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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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Ive suffered with depression on and off for several years.

Resolved Question:

I've suffered with depression on and off for several years. I was feeling great and slowly got off zoloft and started taking natural hormones. Well, I did ok for 3 weeks, but now I'm struggling. I started back on zoloft (25mg), and will increase it later. I have an appt. with my doctor in a week. The thing that scares me the most is the horrible thoughts that run through my head. Not necessarily suicidal thoughts, but thoughts of me not being around any more. Example: I'm cleaning my house, and think "why am I doing this if I'm not going to be around for long" I could never see myself hurt myself, but these thoughts are driving me crazy. I pray they are just thoughts. suggestions?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Let me ask you a few questions first.
Have you had psychotherapy before?
Have you worked with a psychotherapist for more than 5 months?

Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I have worked with both psychiatrist and psychologist for several years.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
What type of therapy have you had?
Have you quit therapy?
I'll be back with my answer soon.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've been seeing a psychiratrist for a few years and continue. I have another appt. next week, but I really wanted an opinion before I go see her because she is unavailable until then.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi there
Thank you for waiting.

These thoughts are symptoms of depression you have.
I would advise you to start working with a psychologist for psychological counseling weekly.
What you have done are good too - praying, keeping busy, exercise daily, get in the sun.
You may need to work with your psychiatrist for medication consultation and prescription.

However, you may also need to work with a psychologist weekly (or bi-weekly specializing with Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and depression.
A combination of therapy and medication may be effective for clinical depression.
If your parent has depression or anxiety, you may be genetically vulnerable to clinical depression.

Let me explain: Depression can disrupt the nerve impulses that carry a constant stream of orders from the brain to the muscles. When the depressed brain slows down, so do the signals to all parts of body. Depression affects MEMORY, problem-solving ability, language, perception and is accompanied by nervous tension, anxiety, and profound fatigue. It can generate pain and aches. Medical reasons for Depression may include thyroid hormone abnormality, Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Chronic pain, Stroke (Brain injury), Alzheimer’s disease to name a few. Malnutrition/brain damage can dull mood further. Excessive alcohol use may aggravate depression. Some medication can cause or contribute to depression. Your doctor should know all the medication that you are taking.

You may ask your doctor for a psychologist/psychotherapist that you can work with weekly. Or you may call your insurance company and get a list of providers (licensed psychologists or psychotherapists) in your area.
Or, you can search a licensed psychologist on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your zip code and optional category of specialty such as Depression. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy and Depression. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that you want to work with – Male or female? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So you can see it as an informational meeting. You can ask any question and negotiate psychotherapy fee.

If you have no health insurance or seek a low fee counseling, you may call The United Way toll free # XXXXX (Dial 2-1-1)to find the community mental health centers in your area in which you can get counseling even without health insurance.

Regarding pharmacological treatment for depression, a number of antidepressant medications are available to treat depression.
Finding the right medication for you will likely take some trial and error. It is necessary for you and your doctor to work together to find the right medication for you.

Additionally, you may benefit from having a support group for women in your area. To find a group therapy or a support group for self, contact a local hospital or a clinic by asking if they offer a group for men. If you like to find a support group online, check Mental Health America website section (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/find_support_group) - Find a group in your area.

Also, a heart-healthy diet like Omega 3 fatty acid may improve your brain functioning and mood. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry.

In addition, yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture, and massage therapy may be helpful to improve your mood.

Other recommendations are:
Avoid excess use of alcohol and drugs.
Sleep in complete darkness and try to be out in bright light during the day.
Spend time in nature weekly
Have pleasurable activities with friends and family.
Choose to listen to sounds that have positive effects on your mood.
Set limits on the amount of time you spend on the internet to avoid information overload.

I hope you get well with all available help.

Please let me know if you have more questions. Best regards,




Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience: PsyD Psychologist
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