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Showing posts from July, 2016

You Asked: Am I Grieving or am I Depressed?

Grief and depression may have some overlapping symptoms such as sadness, crying, fatigue, reduced concentration, and sleep and appetite disturbances. However, grief and depression are not the same. Grief is a normal reaction to a loss whereas depression is a clinical condition. Other distinguishing features between grief and depression are as under (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Shear, 2012):  

Although in grief, individuals feel sad and are tearful, the predominant mood in grief is a feeling of emptiness and loss, whereas in depression, the depressed mood is persistent and there is an inability to anticipate happiness or pleasure.Bereaved people feel sad because they miss a loved one, whereas individuals with depression feel sad because they see themselves and/or the world as inadequate, flawed or worthless.Self-esteem is preserved in grief, whereas depression is usually characterized by feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing.Feelings of guilt in grief are related to on…

Problem Solving: A Proven Way to Treat Depression

If you are human, you will have problems. Having problems means that you are normal and solving them means you are a happy normal! Genuine problems such as not being able to pay your bills on time or not knowing how to go about furthering your education are best addressed by problem-solving and not by cognitive techniques such as challenging your irrational thoughts. Problem-solving therapy is an effective treatment for depression, but has received little attention as most popular books on self-help of depression heavily rely on cognitive-behavioral techniques (Kirkham et al., 2015). The problem-solving steps are described next (Martell et al., 2010; Nezu et al., 1989). Problem-solving steps
1.Define the problem in clear and specific behavioral terms, i.e., what specific behavior needs to be addressed or changed. You will be able to generate better solutions for a specific problem such as, “I have been postponing paying my bills for last two weeks and feel overwhelmed whenever I try to…

Self-Management: A New and Proven Way to Treat Depression

What is self-management?
You probably have heard the term “self-help” and may have also read a few self-help books. Most self-help books on depression focus on acute treatment of depression based on a particular model of therapy, usually the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). While the self-help approach tries to address a condition using a focused treatment modality over a short period of time, self-management is learning new ways to manage an illness over a longer period of time. In other words, self-management is using the resources and learning the skills to “positively manage” an illness (Lorig et al., 2006). Lorig and colleagues (2006) further elaborate on self-management; it is a “management style” wherein you are a positive self-manager who not only uses the best treatments provided by healthcare professionals, but also approach your illness in a proactive manner on a daily basis, leading to a more healthy life. For example, good self-managers of diabetes, besides taking medic…

You Asked: What is Bipolar Depression?

A bipolar depression is a depressive episode occurring in context of bipolar disorder. When diagnosing depression, it is imperative to first exclude an underlying bipolar disorder. This is because the medication treatment for bipolar depression differs from that for “unipolar” depression. People with bipolar disorder have manic or hypomanic episodes. These are periods of persistently elevated or irritable mood along with feelings of grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, talkativeness, racing thoughts, increase in sexual drive, increased goal-directed activity, or excessive involvement in risky or impulsive activities.
Individuals with bipolar disorder spend around 40% of the symptomatic time being depressed (Judd et al., 2002). Moreover, people with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek help when they are depressed. Therefore, it is not uncommon for bipolar depression to be misdiagnosed as unipolar depression or major depressive disorder. The consequences of such a misdiagnosis may…