frequent complaints of being tired all the time

• Complaints of unexplained aches and pains

• Alcohol and drug abuse


Obstacles to Seeking Treatment

• Embarrassment, the stigma of mental illness: “only crazy people go to shrinks”

• Believing depression is a personal weakness: “I just need to buckle down and deal with it”

• “It costs too much”, or “I don’t have time”

• A belief that treatment won’t help

• A feeling of not deserving help

• In severe depression, people lack the ability to take action



Treatments for Depression

• Inpatient

– If danger to self or others

– Should include both medication and psychotherapy

• Outpatient

– Psychotherapy, a talk therapy, one-to-one, group and/or marital

– Medication Treatments for Depression

• Need to be aware of dual diagnosis e.g. alcohol/drugs and depression.

• With appropriate treatment approximately 80% recover

• Improvement usually seen in a matter of weeks.



Suicide – Basic Facts

• Suicide rates are not the highest during the holidays

• Journal of American Medical Association reports that 95% of all

suicides occur at the peak of a depressive episode

• As per the Center for Disease Control, suicide rate is 10.8 per

100,000 lives

• Cause of a suicide is very complicated; much more than the break up of a relationship

• Over 90% of those that take their life have a significant psychiatric

illness at the time of their death


Risk Factors

• Previous suicide attempt

• History of depression

• History of substance abuse

• Family history of suicide

• Impulsive or aggressive tendencies

• Loss of a relationship, loved one, social network, employment,

physical health, finances

• Easy access to lethal methods



Protective Factors For Suicidal Person

• Access to counseling and support

• Family and community support

• Skills in problem solving and conflict resolution

• Cultural and religious beliefs


Understanding Suicidal Signs:

• It is difficult to deal with a sudden and unexplainable death

• There is no opportunity to tie up "loose ends"

• Changes in behavior, personality, or mood

• Verbal cues such as "What's the point of living?", "Soon you

won't have to worry about me" or "Who cares if I'm dead

anyway?"

• Expressing feelings that life is meaningless or hopeless

• Giving away cherished possessions

• Neglect of appearance or hygiene

• Sudden unexplained deterioration of work performance or

Productivity

Responding to Warning Suicidal Signs

• If someone confides to you their suicidal ideas or plans, share that information with an appropriate resource – don’t  keep it to yourself.

• Find help.  This may require mobilizing other people.

• The person requires immediate help if there is any indication that they have been considering suicide or having suicidal thoughts

• Do not leave a suicidal person alone as they are in immediate danger 

What Can You Do?

• Learn about depression

• Know the sources of help available

• Recognize when someone shows signs that might be depression-related

• Don’t diagnose the problem yourself

• Be flexible about scheduling, to accommodate their seeking treatment

• “You don’t have to feel that way. There are effective treatments”.

• Encourage staying in treatment and/or continuing to take their medication

• If suicidal, call their therapist, or local mental health emergency services for help for them

More by this Author


Comments 1 comment

Jane Forrest profile image

Jane Forrest 6 years ago from Glasgow Scotland UK

what a precise and helpful article. I may use this to help people in future. Many thanks

jane

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working