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Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is listed as a medical illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and is recognized as a serious mood disorder.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that depression is “characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities,” resulting in significant impairment in one’s daily life. While depression can develop at any age, symptoms commonly surface in adolescence and young adulthood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects nearly ten percent of the general population in America. Experts have asserted that major depressive disorder is potentially a long-term illness, but not necessarily a permanent condition. 

How To Help

It can be very difficult to witness a loved one struggle and feel helpless. When a loved one suffers from depression consider providing support through the following suggestions:

  • Make sure to express sincere concern without judgment for your loved one’s wellbeing.
  • Display acts that show your unconditional love for your loved one.
  • Maintain open lines of communication.
  • Gently encourage your loved one to practice healthy daily habits, even if it is simply through role modeling: engage in regular physical activity, obtain ample sleep, eat nutritiously, etc. 
  • Be compassionate and kind. 
  • Know that recovering from depression does not necessarily have a linear trajectory; have patience. 

It is important to be aware of your own limitations and recognize that your loved one may be dealing with certain issues that extend beyond your abilities. There is a plethora of highly qualified professionals available that have extensive experience, expert knowledge, and specialize in working with clientele struggling with depression. The best way to help someone with depression is to be able to recognize the warning signs and ultimately help your loved one obtain professional guidance.

Treatment

There are a variety of approaches as well as a range of treatment options when it comes to treating depression, and each person will require a nuanced treatment plan. There are many different types of therapeutic modalities that could be integrated into one’s treatment plan, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Some people diagnosed with severe major depressive disorder may benefit from including medication into the treatment plan, in conjunction with various therapeutic methods. The different types of medications prescribed for MDD include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs). In most cases integrating a combination of both psychotherapy and medication into one’s treatment plan yields the most successful long-term results.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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