Recovery from Depression: Brighter Days Ahead

Reviewed Oct 14, 2016

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Summary

Signs of depression may include:

  • Strong feelings of sadness on most days
  • Gloomy outlook
  • Sleeping problems

Depression is a sickness that can happen to anyone. It is no one’s fault, and it is more common than you might think. In fact, about 16 percent of adults will experience depression in their lifetime. The good news is that it is highly treatable.

What causes depression?

Studies have shown that depression is rarely due to a single event or health problem. As with many diseases, some people are more likely to feel depression than others. It is more common among people with serious illnesses. Those with serious injuries or who have continuous pain are also at risk. It also tends to run in families. A child who has a parent with depression has a greater chance of getting depression.

Are there many kinds?

Yes. Major depression and dysthymia are the most widely found types. Constant sadness, feeling no hope, keeping away from social events, and thoughts of taking one's own life can be signs. The course of a depressive event can vary. If untreated, major depression can last one year or more.
 
Dysthymia is a “low-grade” depression. It is known by long-lasting feelings of sadness and worry for at least one year. It is less harsh. People with this type tend to have low self-esteem. They can be withdrawn and think on the negative side. They may have low energy, problems in school or work, and trouble in relationships. Dysthymia can follow or come before a major depression. Or it can occur by itself.

The third type is called bipolar depression. This type is not as well understood. Mood swings between low depression and periods of high excitement and distorted thinking are routine symptoms.

Signs of depression may include:

  • Strong feelings of sadness on most days
  • A hard time being focused
  • Being tired and loss of energy
  • Gloomy outlook
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Feeling no hope
  • Sleeping problems
  • Being touchy
  • Loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or hunger loss
  • Aches and pains, headaches, or stomach problems
  • Thoughts of killing one’s self

Treatment and recovery

If you feel that you might be experiencing depression, talk with somebody right away. Your family doctor or mental health provider is a good place to start. Treatment most often involves counseling and medication.
 
The use of medication for depression is common. These are thought to work by increasing the amount and availability of certain brain chemicals. In turn, the chemicals are balanced and the mood is made better.
 
Most take some weeks before symptoms get better. Be sure to stick with it. In some rare cases, they have added to depression and suicide attempts. They should only be used under the care of a doctor.

Counseling for depression can vary. Mostly it involves someone who is a good listener and will not judge you. Counseling can also teach you better ways to cope with stressful situations or relationships. It can also help you deal with stressful events from your past.

Another option to consider adding is talking to a recovery support specialist. These professionals may also be called peer support specialists. They are people who have also had mental illnesses like depression, are now in recovery, and are professionally trained to support other people with mental illnesses. They can work with you to help you determine what you want to do to get well and stay well. Most mental health agencies now have recovery support specialists on staff.

Recovery happens in stages. There may be a time when many of your symptoms of depression have disappeared. You may feel better. It is good to keep on your medications and/or therapy to avoid it happening again. Talk with your doctor about the improvements or setbacks you notice.

If all goes well, you will begin to feel well. Doing things will seem fun again and life will have meaning once more. With proper treatment most people get better.

By Drew Edwards, MS, EdD
Reviewed by Kathrine Goddard, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Signs of depression may include:

  • Strong feelings of sadness on most days
  • Gloomy outlook
  • Sleeping problems

Depression is a sickness that can happen to anyone. It is no one’s fault, and it is more common than you might think. In fact, about 16 percent of adults will experience depression in their lifetime. The good news is that it is highly treatable.

What causes depression?

Studies have shown that depression is rarely due to a single event or health problem. As with many diseases, some people are more likely to feel depression than others. It is more common among people with serious illnesses. Those with serious injuries or who have continuous pain are also at risk. It also tends to run in families. A child who has a parent with depression has a greater chance of getting depression.

Are there many kinds?

Yes. Major depression and dysthymia are the most widely found types. Constant sadness, feeling no hope, keeping away from social events, and thoughts of taking one's own life can be signs. The course of a depressive event can vary. If untreated, major depression can last one year or more.
 
Dysthymia is a “low-grade” depression. It is known by long-lasting feelings of sadness and worry for at least one year. It is less harsh. People with this type tend to have low self-esteem. They can be withdrawn and think on the negative side. They may have low energy, problems in school or work, and trouble in relationships. Dysthymia can follow or come before a major depression. Or it can occur by itself.

The third type is called bipolar depression. This type is not as well understood. Mood swings between low depression and periods of high excitement and distorted thinking are routine symptoms.

