Sadness, feeling down and experiencing a lack of interest or satisfaction in everyday things are common feelings for us all. But if they continue and greatly affect our lives, the problem may be depression.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the number one cause of illness worldwide. It may affect babies, adults and adolescents.
Learn what depression is in this post, and what causes it. We define the forms, their therapies and more.
Depression is a mood condition involving an persistent sense of depression and lack of interest. This is distinct from the changes in mood that people encounter daily as a part of life.
Big events in life, such as bereavement, or job loss, can lead to depression. But doctors see feelings of sadness as part of depression only if they continue.
Depression is a persistent problem, not a passing one. It is composed of episodes where symptoms last for at least 2 weeks. Depression can last several weeks, months, or years.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of depression can include:
- a depressed mood
- reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- a loss of sexual desire
- changes in appetite
- unintentional weight loss or gain
- sleeping too much or too little
- agitation, restlessness, and pacing up and down
- slowed movement and speech
- fatigue or loss of energy
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or an attempt at suicide
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression is almost twice as prevalent among females as men.
Here are some depression signs, which seem to occur more often in females:
- mood swings
- ruminating (dwelling on negative thoughts)
Also, some types of depression are unique to females, such as:
- postpartum depression
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder
According to the American Psychological Association, about 9 percent of male in the United States have symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Males with depression are more likely than females to binge consume alcohol, show rage and take risks as a result of the condition.
Many depressive signs in males can include:
- avoiding families and social situations
- working without a break
- having difficulty keeping up with work and family responsibilities
- displaying abusive or controlling behavior in relationships
In college students
College time can be overwhelming, and for the first time a person may be interacting with other lifestyles, cultures, and experiences.
Many students are having difficulty dealing with these changes, and as a result they may experience depression, anxiety or both.
Symptoms of college depression can include:
- difficulty concentrating on schoolwork
- sleeping too much
- a decrease or increase in appetite
- avoiding social situations and activities that they used to enjoy
Physical shifts, social pressure, and other factors may be leading to adolescent depression.
They may exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- withdrawing from friends and family
- difficulty concentrating on schoolwork
- feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless
- restlessness, such as an inability to sit still
The CDC reports that 3.2 percent of children and teenagers aged 3–17 are diagnosed with depression in the United States.
Symptoms can present challenge to schoolwork and social activities in children. They can suffer symptoms such as:
- low energy
- defiant behavior
- vocal outbursts
Younger kids may have trouble expressing how they feel in words. It will make expressing their feelings of sorrow more complicated for them.
The scientific profession has no knowledge of the causes of depression. There are several potential triggers and different factors often interact to induce symptoms.
Factors which may play a role include:
- genetic features
- changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels
- environmental factors
- psychological and social factors
- additional conditions, such as bipolar disorder
Depression may be managed, and symptom management typically includes three components:
Support: from exploring realistic approaches and potential causes to informing family members.
Psychotherapy: Some methods also known as speech therapy include one-to – one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Drug treatment: A health care professional can prescribe antidepressants.
Antidepressants can help treat moderate-to-severe depression.
- Several classes of antidepressants are available:
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- tricyclic antidepressants
- atypical antidepressants
- selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Each class acts on another neurotransmitter, or neurotransmitter combination.
A person should take such medicines only as prescribed by their doctor. It can take some drugs a while to get an effect. A individual may not realize the benefits he or she may receive by stopping the medication.
After symptoms improve, some people stop taking medication but this can lead to a relapse.
Increase any questions with a doctor about antidepressants, including any plan to avoid taking the drug.
Medication side effects
SSRIs and SNRIs can have side effects. A person may experience:
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing manufacturers to add warnings to the antidepressant drug packaging.
The warnings will suggest that in the first few months of treatment, among other dangers, such drugs can increase suicidal thoughts or behavior in some adolescents, teenagers and young adults.
Some people use natural remedies to treat mild-to-moderate depression, for example herbal medicines.
Because the FDA may not regulate herbal remedies, however, manufacturers may not be honest about the consistency of these items. They can not be secure or accurate.
