Can Focus Therapy Help Deal With Depression?

When you are clinically diagnosed with depression, everything in your life will suddenly change. First of all, you will start to doubt your capacity to make decisions for yourself. The truth is that you may become too afraid to face the effects of your mental health issue. Second, you will have a difficult time in dealing with the people surrounding you. Your primary concern is that they might judge you for your depressive order. Third, you will begin to search for ways on how to handle this situation. “Certain psychological factors put people at risk for depression. People with low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism, or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, may be prone to depression.” Ben Martin, Psy.D. elaborates.


We all know that one of the practical ways on how you can deal with your depression is to try focus therapy. There are different benefits that you can get out of this form of treatment. However, you can only achieve the benefits if you will cooperate in the sessions. Here are some of the ideal ways on how to do it the right:


Find The Perfect Therapist 


It is normal to feel the urgency to find a counselor or therapist the moment you find out about the depression. However, this does not mean that you will no longer exercise diligence in finding a professional mental health expert. As much as possible, take your time in choosing the perfect professional who will help you get over the depression. He must have the best qualities so that you will not have a hard time during the sessions. Feel free to ask for some referrals or recommendations from friends. They may know someone who can help you with this matter. Also, “The choice of which treatment for depression to choose should be a collaborative decision between you and your therapist, and depends on your personality, your preferences, and the type of depression you have.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC adds.


Do Not Miss An Appointment


Make an effort to come on time on all your appointments. Take note that a therapist is a busy professional. He caters to the needs of many patients or clients. As such, he cannot wait for you to show up whenever you are late. Instead, he will entertain other people. Unfortunately, getting another schedule or meeting with this person may take a long time. When this happens, it can cause a delay in your treatment. In the long run, this could have adverse effects on your treatment. In cases where you need to skip a session, be sure to call the office of the therapist to inform him ahead of time.  


Be Honest All The Time


“Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness.” Deborah Serani, PsyD. explains. Stop being afraid about telling your therapist everything that you feel or comes into your mind. Remember that your relationship with him is protected by client-therapist rule under the laws of the state. It means that he is not allowed to divulge any information that you tell him during the focus therapy sessions. If he violates this essential rule, he can be subjected to civil liability. The law providing for such right is protection on your part so that you can freely tell him anything. Practice honesty as it can help you feel better about everything.


How Therapy For Depression Has Changed Over The Years


The World Health Organization reports that over 300M people around the globe and across all ages suffer from depression. Of this staggering amount, far fewer than half get any treatment for such a disorder.


“Many people mistakenly believe that if you can’t see it like you can a broken bone, it must be less significant and therefore can be overcome by simply using willpower. If not, they mistakenly believe that people who suffer from depression are weak.”  Simon Rego, PsyD. 


While this percentage still seems small, more and more people are getting professional help each day. Treatment for depression has radically changed since depression was even first discovered to be an actual issue.


In this article, let’s explore what exactly has changed in the world of depression and treatment. Despite some stigma still existing today, you’ll be glad you didn’t live in the past.


Ancient Era

During ancient times, people would attribute mental illness as a spiritual problem. People cited evil spirits and demons as causes of depression. Because of this, they would go to religious leaders for help. Treatment came in the form of starvation, physical restraint, and even severe beatings. This treatment was prevalent in Chinese and Egyptian cultures.


As for the Greeks, people credit Hippocrates, father of medicine, to be the first to come up with a somewhat formal idea about depression. Called melancholia during their time, he believed that an imbalance of body fluids or “humors” was responsible for depression. Melancholia was specifically caused by too much black bile from the spleen. Treatment was diet, exercise, and bloodletting. 


“Eating healthfully, exercising regularly and getting a good night’s sleep are all important elements in a mentally and physically healthy life.” Staci Lee Schnell, MS, CS, LMFT


Roman philosopher Cicero would later theorize that the cause of depression was psychological issues such as grief, fear, and anger.


