Marriage Counseling: Depression Screening Month is Here

Marriage counseling is a helpful course of treatment for those who have loved ones diagnosed with depression. October 7 is National Depression Screening Day, whose goal is to bring depression into awareness and give help to those who need it. If you’re loved one is suffering and you aren’t sure how to help – look into marriage counseling through Take Charge Inc. in Overland Park. 

If you live with someone who is depressed and see their day-to-day life, you might be confused and even afraid for their safety at times. More so, if you have never been depressed yourself, you could have a hard time imagining what it feels like for them. Marriage counseling is a good way for couples to help each other and reconnect. 

According to the National Institute on Mental Illness, 19.4 million adults in the U.S. have had at least one major depressive episode in their lives. In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its recommendations on screening and now recommends that all adults should be screened for depression as part of primary care visits. Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in the general population, and the most common mental health condition in patients seen by primary care professionals.

Depression is a diagnosis clustering the symptoms of the neurobiological functioning of the nervous system.  It means the nervous systems is experiencing cues of danger and is attempting to function by going into a protective state. 

There are 5 common signs of depression to look out for: 

  1. Feelings of Emptiness – Most people relate depression to sadness, and while that can certainly be one symptom, one big symptom of depression is an empty feeling. Two-thirds of patients with depression present with somatic symptoms (things like headaches, back problems, or chronic pain), making a diagnosis of depression more difficult.
  2. Irritability or Loss of Interest – Depression frequently causes feelings of irritability or restlessness for no apparent reason. Also, lack of interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy is also common. 
  3.  Difficulty Concentrating – Focusing on tasks and making decisions can be difficult to those with depression. This can also lead to things like lack of energy, and excessive sleeping. 
  4. Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain – Losing or gaining a significant amount of weight without dieting or intention could be due to depression. When depression hits people tend to suffer with eating disorders as they are unable to regulate their appetite. 
  5. Suicidal Ideation – Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, feelings of being worthless or unimportant. No matter if you have an actual plan or not, if you find yourself wishing for death or thinking about suicide, please seek help immediately.

While everyone’s experience with depression is unique, so are the ways of handling and helping those who are dealing with depression. Learning more about how to support someone with depression, sometimes through marriage counseling, can help you feel more empowered and ready to lend a hand when they need it. Here are a few ideas to start with:

  • Understanding your nervous system with assistance of therapy. Understanding your nervous system is experiencing cues of danger which is effecting your biology. 
  • Take Care of Yourself: You cannot help anyone else if you deplete yourself first. Periodically take some time to step back from the situation and ‘recharge your batteries’.
  •  Acknowledge Your Feelings: Depression can be demanding, both for the person experiencing it, and those who care for them. Remember, your feelings are a valid response to a challenging situation to navigate.
  • Get the Facts on Depression: There are several trusted resources on the internet to provide facts, including symptoms and treatment. Reading up on what your loved one is experiencing, as well as any myths, misconceptions, and stigma, can help you better understand your loved one.
  • Be Supportive: Most times, the most helpful thing you can offer to someone going through a hard time – is your presence. Just being a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on can be a very comforting experience.
  • Find a Support Group: Support groups can be a beneficial resource for people with depression as well as their friends and family. Talking with other people who share your diagnosis can be a great way to find encouragement and support.

Marriage is one of the most important relationships we will ever have, but it can also be one of the most complicated. Through marriage counseling you can help your loved one understand ant learn to address their depression and get the proper screening. A good screening tool is located here. Systematic screening carries the potential for huge benefits. Untreated depression is associated with decreased quality of life, increased risk of suicide, and poor physiological outcomes when depression co-occurs with chronic medical conditions. There is evidence of the effectiveness of screening in adults and recommendations for screening for depression in primary care.

If you’re loved one is suffering, please don’t wait. Despite that America is the most prosperous society, we face an epidemic of depression and anxiety based on suppressing our emotional needs. Couples often feel disconnected in their most important relationship – their marriage. Take Charge Inc. offers marriage counseling to those located in Overland Park, Johnson County, Leawood and Olathe. For more information about depression treatment or marriage counseling, call today at (913) 239-8255 or click here to schedule an appointment. 

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