Some of the more common herbs and plants people use to treat depression are as follows:
St. John’s wort: This is not appropriate for those who have bipolar disorder, or may have it. See more here.
Ginseng: Traditional medicine practitioners can use this to improve clarity of mind and relieve stress.
Chamomile: Contains flavonoids which can have an antidepressant effect.
Lavender: It may help alleviate anxiety and sleeplessness.
Until using some form of herbal treatment or medication for treating depression, it is important to speak with a doctor. Some herbs can interfere with drug action, or even worsen symptoms.
A individual may take the above herbs as supplements to treat the mild-to-moderate depression symptoms. Certain forms of supplements can also be helpful in treating these symptoms.
It’s important to note that the FDA doesn’t track supplements to make sure they’re safe or successful.
Nonherbal additives which can help treat depression include:
S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe): This is a synthetic form of a natural chemical in the body.
5-Hydroxytryptophan: This can help to improve the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain that affects a person’s mood.
Some research has indicated the SAMe may be as useful as the imipramine and escitalopram prescription antidepressants, but more research is required.
Food and diet
Eating tons of sugary or refined foods can lead to different physical health issues. Results from a 2019 study indicate that the mental health of young adults may be influenced by a diet that contains several of these types of food.
The study also found that consuming some of the following diet helped in the symptoms of depression:
- olive oil
Psychological, or chat, depression therapies include CBT, behavioral psychotherapy, and, among others, problem-solving counseling.
Psychotherapy is typically the first-line treatment for certain types of depression, although some individuals respond better to a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
The two primary forms of depression psychotherapy are CBT and interpersonal psychotherapy. An individual can have CBT over the telephone in single sessions with a therapist, in groups.
Interpersonal therapy aims to help people identify:
- emotional problems that affect relationships and communication
- how these issues also affect their mood
- how all of this may be changed
Aerobic exercise increases levels of endorphin and activates the norepinephrine neurotransmitter, which is related to mood. This can help to alleviate a slight depression.
Brain stimulation therapies
A further treatment choice is brain stimulation therapy. Repetitive magnetic transcranial stimulation, for example, sends electrical stimuli to the brain and this may help relieve severe depression.
The individual can benefit from electroconvulsive therapy or ECT if depression does not respond to drug treatment. It could be useful as depression progresses to psychosis.
Types of depression
There are several forms of depression. Below are some of the most common types.
A person with a major depression experiences a state of intense sorrow. We could lose interest in things we once enjoyed.
Treatment typically includes both psychotherapy and medicine.
Persistent depressive disorder
The chronic depressive condition also known as dysthymia causes symptoms that last for at least 2 years.
A individual with this condition can experience episodes of both severe depression and milder symptoms.
Depression is a common symptom of bipolar disorder, and research has shown that people with this condition may experience symptoms in about half of the time. That can make it hard to differentiate bipolar disorder from depression.
Many may develop depressive illness.
Psychosis can include delusions such as false beliefs and reality detachment. It may also include hallucinations — sensing stuff that is not there.
Many women endure what some people call the “baby blues” after giving birth. Changes in mood will result when the hormone levels are readjusted after childbirth.
Most extreme is postpartum depression, or postnatal depression.
There is no clear cause for depression of this sort and it can last for months or years. Anyone experiencing ongoing distress following delivery should seek medical attention.
Major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern
Previously referred to as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, this form of depression is related to the fall and winter reduction in daylight.
It lifts for the rest of the year and as an response to light therapy.
Persons living in countries with long or extreme winters tend to be more affected by this disease.
If a person is suspected of having depression symptoms, they should receive medical assistance from a doctor or mental health specialist.
A trained health care practitioner can rule out different factors, ensure correct diagnosis and provide safe and successful treatment.
They’ll inquire about signs, such as how long they’ve been around. A doctor can also administer an exam to check for physical causes, and prescribe a blood test to rule out certain conditions of health.
Mental health workers frequently ask patients to complete questionnaires to better determine the extent of depression they feel.