Common Era

During the Common Era (or equivalently, anno Domini), many people still believed that beatings and starvation should cure mental illness. One doctor, however, stood out. Persian physician and philosopher Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi or Rhazes would see mental illness differently. He believed that the brain had something to do with depression. The philosopher also believed in providing rewards for good behavior – an early form of behavioral therapy.


17th Century

In 1621, Robert Burton published a book entitled “The Anatomy of Melancholy.” In this book, the English scholar described social and psychological reasons behind melancholy. These reasons included fear, poverty, and social isolation, which was the further work on the earlier theory of philosopher Cicero.

18th Century: The Age Of Enlightenment

Despite its name, many people continued to misunderstand mental illness during the Age of Enlightenment. For ordinary folk, they said this as something that people should be locked up for. Thus, those who suffered from depression were often isolated from society and did not receive the care they needed.


In the latter part of this era, other doctors tried to come up with alternative theories. Some sought out physical causes of depression. Others philosophized that internal conflict was to blame as people struggled between what they wanted and what they knew was right.


19th Century

During the 19th century, there was a breakthrough in mental health. Emil Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist, distinguished the difference between manic depression and schizophrenia. He stated that there was a genetic basis for depression and much needed medical attention.


It was also around this time that psychoanalysis was starting to develop with the studies of Sigmund Freud.


20th Century

During the 1900s, Sigmund Freud would continue to hone his theory of psychoanalysis. This theory would include developing hypotheses and studies on depression. He would write about depression being a response to some form of loss. This loss would be either physical, like a death in the family, or symbolic, like not being able to achieve a goal.


However, the medical world would not immediately accept Freud’s theory. Many still saw depression as a physical disorder of the brain. Many patients went in for lobotomies and electroconvulsive therapy. Lobotomies meant to calm patients down by destroying the frontal portion of the brain. The man who started the procedure, Antonio Egas Moniz, even won a Nobel Prize for this.


Summary And Latest Developments

Today, many doctors have now come to see mental illness far differently from before. It is no longer seen as a spiritual problem caused by demons and spirits – at least in the medical field. Depression is now understood to be the leading cause of ill health.


Many psychiatrists are now equipped with updated knowledge of different treatment methods. Therapists are also trained individuals who can provide people with treatment such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and even medication.


The only obstacle left between people and treatment is social stigma. We now have many proven methods that help with depression. We need only stand up and take control of our lives by taking the first step towards therapy.


 “Making the decision to enter into treatment requires a commitment to prioritize your mental health and make some significant life changes.” –Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC

Coping With Medical School Stress

Medical school can test your limits. In four (or more) years, you will be stretched both physically and emotionally. You will have to do hospital rotations for consecutive nights. You will have to memorize a lot of medical jargon: all kinds of diseases, their symptoms, and their corresponding cure. During your internship, you will have to study cases while establishing a good rapport with your patients as well as your superiors. 


However, there are times when you ask yourself if all this is even worth it. You tend to question your decisions. You might be thinking of quitting medical school altogether. What should you do to endure medical school and the undue stress you are currently suffering? Here are some simple and straightforward tips you might find useful:


Maintain A Close-Knit Circle Of Friends

Having friends in medical school has many benefits. You will be able to read your materials faster because you have a group of friends that will support you. You have a de facto study group every time. “You know the ones—these are the people you know you can always call, text, or email when you need to feel a connection.” David Klow, a licensed therapist said.


You and your friends will be able to help each other in preparing for your exams. Each of you has your own specializations. Hence, you will be able to lend each other’s hand in understanding each topic better. 


Find A Healthy Hobby

Your hobby should be something that will help you take your mind off your medical school-induced stress. Take note that this hobby should be healthy. This hobby should not jeopardize your health. Remove excessive drinking, recreational drugs, or binge eating from this potential list of “hobbies.” As Whittney Thoman, Senior Exercise Physiologist used to say, “The more you are active, the more you decrease your risk for chronic diseases, including cancer.”