Signs of depression may include:

  • Strong feelings of sadness on most days
  • A hard time being focused
  • Being tired and loss of energy
  • Gloomy outlook
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Feeling no hope
  • Sleeping problems
  • Being touchy
  • Loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or hunger loss
  • Aches and pains, headaches, or stomach problems
  • Thoughts of killing one’s self

Treatment and recovery

If you feel that you might be experiencing depression, talk with somebody right away. Your family doctor or mental health provider is a good place to start. Treatment most often involves counseling and medication.
 
The use of medication for depression is common. These are thought to work by increasing the amount and availability of certain brain chemicals. In turn, the chemicals are balanced and the mood is made better.
 
Most take some weeks before symptoms get better. Be sure to stick with it. In some rare cases, they have added to depression and suicide attempts. They should only be used under the care of a doctor.

Counseling for depression can vary. Mostly it involves someone who is a good listener and will not judge you. Counseling can also teach you better ways to cope with stressful situations or relationships. It can also help you deal with stressful events from your past.

Another option to consider adding is talking to a recovery support specialist. These professionals may also be called peer support specialists. They are people who have also had mental illnesses like depression, are now in recovery, and are professionally trained to support other people with mental illnesses. They can work with you to help you determine what you want to do to get well and stay well. Most mental health agencies now have recovery support specialists on staff.

Recovery happens in stages. There may be a time when many of your symptoms of depression have disappeared. You may feel better. It is good to keep on your medications and/or therapy to avoid it happening again. Talk with your doctor about the improvements or setbacks you notice.

If all goes well, you will begin to feel well. Doing things will seem fun again and life will have meaning once more. With proper treatment most people get better.

By Drew Edwards, MS, EdD
Reviewed by Kathrine Goddard, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Signs of depression may include:

  • Strong feelings of sadness on most days
  • Gloomy outlook
  • Sleeping problems

Depression is a sickness that can happen to anyone. It is no one’s fault, and it is more common than you might think. In fact, about 16 percent of adults will experience depression in their lifetime. The good news is that it is highly treatable.

What causes depression?

Studies have shown that depression is rarely due to a single event or health problem. As with many diseases, some people are more likely to feel depression than others. It is more common among people with serious illnesses. Those with serious injuries or who have continuous pain are also at risk. It also tends to run in families. A child who has a parent with depression has a greater chance of getting depression.

Are there many kinds?

Yes. Major depression and dysthymia are the most widely found types. Constant sadness, feeling no hope, keeping away from social events, and thoughts of taking one's own life can be signs. The course of a depressive event can vary. If untreated, major depression can last one year or more.
 
Dysthymia is a “low-grade” depression. It is known by long-lasting feelings of sadness and worry for at least one year. It is less harsh. People with this type tend to have low self-esteem. They can be withdrawn and think on the negative side. They may have low energy, problems in school or work, and trouble in relationships. Dysthymia can follow or come before a major depression. Or it can occur by itself.

The third type is called bipolar depression. This type is not as well understood. Mood swings between low depression and periods of high excitement and distorted thinking are routine symptoms.

Signs of depression may include:

  • Strong feelings of sadness on most days
  • A hard time being focused
  • Being tired and loss of energy
  • Gloomy outlook
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Feeling no hope
  • Sleeping problems
  • Being touchy
  • Loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or hunger loss
  • Aches and pains, headaches, or stomach problems
  • Thoughts of killing one’s self

Treatment and recovery

If you feel that you might be experiencing depression, talk with somebody right away. Your family doctor or mental health provider is a good place to start. Treatment most often involves counseling and medication.
 
The use of medication for depression is common. These are thought to work by increasing the amount and availability of certain brain chemicals. In turn, the chemicals are balanced and the mood is made better.
 
Most take some weeks before symptoms get better. Be sure to stick with it. In some rare cases, they have added to depression and suicide attempts. They should only be used under the care of a doctor.

Counseling for depression can vary. Mostly it involves someone who is a good listener and will not judge you. Counseling can also teach you better ways to cope with stressful situations or relationships. It can also help you deal with stressful events from your past.

Another option to consider adding is talking to a recovery support specialist. These professionals may also be called peer support specialists. They are people who have also had mental illnesses like depression, are now in recovery, and are professionally trained to support other people with mental illnesses. They can work with you to help you determine what you want to do to get well and stay well. Most mental health agencies now have recovery support specialists on staff.

Recovery happens in stages. There may be a time when many of your symptoms of depression have disappeared. You may feel better. It is good to keep on your medications and/or therapy to avoid it happening again. Talk with your doctor about the improvements or setbacks you notice.

If all goes well, you will begin to feel well. Doing things will seem fun again and life will have meaning once more. With proper treatment most people get better.

By Drew Edwards, MS, EdD
Reviewed by Kathrine Goddard, CRSS, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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