The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, for example, has 21 questions. The scores indicate the severity of depression among people who already have a diagnosis.
The Beck Depression Inventory is another questionnaire that helps mental health professionals measure a person’s symptoms.
The national hotlines offer free, confidential assistance 24 hours a day from qualified professionals. This will help someone with depression who wants to talk about their emotions, or needs to.
Many of the available support hotlines include:
Samaritans: This charitable organization provides emotional assistance to anyone who has symptoms of depression or isolation or who considers suicide. Tell them by calling or by sending 877-870-4673 (HOPE).
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK) to speak with someone from this national network of local crisis centers.
Lifeline Chat: This is an online chat service of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Call 911 or the local emergency number.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.
Is depression genetic?
A person with a parent or sibling who has depression is twice to three times more likely to develop the disorder than the general population.
Most people with depression may not have a family history of it however.
A recent research indicates that the genetic variability does not result from susceptibility to depression. The researchers agree that although it is possible to inherit depression, several other issues also affect its development.
Is it a disability?
According to WHO, depression is the leading cause of illness worldwide.
In the U.S., the Social Security Administration finds conditions to be depressive, anxiety and associated disorders. If depression prevents a individual from working, they may qualify for insurance benefits for social security disability.
The person must have worked long enough to qualify for disability payments, and recently enough. For more information please visit the website of the administration.
Is it curable?
Although there is no cure for depression, effective treatments are available which help with recovery. The earlier therapy begins, the more it will be effective.
Since pursuing a recovery program, many people with depression recuperate. However, even with successful therapy a relapse can occur.
To avoid recurrence, people on depression medicine should seek treatment — even after symptoms improve or go away — as long as their doctor tells them to.
The causes are mental, psychological, or physical events or conditions that can cause symptoms of depression to appear or come back.
These are some of the causes that are commonest:
- Stressful life events, such as loss, family conflicts, and changes in relationships.
- Incomplete recovery after having stopped treatment too soon
- Medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Some people have a higher risk of depression than others.
Risk factors include:
- experiencing certain life events, such as bereavement, work issues, changes in relationships, financial problems, and medical concerns
- experiencing acute stress
- having a lack of successful coping strategies
- having a close relative with depression
- using some prescription drugs, such as corticosteroids, some beta-blockers, and interferon
- using recreational drugs, such as alcohol or amphetamines
- having sustained a head injury
- having had a previous episode of major depression
- having a chronic condition, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or cardiovascular disease
- living with persistent pain
In the U.S., major depression affects more than 16.1 million individuals aged 18 or older, or around 6.7 per cent of the adult population, during any given year.
According to the CDC, 3.2 percent of children and teenagers aged 3 to 17 years — about 1.9 million individuals — have been diagnosed with depression.
The CDC also reports that in any 2-week period, 7.6 percent of people aged 12 years or older in the United States had depression.
What to know about unipolar depression
Major depressive disorder is also known as unipolar depression. The term “unipolar depression” refers to a type of depression that does not cycle through other mental states like mania. Bipolar disorders, on the other hand, cause in times of both depression and mania.
Unipolar depression, on the other hand, does not imply that a person is always depressed. People who suffer from major depressive disorder may go through periods of remission followed by periods of depression relapse. They may also feel better when their circumstances change, especially if they have atypical depression, a kind of major depressive disorder.
One of the most prevalent mental health diagnoses is unipolar depression. It can cause physical symptoms as well as substantial trouble managing everyday tasks and relationships, in addition to a melancholy or gloomy mood. In the United States, 7.8% of all people had at least one major depressive episode in 2019.
Continue reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for unipolar depression.
What is unipolar depression?
Major depressive disorder is also known as unipolar depression. This mental condition has an impact on both mental and physical health.
The following are the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder:
At least five of the following symptoms must be present:
- Concentration issues: A person may find it difficult to concentrate, pay attention, or think coherently. It’s possible that some people will have cognitive fog.
- Thoughts of death or suicide: An individual may experience intrusive thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide.
