Coping with Depression

It is estimated that one third of the American population is depressed in some manner.  This kind of data is replicated the world over.  Some theoreticians believe that this is inevitable in that the reality of being human brings with it its own depressive quality.  For example, Freud long held that the nature of human reality is painful at its core.  Whatever one believes in this area, there seems to be no doubt that depression appears to be a major reality of being human and living this life today.

How do we cope with being depressed?  To begin with, it helps to distinguish types of depression.  While there may be different ways to describe depression there are essentially two types: (1) clinical depression, a chronic state of being and feeling depressed; contemporary research and theory sees this type as biologically, that is, neurologically, based, arising largely from brain dysfunctioning and subsequent negative learned behaviors (2) reactive depression, depression less chronic, resultant from some intensely negative event in a person's life that has a intense impact on a person's life, e.g, the loss of a person dearly loved, the loss a work position, the loss of health that occurs in a severe illness. 
Whatever the type of depression the result is the same.  A person feels bad, that is depressed, thinking depressive thoughts, behaving in a depressed way.  How does this person cope with the depressive state?
For one thing, coping is centered in recognizing that I am depressed if that is my state of being.  Sometimes this is quite difficult in that we do not like to accept this reality; it is just too difficult.  Yet the reality faces us.  After recognizing that I am depressed the next step is to try to develop a plan for what to do in response to the depressed state.  This, too, is often difficult in that a person may so heavily weighted down by the depression that there is little if any energy for developing a strategy, a plan.  Yet this is the second step needed.  A third step, then, is to find someone to talk to about how you are feeling, thinking and behaving.  The optimal choice here is to find a professionally trained person who knows how to work with depression.  But, for various reasons, this may not be immediately possible for a person; the person needs to seek someone to talk to will listen carefully and compassionately.  A fourth step is to secure someone who will be available in an ongoing fashion to professionally work with you, i.e., a therapist, counselor, whatever type of professionally trained and licensed person is available in your setting.  A fifth and final step is to discover and help sustain involvement in some type of group and/or community that will support you in your work to cope with the depressive state in which you are living.


Website Builder