The number of people diagnosed as suffering from depression is on the increase. Those born since 1945 are ten times more likely to suffer from this disorder than those born before this date. The fastest rate of increase is seen in children and young adults.
There are many reasons why depression is no so widespread: the rapid rate of technological change, the increase in materialism, the breakdown of traditional communities (the Amish in America for instance rarely suffer from depression), job insecurity, broken homes - they all play a part.
Depression is caused by the way we respond to adverse conditions. In many cases there is not a chemical imbalance within the brain and therefore drug therapy is not always the answer. Although medication should be the preferred treatment for severe or frequent depressive episodes, research now points towards psychotherapeutic techniques.
Do you think you may be depressed? Although depression may exist alongside anxiety or personality disorders there are certain criteria which may indicate a major depression. These include sleep disturbances, appetite irregularities, loss of energy and difficulty in thinking - the left brain is effectively 'switched off' so consigning the depressive to a negative trance. Someone suffering from depression will feel out of control and will see everything in terms of black and white.
Depressed clients are taught how to take control of their lives. They will benefit from learning how to become more objective, focusing on current relationships and reconnecting to sources of pleasure. The use of therapy rather than drugs will teach a client a way of relating to the world that literally changes their depressive world view. Clients are helped to step out of the way they normally see things and escape from their negative state.
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