- Depressed mood: On most days, a person feels sad or depressed for the most of the day. They can be feeling empty, hopeless, melancholy, or unsure about the future. These symptoms can appear in youngsters as behavioral difficulties or irritability.
- Loss of pleasure: Activities that a person used to enjoy may now provide little or no pleasure.
Weight or appetite changes:. Without attempting to gain or lose weight, a person may gain or lose 5% or more of their body weight, or suffer changes in appetite, such as eating too much or too little.
- Sleeping issue: A person may sleep excessively or insufficiently.
- Fatigue: When a person is physically and emotionally weary, it might affect their motivation and ability to complete everyday chores.
Only if a person’s depression symptoms are not caused by bipolar disorder or another medical condition will they be diagnosed. Their symptoms must be distressing and not be the result of medication or a physical ailment. They must also have never gone through a manic episode.
Secondary symptoms can cause as a result of depression’s symptoms, such as:
- trouble studying or excelling at school
- difficulties with self-care
- trouble getting or keeping a job
- relationship conflict
People who are depressed have a distorted vision of the world, which can affect how they think and feel about other people and themselves. Interpersonal difficulties, low self-esteem, rejection sensitivity, and other issues may arise as a result.
Major depressive illness is a multifaceted condition with genetic, psychological, social, and interpersonal causes. Depression is caused by the interaction of several factors. For example, a person may have a genetic predisposition to depression, which is subsequently activated by trauma or stress, resulting in symptoms.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes sadness, but they do know that changes in brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters play a part. Antidepressants work by affecting brain chemicals including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, implying that these chemicals play a role in mood.
The following are some of the risk factors for developing unipolar depression:
- some medical conditions, including thyroid disorders
- family history of depression
- trauma and adverse childhood experiences
How does it differ from other forms of depression?
The main distinction between unipolar depression and bipolar depression is that a person with unipolar depression simply has depression rather than the cycles of depression and mania that bipolar illness, or bipolar depression, is known for.
People who suffer from bipolar depression have bouts of depression comparable to those who suffer from major depressive illness, but they also have moments of mania, when their mood is extremely elevated. A person may be unusually happy during manic episodes. They could make rash or hazardous judgments, such as overspending money.
People who suffer from unipolar depression are not constantly depressed. Some people may look to be cheerful, act to be happy, or have periods when their depressive symptoms improve.
Atypical depression, a subtype of major depressive illness, is more likely to be persistent. It does, however, respond better to changes in circumstances, which means that when a person’s position improves, they may be happy and have less symptoms. This is not to be confused with the mood cycling seen in bipolar depression.
Depression does not always take the form of major depressive disorder. Other types of unipolar depression that don’t entail manic episodes include:
- Postpartum depression: Following the birth of a child, this type of depression develops.
- Seasonal affective disorder: This sort of seasonal depression is more common in the winter.
- Persistent depressive disorder: The symptoms of this chronic form of depression are usually milder than those of major depressive disorder.
- Psychotic depression: A person suffering from this sort of depression causes psychotic ideas. Delusions and hallucinations are examples of psychotic beliefs that are divorced from reality.
A low and depressed mood is a symptom of major depression. A person’s perception of the world may be largely negative, resulting in cognitive distortions that negatively impact their relationships, work, and school performance.
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of depression:
- unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- low energy
- feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- feeling hopeless about the future
- being unable to get pleasure from hobbies, relationships, or other previously enjoyed activities
- trouble thinking clearly or making decisions
- slowed movements or speech
- feeling restless or pacing
- brain fog
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- eating too much or too little
Secondary difficulties, such as unemployment or low school performance, might cause as a result of depression symptoms.
Antidepressants come in a variety of forms, with the best option dependent on a number of criteria. These are some of them:
- the subtype of major depression
- the side effects the person feels they can tolerate
- the person’s overall health
Before getting relief from their symptoms, a person may need to take many drugs or different dosages of the same prescription. Working with a skilled psychiatrist and discussing side effects and other treatment problems may speed up the relief process.
