Definition of "depression."
It is an alteration in mood characterized by sadness, pessimism, despondence, and hopelessness.
There are two types of depression.
Endogenous depression is genetic and not triggered by an event.
Exogenous depression is caused by an event such as a loss of a loved one.
Factors that increase the risk of depression.
Sex (women express depression twice as often as men.)
Adolescents become depressed due to the maturation process.
Middle-age depression is common between ages 44 and 60.
The elderly become depressed due to isolation and decreased social roles.
Signs and symptoms of depression.
Depressed moods or affect.
Feelings of hopelessness.
Withdrawal and isolation.
Insomnia or excessive sleeping.
Excessive eating or loss of appetite.
Tiredness and listlessness.
Loss of interest in normal activities.
Decreased ability to concentrate.
Suicidal wishes or behavior.
Agitation or restlessness.
Tenseness and anxiousness.
Measures to decrease depression.
Encourage client to set realistic goals.
Recognize and praise even minor accomplishments.
Spend time with client and encourage verbalization of feelings.
Show acceptance of client's expression of feelings.
Allow client some degree of control.
Encourage regular exercise.
Be honest and consistent.
Allow time for responses.
Encourage client to make decisions.
Reinforce reality. (Provide "Reality Orientation" handout.)
Do not leave the client alone for long periods of time.
Encourage social interactions.
Encourage client to become involved in prior interests and activities.
Gradually increase expectations as client improves.
Obtain medical attention for any prolonged signs of depression.
Assistance available for depression
Crisis intervention hotlines.
Local support groups.
Stress management techniques.