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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4523
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My 22-year old daughter has been OKMH(NNN) NNN-NNNN

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My 22-year old daughter has been having extreme depression for a number of months now, ever since her dog died while she was overseas studying. She has had many changes this year which I'm sure haven't helped - her grandfather being ill who's almost been a father to her, relationship issues and a medical issue they can't seem to resolve. What can I do to help her? Thanks so much!
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 10 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern about your daughter

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry to hear that your daughter has been experiencing symptoms associated with depression, I can imagine how this can distress you

Dr. Z :

There are multiple things that you can do for her to help her through this, but the effort and motivation to get better will have to come from her. I would recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) this is the most evidence based therapy for depression and it has been very effective for decades. CBT has a premise that her symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change her thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then her symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

So this link may help her, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help her keep track of any negative thoughts she may have. She puts the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want her to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help her change her way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen depressive symptoms. It can help her focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with depressive symptoms have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help her develop a better coping strategy to manage her depression better.

Dr. Z :

In addition, this worksheet is very good at replacing self-critical thoughts that she may have about herself with more positive self-beliefs to help raise her self-confidence.

Dr. Z :

These books are also really effective in helping manage depression as well.

Dr. Z :

This is a link for something called Progressive Muscle Relaxation that can help her create a long term calm by using muscle tension and release techniques; it can help manage her depressive symptoms and is very similar to a style of meditation.

Dr. Z :

As for natural supplements St. Johns Wort and Omega-3 (fish oil) are very effective in relieving depressive symptoms and improving someone's mood.

Dr. Z :

For prescription medication, typically a doctor or psychiatrist would start her off on a SSRI antidepressant or SNRI antidepressant. The most common SSRI antidepressants are Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Luvox, and Paxil. I would recommend Lexapro at 10-20mg as this is considered one of the more effective of the SSRI antidepressants. The most common SNRI antidepressants are Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq.

Dr. Z :

With the CBT techniques and the books, it is considered a gradual process as are most therapies. Typically individuals see progress in 2-3 months and the maximum benefits in 6-12 months for depression. Although the more you practice the techniques, the faster it will be ingrained in her mind and that objective thought process will replace her negative thought process.

Dr. Z :

The prescription medications, especially the Lexapro, will start to be effective in around 2-3 weeks and usually achieve maximum effectiveness in around 3 months, but medication only lessens the symptoms, it does not cure the disorder. Only therapy can cure the disorder. This is why a mix of CBT and medications are usually the most effective approach.

Dr. Z :

If you would like to find your daughter a good CBT therapist in her area I can recommend some good therapists, all I would need would be a zip code

Dr. Z :

I see that you are online, so I will give you time to read over what I read and please ask me any questions or concerns that you may have

Customer:

Hi Dr. Z, Thanks so much for your reply and helpful info - this gives me hope although not the instant miracle I would like! :-) Yes I would love to get a recommendation for a therapist - she comes to visit my house in Charlotte, NC 28227 alternate weekends but is in Wilmington NC 28403 most of the time - so either one is a possibility. Before I knew how serious this was, I had her look up EFT - Emotional Freedom technique - several weeks ago and she had tried it and had felt it helped temporarily - how do you feel about this? Thanks again for your help - yes, I am extremely worried - she says she feels worse every day and does not have the desire to go on.

Dr. Z :

Well the emotional freedom technique (EFT) is a form of alternative type of therapy for a variety of ailments, including pain disorder, mental health disorders, etc...Some individuals have found this to be effective, but there has not been many studies on EFT to prove its success, so I cannot vouch for it although I do not have any personal information on the technique. I would love to give your daughter a miracle cure, but unfortunately there is none out there, although CBT has been proven to be very effective for her if she is willing to give it a good try. Give me a few minutes to look of therapists in both the zip codes you provided and I will compile a list for you

Customer:

Sounds good - thanks!!

Dr. Z :

Okay I think these therapists will be good for your daughter in Wilmington, they provide CBT and other therapy modalities and also specialize in depressive disorders

Dr. Z :

And these other therapists also provide CBT therapy and other treatment modalities and also specialize in depression in the Charlotte area.

Customer:

Thx again! I'm ordering that workbook from Amazon and I'll try to get her to therapy and try some of the other things you recommended. Thank you SO much!!!

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I hope your daughter gets better soon. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.


Customer:

Thank you!! have a great night!

Dr. Z :

You are most welcome :) Have a great night as well

Customer:

If I 'save and exit" will it keep all your remarks?

Dr. Z :

It might keep the remarks, but I will not get credit for the question. If you rate me I know that I will get credit and everything will be saved under you JA account under My Questions

Customer:

OK that'd be great - thanks!

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4523
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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