Psychotherapy techniques, particularly those developed to treat depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy, can assist a person in better coping, implementing positive lifestyle changes, and managing life with depression.
Therapies that directly stimulate the brain, such as electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, may also help, especially if other treatments are ineffective.
Some people find that changing their lifestyle, such as exercising more, eating a well-balanced diet, practicing meditation, or taking up a new activity, is beneficial.
Depression is difficult to cure and often chronic, thus a person may go through periods of remission before relapsing.
A complete depression treatment plan that combines medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes may help a person manage better through relapses of depression.
According to a 2019 study, several characteristics boost the chances of depression remission. These are some of them:
- less chronic depression
- not experiencing complicated grief
- not having a history of childhood adversity
- a better quality of life
- less severe depression
- less anxiety
Major depressive disorder is also known as unipolar depression.
It can have an impact on a person’s relationships, profession, education, and sense of self, among other things. Myths about depression might make it difficult for people to get help or seek it.
Although significant depression is difficult to treat, it is possible to achieve remission, especially when a person has access to thorough and experienced care.
People who are depressed should get mental health treatment as soon as possible. A person can often be referred to a qualified and supportive mental health practitioner by their primary care physician.
Hyperarousal: What to know
People with post-traumatic stress disorder may develop hyperarousal, which is a collection of symptoms. What are the symptoms of hyperarousal and how can individuals deal with them?
Anxiety is common in patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This might make them more sensitive and unduly reactive to stimuli and occurrences in their environment. Hyperarousal refers to a condition of enhanced sensitivity.
We’ll look at the signs and symptoms of hyperarousal, as well as how to deal with it, in this post. We also look at ways individuals might assist loved ones who are suffering from hyperarousal manage better.
One of the symptoms of PTSD is hyperarousal. Hyperarousal may cause a person to:
find it difficult to go to sleep or remain asleep.
experience anger and quickly lose their temper.
find it difficult to focus.
- feel constantly on-guard (hypervigilance)
- be a little more impulsive than normal
- feel as though their muscles are stiff in a different way than normal
- more readily experience pain
- feel as though their heart is racing a little quicker than normal
- feel jittery and easily startled
- Breathe faster or more slowly than normal.
- have flashbacks of a horrific incident
Hyperarousal may be caused by a variety of factors
A traumatic event causes PTSD, which is a mental health disease. PTSD may be caused by a variety of circumstances, including:
- domestic abuse
- a robbery
- a sexual assault
- childhood abuse
- a car crash
- military experiences
- a fire
- a natural disaster
- a terrorist attack
Many additional incidents may raise the likelihood of acquiring PTSD. Not everyone who has been through a stressful incident, however, will develop PTSD or hyperarousal.
How to cope
Experiencing hyperarousal symptoms, as well as other PTSD symptoms, may be upsetting. If a person detects these symptoms in themselves or someone else, they should consult a physician.
A person suffering hyperarousal may act in a self-destructive manner at times. This may involve things like driving too fast or drinking too much. It is critical for persons suffering from hyperarousal to get therapy in order to ensure their safety and the safety of others.
A person with hyperarousal might attempt a variety of coping tactics in addition to the therapies that their doctor may offer. The following are some strategies for dealing with various hyperarousal symptoms:
Having trouble sleeping
- If you have hyperarousal and are having trouble sleeping, consider the following:
- not consuming alcohol in the 6 hours before bed
- exercising during the day
- creating a calm atmosphere in the bedroom
- sticking to regular bedtime and waking times
- avoiding naps during the day
- avoiding caffeine after midday
- getting up to do something relaxing when unable to sleep for more than 30 minutes, then returning to bed once drowsy
- reducing screen time, such as watching TV or using a laptop, in the bedroom
- wearing an eye mask and earplugs to block out light and sound
- practicing deep breathing before bed
- practicing mindfulness, meditation, or yoga
Hyperarousal may make it difficult to maintain control over one’s emotions. The following coping techniques may be beneficial:
- Instead of shouting, cry as a release
- doing vigorous exercise or dancing
- punching a pillow or something else soft
- talking to an empathetic friend or family member
- writing things down
- creating expressive artwork
- practicing deep breathing
- practicing mindfulness, meditation, or yoga
Individuals with hyperarousal who have trouble focusing may benefit from the following strategies:
- trying to improve sleep quality
- practicing mindfulness exercises
- removing or turning off distractions, such as their mobile phone
- improving concentration by working in short bursts and gradually increasing these periods by 5 minutes at a time
- focusing on one task at a time
What can you do to support a loved one who suffers from hyperarousal?
