I have been treating Depression for my entire career-for over 52 years. There seems to have been an increase of Depression in our society throughout my career. In the past, there was relatively more neurotic depression. Gradually the incidence of more severe Major Depression has grown so that a significant number of my patients have it. Major Depression can be quite deleterious both physically and mentally and impede healing from physical illnesses, With the usual sleep disruption and other stress or vegetative symptoms it interferes with all aspects of a person’s functioning- vocationally, educationally and in terms of relationship issues.
With severe depression the risk of self harms increases and must be carefully evaluated and followed. Early in my career there was much more stigma attached to all mental/emotional problems so people were often resistant to seeking treatment. Over the years, the stigma seems to have lessened considerably so that people are now more willing to seek my services. Nonetheless, many people suffer with depression and inertia and seeming resistance to seeking psychother4apy can be too common.
If you or someone close to you has strong feelings of depression, psychotherapeutic help can assist you to improve your mood by teaching you to reduce your inner distress and examine and modify some long held but dysfunctional beliefs which feed the depression. Don’t expect a quick fix. The depression likely developed slowly so it will take time to help you achieve and sustain a feeling of adequacy in coping with your problems and improving your mood.
Psychotropic medication can often help but is seldom enough to accomplish really adequate relief. In my experience, psychotherapy/hypnotherapy can add to what the patient has achieved with medication. Some patients don’t want to take medication especially because of the side effects. Sometimes those patients can benefit from psychotherapy/hypnotherapy alone if they are welling to work hard at it and engage in some necessary lifestyle changes that counteract depression. Nonetheless I encourage all of my patients with severe depression to be evaluated for antidepressant medication
Some practitioners consider depression as prevalent as the common cold. With good treatment the outcome can be of great benefit to the individual and all those, family, friends, coworkers, etc.with whom the depressed individual is associated.