Depression Support Groups

Depression support groups are available for anyone who is experiencing symptoms of hopelessness, anxiety, major mood changes, and suicidal thoughts. Many health professionals consider depression to be the cause of disability in large segments of the population worldwide. Almost 20 million people suffer with some depressive symptoms and women are among the most afflicted. While it can be extremely debilitating and difficult to overcome in some instances, there is hope for almost everyone who receives assistance through depression treatment centers, individual counseling, physiological treatments and a wide range of other treatment choices.

Symptoms can range from mild to acute, but most often include sadness, fatigue, unfounded guilt, sense of worthlessness, lack of concentration, inability to sleep well, and a feeling of emptiness. There are also physical symptoms that are associated such as digestive problems, chronic pain or headaches. Many of the nation's depression treatment centers have recognized the overlap of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects and attempt to provide a combined approach to treatment. Each center operates from a certain philosophical viewpoint and will have its own variety of psychological treatments including depression support groups or other forms of therapy.

There are many Christian depression treatment centers that base their treatment models not only on the medical aspects of the affliction but also biblical applications for personal resolutions. Since much of depressive symptoms are rooted in personal struggles, perspectives and circumstantial conflicts, hope for real resolution and peace is possible through a Christian world view. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3) This is not to underrate the importance of underlying physical problems that are also associated with depressive symptoms. Many Christian depression treatment centers provide medical doctors and health care professionals who can either locate or eliminate any physical factors that may cause or contribute to depressive symptomology.

In order to receive the best help possible, those who have the classic symptoms usually benefit from a complete physical that takes into account any health problems known or unknown. Serious cases of depression may require hospitalization in one of the many treatment centers around the country in order to protect the patient and to reach the root causes more quickly. Licensed, treatment centers provide testing, personalized physician's care, psychological analysis, individual therapy, and depression support groups. Depending on the particular philosophy of each center, many different types of therapies and counseling methods are used to assist depressed individuals in resolving related issues.

Some of the common secular approaches to depression are behavioral and interpersonal therapies. Behavioral therapies are generally based on the assumption that depressive thoughts and actions are part of an overall negative belief system that can be altered by changing these behavior patterns through recognition and reinforcement. Patients are taught to recognize their negative patterns and choose to replace these patterns with positive patterns. Behavioral therapies have much of their basis in behavior modification techniques and attempt to teach a patient to re-learn and replace poor responses. Interpersonal therapy generally delves into an individual's personal relationships in order to find the source of problems. Interpersonal therapy uses a broad range of techniques such as individual counseling and depression support groups to reach into many relationship issues from many perspectives. Along with various therapy models, many centers will choose to put patients on medicine therapy in order to alleviate the most serious symptoms.

Anti-depressant drugs are usually prescribed for people who enter depression treatment centers for depressive episodes. Anti-depressants are not limited to hospitalized patients, but are widely prescribed to general patients by not only psychologists, but internists, general practitioners and gynecologists when a doctor believes his or her patient can benefit from this type of drug therapy. Some people may only use the drug for a short term while others may have a difficult time coping with life without it. There are many opinions as to the benefit of long term use of anti-depressants, but most health care or counseling specialists recognize the need for its use in seriously depressed patients who are a threat to themselves or others.

As in the case of drugs, there are also many opinions as to the benefits or harm caused to patients who are not properly handled medically, psychologically and spiritually during times of depressive episodes. The link between spiritual and health issues as they relate to depression is constantly debated. Many people have found real relief when their situation is addressed from a holistic viewpoint. Understanding that humans are a tri-part being, i.e. body, soul and spirit who are created by God, provides the foundation for a balanced approach to a number of life's difficulties, not the least of which is real depression. Helpful avenues such as depression support groups and treatment centers that understand this connection can provide much needed direction in finding real solutions for desperate people.

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