Grappling with Depression

From how we screen for depression and who can treat depression to how it affects college students and how grief and depression overlap, news about depression has been a common topic of published research in the past couple weeks, and it will surely continue to be so. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems people experience, and it’s also one of the leading factors inspiring people to find a therapist and get guidance about the problems they face. Depression is complex and nuanced, can arise for many different reasons, and responds differently to different treatment in different people. Needless to say, the murky beast that is depression can be overwhelming, frustrating and even debilitating in one’s own life.

But research on depression offers continual insight, adding small piece by small piece to the larger puzzle. The landscape of depression is as varied and diverse as the people it affects, but there are plenty of shared threads that emerge, offering insight into how psychotherapists can continually improve their abilities to help patients dealing with depression. In addition to the news stories listed above, a few new articles of depression-related research have just come out:

  • Peer support for depression can significantly bolster the benefits that individuals get from psychotherapy. Many other mental health issues have support groups, such as substance abuse and grief, but depression does not. Research from the University of Michigan Health System finds that peer support, even through the internet, can really help.
  • Addiction-prone women actually see depression symptoms increase over time, according to another study done by the University of Michigan Health System. This sets depression apart from other troubles experienced by addiction-prone women, such as alcohol abuse and antisocial behavior—both of which do not worsen over time.
  • Finally, a story about therapy and treatment for depression. Echoing previous research about treatment accessibility, the Rollings School of Public Health at Emory University finds that racial and ethnic minority adolescents are less likely than their peers to receive needed treatment for serious depression.

© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Dale

    Dale

    March 4th, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    We are constantly on a journey to learn more and to be more. These are some very valuable pointers in the right direction of leading us to a greater understanding of what so many experience with depression and the myriad of ways that different people can be affected with this illness.

  • KEN

    KEN

    March 4th, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    I believe depressed people who live by themselves and have few friends suffer more than those that live with a family and have a lot of friends.Social connections can help a lot in something like depression.A support system around you comprising of family and friends is a true asset.

  • Sammi

    Sammi

    March 5th, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    The more we get to know about something like depression the better prepared we all are in handling it, no matter what way it might show up in our lives. There is something about getting familiar with something that allows us to deal with it in a way that is bound to be way more effective.

  • Cheryl Gowin

    Cheryl Gowin

    March 5th, 2011 at 8:07 AM

    Understanding depression is important as getting help when one falls into the hole of depression. It is encouraging to see more understanding with this condition.

  • johnty r

    johnty r

    March 5th, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    depression really feels like a curse. it’s very different from a physical ailment because you just cannot fix it as easily with meds. and even when you are recovering in therapy the reason of depression will be playing at the back of your mind. been there done that.

  • Joan

    Joan

    March 7th, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Peer support sounds great on the surface but I know that when I was depressed this was something that I did not want to share with the people that I knew. I trued to keep what I was going through a secret so it was hard to share this aspect of my life that I was having to deal with.

  • ELIZA

    ELIZA

    March 7th, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    Depression is not only difficult for the one going through it but also for those around the individual and the caretakers.I’ve seen my aunt being depressed and how my mom struggled with her too.

    I think looking into what cause the depression and maybe fixing that would lead a better result.

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