Treatments for depression have many goals. These goals include providing a safe environment for the patient, developing or establishing a support system and encouraging the patient to utilize it, improving the patient’s problem-solving skills, and improving the patient’s coping skills. Developing a depression management program will equip the patient with the necessary resources to handle his condition.
It is important to create a safe environment for a person afflicted with depression. A safe environment ensures that a patient will not pose any danger to himself and others. This can only be done, of course, with the cooperation of the patient. A safe environment also entails evaluating the existing support system of the patient: if there is one to begin with, and whether it contributes to the patient’s well-being or is detrimental to it.
It is important for the patient to have a support system. Support systems are vital in keeping the patient from withdrawing and isolating himself. Isolation is the last thing a person with depression needs. Support systems can encourage a patient to stay active in life. Family, friends, and support groups who have a positive influence can help a patient make positive changes in his life.
It is important that treatment for depression facilitate the improvement of the patient’s problem-solving skills. People suffering from depression generally have inadequate problem-solving skills, which is one factor that can aggravate their feelings of frustration, helplessness, and hopelessness. People with depression feel as though their problems are so huge and all-encompassing. Not being able to effectively solve problems also compromises self-esteem and compounds one’s sense of failure. Problem-solving therapy can help patients develop a systematic way of identifying and solving their problems, as well as setting realistic goals in order to establish control over their lives. Patients learn to deal with disappointment when things do not work out as expected, and are more prepared to try again.
Effective coping skills are also needed by people with depression. Treatments for depression should include helping the patient improve his coping skills. Coping skills are needed by everyone. They are ways through which people can adapt to their environment, handle stressful situations, solve problems, and enrich their life. People with depression in particular will benefit greatly from effective coping skills. Activities such as regular exercise, sports, yoga and other meditative practices, can become part of an effective set of coping skills. Improving one’s eating habits, as well as getting enough rest, are included as well. Therapy can help a patient become more aware of his psychological make-up, the ebb and flow of emotions, and the mental scripts he has. The more aware he is, the more capable he becomes in changing unhelpful habits and tendencies for the better.
While most people recover from depression, the condition can recur. Some patients do not fully recover and will have to learn to live with depression. This is where a good depression management program comes in. When a patient is able to develop problem-solving skills, coping skills and support systems that are effective, he can ably face and manage his depression. He will be able to prevent depression from getting in the way of living a good life.
Treatments for depression can have many benefits for patients. With the proper and suitable treatment, a person suffering from depression increases his chances of transcending his condition and leading a full, enriching life.