Do you enjoy watching movies or tv series? Maybe it’s time to take a breather from studying and memorizing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (or some other disease).  


Establish A Support Group

Your support group can be a different set of people from your medical school friends. These people can include your friends from home, high school friends, and even your relatives. These are people who know you well enough from the inside out. Remember, “We only have control of ourselves and our own desire for growth and change. Part of that growth and change is deciding the type of person we allow in our lives, and the positive impact they can have on us.” Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC said.


Run to these people when you think you are already running empty. They can help you recharge by talking to you about the things that are going on inside your head. 


Decide On Going For Therapy 

If you think that you are already entertaining depressive thoughts for a long time, you should also consider going to therapy. Stress can contribute to developing depression. You may have already known what the benefits of going to therapy are, but you are still scared to try. Don’t be scared of the stigma of going to therapy. Luckily, there is a lot of awareness now about mental health


Even the strongest people fall sometimes. It is best to acknowledge your weaknesses to be a better version of yourself. Your therapist will help you with every step of the way. 


Medical school is a daunting place. Only the brave and the willing can finish this grueling training. You can get past medical school-related stress with the help of your classmates, engaging in healthy hobbies, and going for therapy. You will be sure to pass with flying colors and with your mental health intact. 

Client Centered Therapy For Depression

Have you noticed that the rate of suicide keeps on increasing every year? A quick check on the latest news would reveal that the percentage of people committing suicide is growing in several places all over the world. Torey C. Richards, LMHC says, “Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between 14 and 25, and about 30,000 people in the United States commit suicide each year.” This can be alarming, which is why there is a necessity to spread awareness about this matter. It is time to educate everyone about depression and what people can do about it.


Defining Depression


The most common misconception or belief about depression is that it is a state of mind. For many people, they feel that depression is just a simple feeling that will soon go away when ignored or not acted upon. This is entirely wrong because depression is more than an emotion or thought. Instead, it is a mental health illness, which is also known as a major depressive disorder. A person who has this psychological condition feels extreme sadness, grief, guilt, loneliness or loss of interest in a lot of things. “Depression is different from passing sadness or temporary frustration with life’s issues. There are number of common signs for depression and they tend to be persistent.” Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC adds.


Knowing The Symptoms


According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D. “Depression symptoms take many forms, and no two people’s experiences are exactly alike. A person who’s suffering from this disorder may not seem sad to others.” There are many symptoms and warning signs that you need to watch out for when it comes to depression. However, it is significant to emphasize that the best option is to always seek the assistance or support of a health practitioner or psychiatrist to determine whether an individual is positive for the major depressive order. Keep in mind that only the licensed professionals can give proper diagnosis about the mental health problem. These are some of the symptoms to watch out for:

  •   Difficulty sleeping or getting rest at night;
  •   Withdrawing from relationships with other people;
  •   Choosing to do things on his own and rejecting the help of others;
  •   Blaming oneself for a tragedy or heartbreaking event;
  •   Losing interest in old hobbies or activities; or
  •   Getting irritated or annoyed easily.


Resorting To Client-Centered Therapy


Are you depressed as of the moment? Do you feel that everyone is rejecting you? Is it difficult on your part to go on with your day? If you answered yes to all these, then do not hesitate to seek for the help of a professional. Admitting to yourself or accepting the reality that you have an issue or problem is not an easy thing to do. It will make you doubt your capabilities as well as result in lowered self-esteem. However, it is essential that you admit defeat or loss at this point in your life. Look for an expert in client-centered therapy. You need to talk to a therapist who could help you overcome depression. Just remember that the process will not be a walk in the park. There will be more challenges, but it will be easier to deal with because of the therapist’s help and guidance.


Do not give up on yourself. What you are going through or experiencing right now is only temporary. Things will change for the better as long as you put your mind and heart into it. Do not rush in choosing a therapist to handle your case so that you can avoid errors or mistakes. It may take time to accomplish this, but it will be worth it in the end.