Making a loved one aware of the following coping methods is one approach to help someone who is suffering hyperarousal.
Offering to attempt some of these practices with them, such as mindfulness, deep breathing, or meditation, may also be beneficial.
It’s crucial not to overreact to any hyperarousal-related behaviour. Being available to listen in a nonjudgmental, empathic manner may also be beneficial.
The most crucial thing you can do to support a loved one who is suffering hyperarousal is to make sure they’ve seen a doctor and gotten an accurate diagnosis. This will guarantee that patients get the appropriate therapy.
There are a variety of hyperarousal therapies available to assist patients control their symptoms:
- Exposure therapy: This sort of treatment allows a person with PTSD to relive terrible events and memories in a secure setting, reducing anxiety and panic.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): This is used in conjunction with exposure treatment and involves eye exercises that change how a person responds to a certain memory.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is used in conjunction with exposure treatment and involves eye exercises that change how a person responds to a certain memory.
To assist treat hyperarousal and other PTSD symptoms, the doctor may prescribe the following drugs in addition to these therapies:
- anti-anxiety medication
Hyperarousal is a typical sign of PTSD, which may be a long-term disease. People may, however, adopt a variety of coping skills to lessen the effect hyperarousal has on their everyday lives.
With the correct therapy, medications, and continuing support, PTSD may be effectively treated. If someone is having hyperarousal or PTSD symptoms, they should see a doctor for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Furthermore, if someone is worried about a coworker, friend, or family who may be suffering from hyperarousal or PTSD, they could urge them to get medical help or even volunteer to accompany them.
Similarly, if a person is concerned about a colleague, friend, or relative who may be experiencing hyperarousal or PTSD, they should encourage the person to speak with a doctor or even offer to accompany them.
Different types of mental health professionals
There are many types of professionals involved in mental health, including psychiatrists and psychologists. Depending on the condition a person has and its severity, the role of a mental health professional will vary.
Mental health is a wide-ranging and complex problem that requires various kinds of support or treatment.
There are different kinds of professionals who provide various services for mental health.
This article discusses various kinds of professionals in mental health, their services, and how to access them.
Visit our dedicated hub to discover more research-backed information to help support the mental well-being of you and your loved ones during this difficult time.
Assessment and therapy
To evaluate and diagnose mental health conditions and provide therapy, the following mental health professionals have the training and qualifications required.
Psychologists specialize in evaluating and providing psychotherapy and psychodiagnostic assessments of mental health concerns. They are not medical doctors and as treatment they do not prescribe medications.
In clinical psychology, psychologists typically have a Ph.D. and specialize in understanding the mind and human behavior. To practice, they also require a license.
There are many sub-fields of psychology, such as child or addiction psychology.
In diagnosing and treating mental health conditions, clinical psychologists have specialist training.
Psychologists can provide psychotherapy, using interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy ( DBT), to anyone with mental health symptoms.
Counselors and psychotherapists are terms used interchangeably by some people. Nevertheless, although both professionals can provide talking therapy without drugs, they are different.
Counselors are clinicians of master level who provide advice and support to individuals with particular problems.
Some counselors specialize in mental illness treatment. Other counselors may address mental health related problems, such as marriage or addiction counselors.
Clinical social worker
The aim of social workers is to protect individuals ‘ rights and well-being. Depending on the setting, their roles can vary.
Some social workers specialize in the provision of support for mental health, while others offer more services for case management.
To promote emotional wellness, they can evaluate the mental health of a person and use therapeutic techniques.
