As I write today, the sun is shining and there a hint of the warmth to come. Its been a long winter, lots of snow and who can forget the ‘polar vortex’. The snow is almost, almost all melted except in the corners where the snow hill is still standing, evidence of a long cold winter. Those of us who are winter sports challenged are looking forward to the thaw. Its time to shrug off the winter blues and welcome the beauty of spring.
Depression is of course more than the winter blues. People with depression may feel and experience
lack of interest and pleasure in everyday activities,
withdrawal from social contact and activities
Low energy, weight loss, headaches
feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness
feelings of excessive guilt
insomnia or excessive sleepiness
thoughts of death and suicide
Children and teens may also be irritable, angry and easily frustrated. Their grades may go down, they may avoid friends and social activity.
Depression is treatable. My approach towards depression is cognitive and behavioral. I do think that exercise is very helpful in treating and preventing depression. 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace is a good start. Recognizing the errors in thinking and changing the way we respond habitually to situations or events in or lives can be very helpful. Antidepressant medications are also very beneficial. Research tell us that with a combination of antidepressant medication and cognitive behavior therapy, depression can be treated. Mindfulness meditation has been found to be helpful for people with chronic depression.
One of my favorite recommendations is
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Book & CD) Paperback by Mark Williams , John Teasdale , Zindel Siegel, Jon Kabat- Zinn
Please call 201-952-9905 if you would like more information on the Mindful Way and cognitive behavior therapy for depression.