Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Qualified Clinical Supervisor. She received her PhD in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida in 2002. In addition to being a practicing clinician, she has provided training to counselors, social workers, nurses and case managers internationally since 2006 through AllCEUs.com
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Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.
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How to Get Help For Depression
People who have depression often think they can’t get better. But it is possible to treat the symptoms with medicine and therapy. It takes time to recover, but most people feel better with treatment.
People with depression have feelings of sadness and hopelessness that interfere with everyday life. They may also have thoughts of suicide or self-harm. These feelings are different from the occasional low mood that everyone feels. Depression is a medical illness that affects the brain, and it can cause physical problems like heart problems and digestive issues. It’s more common in women than in men, but it can affect anyone of any age or gender. It can also run in families.
Some people think that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. But research suggests that it’s more complex than that. There’s a lot going on inside and outside nerve cells that affects your mood, so it’s not as simple as one chemical being too high or too low. But some of the causes are clear. Stressful events, including the breakup of a relationship or a serious illness, can trigger it. And certain personality traits, such as being more agreeable or neurotic, and a family history of depression may make you more vulnerable to it.
In addition, depression can lead to changes in the levels of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that send messages between nerve cells. These changes can affect your mood and how you relate to other people. It’s also been found that depression can alter how your body processes hormones. This can affect your energy level, make you more sensitive to pain and make it harder for you to concentrate or take decisions.
Talk therapy (or psychotherapy) is an important part of depression treatment. It can be done individually or in groups, and it can help you learn coping skills. It can also help you change your distorted views of yourself and the world around you. There are many types of talk therapy, but some that work well for depression include cognitive behavioral and interpersonal therapies.
It can also be helpful to join a support group for depression. This can give you a chance to hear from others who have been through a similar experience and learn how they coped with their symptoms. Having a close friend or family member who knows what you’re going through can be a great source of comfort.
If you’re thinking about getting help for depression, start with your primary care doctor or a mental health professional. They can give you a thorough checkup and help find the best treatment for you.
Lifestyle changes, therapy and sometimes medication can help. It may take 4 to 6 weeks for antidepressants to work, so don’t stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to do so. Some people need to switch medicines to find the one that works best for them. And some need to add a second medicine or a higher dose to see results.