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  • 1. Understanding Depression
  • 2. What causes Depression? Family History  Having a family members who has depression may increase a person’s risk  Imbalances of certain chemicals in the brain may lead to depression
  • 3.  Major Life Changes  Positive or negative events can trigger depression. Examples include the death of a loved one or a promotion.  Major Illnesses such as heart attack, stroke or cancer may trigger depression.
  • 4.  Certain medications used alone or in combination can cause side effects much like the symptoms of depression. Use of Alcohol or other Drugs can lead to or worsen depression. Depression can also occur for no apparent reason!
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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 irritability
  • 7. Changes in behavior andattitude These may include:  General slowing down  Neglect of responsibilities and appearance  Poor memory  Inability to concentrate  Suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviors  Difficulty making decisions
  • 8. 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 habits
  • 9. Common Types of Depression Major Depression Dysthymia Bipolar Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • 10. 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 person’s life
  • 11. Dysthymia People with this illness are mildly depressed for years. They function fairly well on a daily basis but their relationships suffer over time.
  • 12. 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 sudden
  • 13. 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.
  • 14. Professional treatment isnecessary for all these types of depression.
  • 15. Treatment for Depression Medication  Antidepressantscan help ease the symptoms of depression and return a person to normal functioning. Antidepressants are not habit forming.
  • 16. Psychotherapy This can help many depressed people understand themselves and cope with their problems. For example:  Interpersonal therapy works to change relationships that affect depression  Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people change negative thinking and behavior patterns
  • 17. If you or someone you knowhas symptoms ofdepression… Take Action!
  • 18.  See a doctor for a complete check up. Go to the counseling center and talk to a counselor. Talk things over with a friend, family member or a residential life staff member.
  • 19.  Don’t expect too much of yourself Take a break Get some exercise Avoid extra stress and big changes
  • 20. Things to do Reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol or drugs Exercise or engage in some form of physical activity Eat a proper, well-balanced diet
  • 21.  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
  • 22. Things to Avoid Don’t make long-term commitments or important decisions unless necessary Don’t assume things are hopeless Don’t engage in “emotional reasoning” (i.e.: because I feel awful, my life is terrible) Don’t assume responsibility for events which are outside of your control Don’t avoid treatment as a way of coping
  • 23. Intervening with a depressedfriend Be empathetic and understanding Don’t 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
  • 24. Helping a depressed friend… Don’t argue about how bad things are Don’t insist that depression or sadness are the wrong feelings to be experiencing Don’t become angry even though your efforts may be resisted or rejected
  • 25. Helping a depressedfriend… Advocate for their recovery from depression Emphasize that depression is treatable Seek consultation Encourage them to seek help, go with them to the counseling center Be supportive of counselor or doctor suggestions