By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CPC
Depression is real. Depression is one of the greatest afflictions and killers of our time. According to the National Institute of Mental Health 18.8 million Americans have depressive disorders each year. That is nearly 10% of the adult population in our country.
Depression is real, depression is prevalent, and clinical depression is not just a sadness that one can shake off. So what’s the solution? How can someone struggling with depression get help?
According to board certified psychiatrist Todd Clements, MD, when initially treating depression there are four areas to look at–Kills, Fills, Skills, and Pills.
Kills–What are the toxins in one’s life that could contribute to depression? A diet lacking in proper nutrition. Drug or alcohol use.
Fills–What can one add to their life that is healthy? Healthy fills include exercise, proper nutrition, nurturing friendships, and support groups.
Skills–What skills does the person afflicted by depression need to acquire? These are often life skills that can be taught by a counselor such as how to set healthy boundaries in relationships, how to process anger, and how to go through grief in a healthy way.
Pills–Does one need supplements or medication? In regards to supplements, there are numerous supplements that have been shown to improve brain function. High on the list is fish oil. Multiple studies published in respected journals tout the positive benefit of fish oil for individuals struggling with depression.
Prescription medication is the most controversial treatment for depression as it often carries a stigma that many prefer to avoid. The reality is the some people have a biochemical imbalance that may require medication. Similar to if one needed insulin to stabilize blood sugar.
Untreated depression really is a matter of life and death as it can lead to suicide and other self harm. If you struggle with depression talk to your physician to ensure you get the care you need and deserve.
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