Exhausted Woman

Gretchen Heuring

Healing From Depression

By | 07.06.2014


Your body is not the same as my body. Every body is different and so we respond differently to experiences, temperature, beauty and medications. All kinds of things will effect you in one way and me in another.


Treatment for illnesses varies from person to person because we are so different. You might be able to take antihistamines for cold or flu symptoms and have a much better day. Antihistamines put me right to sleep and though I may feel fewer flu symptoms, my day is lost to grogginess and slumber.


Effective treatments for depression vary too. If your friend or loved one is depressed, he may have to try different therapies before he begins to feel better. Of course this causes extra complications for the healing process because a depressed person might believe nothing will help.


The very best and most effective therapies involve talking with a licensed practitioner AND taking medications. I'm going to explain why it's so important to do both things. Before I begin my explanation, I need to emphasize that changes in medication and/or the therapist might be required to get things moving forward on the right track. If a treatment program doesn't seem to be working, don't give up. Go back to your doctor and make arrangements to try something else. Wellness and happiness are available.


Types of Drugs

We may have heard someone say that she has tried this drug or that drug and it "didn't work." Or there were side effects that made her feel disassociated. There are older drugs used for depression that didn't work for everyone and had other unpleasant side effects. Just in case you are interested there were two classes of these drugs, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Some people still take these drugs with no side effects, but generally newer classes of drugs are prescribed now. TCAs include Anafranil, Praminil, Norpramine, Victoril, Asendin, or Evadine. MAOIs might be recognized as Marplan, Niamid, Aurorix, or Azilect. There are others you can find on the Wikipedia for TCAs or Wikipedia for MAOIs. Another older class of drugs for depression are called selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The first SSRI was Prozac. Though many people have taken Prozac successfully, the prevalence of side effects is well known.

Newer medications don't fall neatly into a class and have fewer side effects. The older drugs are still taken by many and work well for them, but newer antidepressants have fewer potential side effects. These include Cymbalta, Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Xanax. There are several others available that could be prescribed depending on the diagnosis.



Psychotherapy is a scary name for a treatment, but it should go hand in hand with drugs for depression. Working with a licensed therapist can help a person manage his problems better and live a healthier, more satisfying life. There are different forms of psychotherapy and trying one form and then another is not unusual. Therapists tend to specialize, so changing forms of therapy would mean changing to a new therapist. The old therapist might have been a good guy, but a new form of treatment most likely requires a different person.


One form of therapy is based on the idea that your moods are directly related to your thinking pattern. Negative thoughts lie "It's all my fault" affect your sense of self and undermine your self esteem. This would be called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and the therapist would help you recognize your self-critical thoughts and ask you to judge the truth of the underlying assumptions. If you are not doing things you enjoy, a CBT therapist might help you schedule enjoyable experiences.


Another form is called Interpersonal Psychotherapy. This type of therapist helps you concentrate on current relationships at home and elsewhere. If you have suffered a loss, the therapist would help you move through the grieving process, talking about memories and regrets. Together, you might explore self-defeating behaviors and practice new ways to solve problems as you interact with others.


Psychodynamic Therapy focuses on early relationships and events that might influence your current situation. This form of therapy is based on the concept that our behaviors are based on unconscious as well as conscious motives and it is important to understand and recognize our unconscious selves.


These forms of therapy are quite different and different people are likely to respond well to one more than another.


Getting Well From Depression Takes Time

Healing from depression takes time, but you can feel better. It takes some other things too. Fresh air, healthy and tasty meals, laughter, and finding beauty. You are what you have. Take care of you!


Harvard Report On Depression

Understanding Depression: Harvard Medical School

Available for purchase from Harvard Medical School

From Harvard Special Reports: "Sadness touches all of our lives at different times, but depression can have enormous depth and staying power. It is more than a passing bout of sadness or dejection, or feeling down in the dumps. It can leave you feeling continuously burdened and can sap the joy out of once-pleasurable activities." An excellent and useful report downloadable from Harvard Medical School. $29.00 Buy Here.



Man Loving His Dog

10 Reasons To Adopt An Older Dog

If you need some reasons, these are great!





Does he have Alzheimer's? The Alzheimer's Association has defined ten tell-tale signs of this terrible disease. We discuss them here.



iMemories: Save 20% promo code: Save20. Expires 8/15/14


Anti Depressant Skills Workbook

AntiDepressant Skills Workbook

This excellent workbook for people who are depressed and those who care about them is free. Written by Drs. Dan Bilsker and Randy Paterson.


sad woman annoyed man


How I Feel About Depressed People

By | 07.01.2014


Personally, I think depressed people are annoying. They cry about things that don't seem important and then fake being happy. I can't find the real person in there and I just want to run away.


The other day, I mentioned this to a friend who is a psychologist. He works with all kinds of people including depressed ones. He suggested that I find out more about depression. "You probably want to run away because depression scares you," he said. "In my experience, people are usually scared by things they don't understand."


Of course he was right and I took his advice. On my quest to understand Depression I met many amazing people. The most important thing I learned is that depression is not a choice. Depressed people are not just pouting.


Doctors Dan Bilsker and Randy Paterson have written a workbook for depressed people and concerned partners, friends and family. Their book can be downloaded for free as it was funded by a grant from the Canadian Ministry of Health. It is called the Antidepressant Skills Workbook. They say:


"Depression is among the most painful and difficult of all human experiences. It robs those who have it of energy, interest, and the will to make things better. It brings with it a profoundly negative view of the self, the world, and the future. During depression, it seems as though nothting can change, as though you will never get better."


In their workbook, they stress that getting well from depression takes time. You can't just take pills for a week and be over it like you would if you have a sore throat. People respond to medications differently so different pills might have to be tried. The path to getting well and true happiness is easier with talking therapy. That means regular meetings with a licensed therapist.


After looking at the Antidepressant Skills Workbook, I went to one of my favorite sources for medical information. This is Harvard Medical School, one of the top teaching and research medical centers in the U.S. I found a lot of information about depression there. there is a Special Health Report on Depression. It's not free, but it has some good and thoughtful information.


So now I believe that people suffering from depression really need our help. We can't "jolly them out of it" but we can encourage them to join us in fun activities, talk to them (even when they don't look at us), pat them a little, hold hands if they let us, and we can listen. Depressed people really need someone to listen...and I need to care.