The Top 3 Mistakes Made by People with Depression

Depression is a medical condition that affects one in five Americans, yet it is still widely misunderstood. People who have never experienced symptoms of depression are quick to assume it’s a matter of attitude that can be adjusted. Sometimes even people with depression subscribe to this theory, which can ultimately make depression worse. Depression is a complex disorder that can have a variety of different symptoms. Some depression sufferers will experience insomnia and weight loss, while others experience weight gain and sleep too much. Sad mood is the primary symptom of depression, but many people who find themselves with a sad mood that lasts for an extended period of time make mistakes in their reaction to their situation. Listening to the opinions of friends and relatives can sometimes be the worst mistake, as this can lead to the others:

Assuming That It’s All in Your Head

While depression is, in part, a mental disorder, it has biological causes and is not something that a person can control or eliminate by sheer will power. By definition, major depression is a depressed mood that lasts for more than two weeks and does not have any obvious cause. It can also be a reaction to a sad event that lasts for a prolonged period of time. A person with depression can no more make their symptoms go away than a person with a heart condition can make it go away just because they want it to.

Thinking You’re Crazy

While depression is a mental disorder, it is in no way a mental illness and does not come close to any definition of insanity. Depression is caused by biological factors in combination with psychological factors. This is why a combination of treatments is usually best: psychotherapy and medications. Medications treat the neurochemical side of depression, while psychotherapy helps the patient understand their depression and how to deal with it emotionally.

Not Seeking Treatment

The previous mistakes often lead to the third, which is the most damaging of all: Not seeking treatment by a medical professional for your depression. If you have symptoms of depression that last for more than a few weeks, you do not need to immediately seek out a psychiatrist. Many times your family doctor can start you on the road to recovery. Your primary physician can talk to you about your depression, prescribe medications, and recommend treatment by a psychologist or psychotherapist if he or she feels it would be of benefit to you. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in neurological disorders. If medications do not help your depression, then you may need to see a psychiatrist to adjust your medications or try different ones. But depression can be treated successfully by only a family doctor, psychologist, or both.

When a case of depression is resistant to treatment by medications and psychotherapy, inpatient treatment at a residential center is sometimes recommended. A residential treatment center such as Bridges to Recovery allows a patient to live in a comfortable environment while focusing on their treatment. The professional staff of doctors and therapists who specialize in depression will provide the patient with an individualized treatment program. In addition, non-traditional therapies are utilized, including yoga, art therapy, physical fitness and nutrition programs. The goal of a residential depression treatment center is to help patients return to a physically and emotionally healthy way of life.