DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS

Depression is a psychological state that can drain individuals emotionally, cognitively, and physically. It is problematic compared to a persistent sadness and individuals often suffer for years with Clinical Depression, thinking that this is just sadness. Depression can impact every facet of life and it is important that people detect it early. Cognitively, you may be forgetful, have difficulty concentrating, or you may notice that your thinking has slowed down. Emotionally, individuals may feel sadness, guilt, indifference, and hopelessness. Physically, people report feeling fatigued and achy or in pain. Socially, people often feel isolated and alone. Depression affects everyone a bit differently and other common symptoms include:[1]

  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Frequent thoughts about death or dying
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Lack of interest in activities that were once pleasurable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Eating changes
  • Sleeping Changes

Types of Depression

There are many types of depression, each type differing in severity, duration, or situation. All of them have the potential to be debilitating and can impair social and occupational functioning.1

  • Dysthymia – a type of Depressive Disorder characterized by depressed mood with at least 2 other symptoms occurring most days for at least two years.
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) – a type of Depressive Disorder characterized by depressed mood and several other symptoms that occur nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.
  • Postpartum Depression – a type of Depressive Disorder associated with onset during pregnancy or within 4 weeks of delivery.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a type of Depressive Disorder that has an onset during fall and winter months.

Does Psychology Work?

There are many effective treatments for depression, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Emotionally Focused Therapy.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT has been shown to be an especially effective treatment for Depression. Researchers reviewed a large number of studies on the effects of CBT on individuals with Depression and found that compared to other therapies, CBT was most effective in the long-term. After 1-2 years, CBT clients reported lower rates of developing Depression again.[2] Other research has shown that CBT can perform as well or better than other therapies, such as relaxation treatments, when it comes to treating Depression.[3] CBT has also been shown to be effective at treating Postpartum Depression[4] and Dysthymia.3
  • Mindfulness Therapy (MT): MT is a treatment that has been proven effective at treating different types of Depression. Research has shown that MT is an effective treatment for MDD; specifically for reducing the chances of future episodes of MDD.[5] Meditation therapy, which is linked to MT, has been shown to effectively treat people with Dysthymia.[6] Preliminary research has shown promising evidence that MT can reduce the symptoms of Postpartum Depression, as well as pregnancy-related stress which can lead to Postpartum Depression.[7]
  • Interpersonal Process Therapy (IPT): IPT is another effective treatment for Depressive disorders. It is a short-term, structured treatment with an emphasis on the present. While CBT is effective for Dysthymia, a large review of studies found that interpersonal therapy may be slightly more effective.[8] IPT is also a proven treatment for Postpartum Depression. Researchers reviewed many studies with positive results, and suggested that IPT should be a first-line treatment for the disorder. Strengths of IPT include the inclusion of biological and psychosocial factors, as well as the emotional, cognitive, neurological, and behavioral components. Clients in IPT also do well in couples or group settings.[9]
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): If one person in a relationship has Depression, it can negatively affect the relationship. In particular, Postpartum Depression can have a negative impact on the partners’ relationships, maternal-infant interactions, and children’s social and cognitive development.[10] Research has shown that EFT for couples can reduce depressive symptoms while improving relationship satisfaction.[11] The positive results of EFT for couples facing Depression have been shown to last at 6-month follow-up period.10

Depression may leave you feeling hopeless. At Hopewell Psychological, we offer a variety of treatment options so that you can find the one that works best for you. We understand that every person is different, and that your particular symptoms may be diverse from other people who are also experiencing Depression. Moreover, we also know that multiple mental health disorders are often present at the same time. Thus, we are prepared to create a customized plan to address all of your symptoms and concerns. Hopewell Psychological offers treatments that are supported in the research and we offer a range of therapy services are available to meet all your needs – individual, couple, family, and group therapies.

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*Psychologists are covered under Insurance Companies in Canada. You will need to check with your insurance company about the specific details regarding your coverage.

References

[1] American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D. C.: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013. Print.

[2] Cuijpers, Pim, Matthias Berking, Gerhard Andersson, Leanne Quigley, Annet Kleiboer, and Dobson Keith. “A Meta-analysis of Cognitive-behavioural Therapy for Adults with Depression, Alone and in Comparison with Other Treatments.” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 58.7 (2013): 376-85. Print. doi: 10.1177/070673471305800702

[3] Hofmann, S. G., et al. “The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses.” Cognitive Therapy Resources 36.5 (2012): 427-440.

[4] Patel, Milapkumar, et al. “Postpartum Depression: A Review.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2.23 (2012): 534-542.

[5] Piet, J., and Hougaard, E. “The effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for prevention of relapse in major depressive disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Clinical Psychology Review 31 (2011): 1032-1040.

[6] Jain, F. A., et al. “Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of Meditation Therapies for Acute and Subacute Phase Treatment of Depressive Disorders: A systematic review.” Psychosomatics 56.2 (2015): 140-152.

[7] Tomfohr-Madsen, L. A., et al. “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for psychological distress in pregnancy: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.” Trials 17 (2016): 498.

[8] Kriston, Levente, Alessa Von Wolff, Annika Westphal, Lars P. Holzel, and Martin Harter. “Efficacy And Acceptability of Acute Treatments for Persistent Depressive Disorder: A Network Meta-Analysis.” Depression and Anxiety 31.8 (2014): 621-30. Print. doi: 10.1002/da.22236

[9] Miniati, Mario, Antonio Callari, Simmona Calugi, Paola Rucci, Mario Savino, Mauro Mauri, and Liliana Dell’Osso. “Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review.” Archives of Women’s Mental Health 17 (2014): 257-68. Print. doi: 10.1007/s00737-014-0442

[10] Letourneau, Nicole Lyn, et al. “Postpartum Depression is a Family Affair: Addressing the impact on mothers, fathers, and children.” Issues in Mental Health Nursing 33 (2012): 445-457.

[11]Wiebe, S. A., and Johnson, S. M. “A review of the research in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples.” Family Process 55.3 (2016): 390-407.

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