Usually, they work with individuals who have complex needs. For example, after discharge, a social worker may work in a psychiatric hospital to provide psychotherapy or help individuals reintegrate back into the community.
Social work is a broad field and can in various ways support individuals with mental health issues. Some social workers, for instance, specialize in domestic abuse. To provide assistance, they may work with other mental health professionals.
Those able to prescribe medication
Medications can be prescribed by the following mental health professionals.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors that specialize in psychiatry.
A range of different types of treatments are provided by psychiatrists, including prescribing medications and psychotherapy.
A psychiatrist’s treatment can also provide general medical treatment. Many individuals with mental health conditions also have physical health issues that can be helped by psychiatrists. They will, however, typically refer individuals to other general healthcare specialists and providers.
All types of mental health conditions are treated by psychiatrists, including but not limited to:
- personality disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- eating disorders
- addictions, including substance abuse disorder and alcohol misuse
- bipolar disorder
They will adapt treatments for each person. For instance, in individuals with bipolar disorder, they might recommend psychotherapy to relieve symptoms of depression.
Some prefer to specialize in sub-fields, such as psychiatry for teenagers or forensics.
In several places, including private practices and hospitals, they will work.
Psychiatric nurse, or mental health nurse practitioner
Depending on their level of training and qualification, psychiatric nurses may provide assessment , diagnosis, and counseling for different mental health conditions.
They can prescribe medicine in some states.
For someone who performs psychotherapy, ‘Psychotherapist’ is a protected title in some jurisdictions. It is an umbrella term that includes all talking treatments and the many approaches and methods of therapy. For instance, to provide psychotherapy, a psychiatrist or psychologist must undergo training.
Different kinds of psychotherapy exist. Some individuals, for instance, prefer to specialize in psychoanalysis, which aims to understand unconscious behavioral drivers.
A GP ‘s role in mental health
Although general practitioners (GPs), or family doctors, do not specialize in psychiatry, they can still support individuals with mental health problems, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
People with any mental health disorder should discuss their symptoms with a family doctor.
For several individuals, the first point of call for treatment is family physicians. They may understand the signs of a mental health condition and work together to provide treatment or counseling with other mental health practitioners.
Some drugs can be administered by family physicians, such as antidepressants. They can also, with another mental health professional, recommend psychotherapy.
Choosing a mental health professional
When choosing a mental health professional, a person should consider:
- their qualifications and experience
- the area they specialize in
- the techniques they use
- whether or not they prescribe medication
Talking to a family doctor first to get recommendations on the best choices will help.
People with mental health problems should know what kind of therapies are most helpful.
For several conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders, psychotherapy is a common method of treatment. Psychologists or psychologists may be certified psychotherapists.
Psychotherapy is now commonly available online. Via video conferencing tools or other channels, these interactive approaches seek to provide therapy. They are easy and convenient ways of accessing timely assistance for mental wellbeing.
Some individuals often take drugs, such as antidepressants, to assist with mental health problems. These drugs may be administered by a family doctor or psychiatrist.
Counseling should be considered for individuals who are having unique challenges they need help with. Counseling, for example, may assist couples with relationship problems that can affect their mental health.
Depending on the kind of mental health care, the cost varies. But this can be costly.
The cost of mental health care can be covered by health insurance policies. This could include health policies for families or employees.
Medicaid cover can also be given to those with a limited income. Online therapy can be a cheaper option for some people.
Seeking help from a mental health professional
Mental Health America highlight some warning signs that might indicate a mental health problem:
- long periods of depression
- extreme mood swings
- disproportionate fear, worry, or anxiety
- difficulty socializing
- extreme changes in appetite and sleep
- suicidal thoughts
- strong feelings of anger
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can call 800-799-4889.
An individual may be helped to understand and recover from mental health problems by many practitioners. Medications and psychotherapy may be offered by psychologists and other medical doctors. Psychologists and other mental health professionals can provide psychotherapy or counseling, but not medication.
When selecting a mental health provider, people should ask what kind of treatment they want to get. The nature of the mental health condition is also important. A family practitioner will help you through this.