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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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Can you tell if it is depression or something worse by

Customer Question

Can you tell if it is depression or something worse by attitude and thoughts? Now, lately that is, I have no urge to do anything. I am awake until 7 or 8 am and then sleep restlessly until 2 or 3pm. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I don't! A lot of time I'm just in my bed...I used to watch TV, read, work on the computer or listen to I don't really even want to do that stuff. Somedays, the only reason I get dressed is that I have to take the dogs outside. I don't think I feel sad, it's just kinda "blah"...don't really feel anything. What can I do to make myself get out of this funk?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 5 years ago.
You definitely sound as if you are suffering with depression. Go to the doctor and get a physical exam. Tell the doctor about your symptoms and concerns. It is very likely that there is some kind of physical cause for your symptoms.
After you visit with the doctor and as soon you begin to feel a little better work to restructure your daily schedule to get sleep at night and exercise during the day.
If you want or need additional help consult a psychologist regarding some therapy.
Best of luck getting back on track,
Mark Manley
Expert:  Dr John B replied 5 years ago.

I agree that it sounds like Depression but I differ on what I think you should do about it.

Presuming it is Depression, then the main treatment approaches are anti-depressant medication, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or a combination of the two. I can recommend this excellent website here as a starting point for learning more about the treatment of Depression.

The recommended sequence of treatments to try is:

1) Self-help using a CBT based program

2) CBT with a therapist

3) CBT & an antidepressant medication (usually a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake

You can confirm that this is the correct order by checking these treatment
recommendations here.

CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. Treatment is technique driven, brief, direct and time-limited (normally 10-12 sessions). CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications. I would
strongly encourage you to consider CBT as I would expect you get great benefit
from this approach.

Start by working through this excellent CBT based self-help program here. It should take several weeks to complete, is completely free and will teach you everything you need to know about Depression and what you can do about it. Alternatively, you could take a look at a book which will teach you some introductory techniques for dealing with Depression at home. I can recommend a well known manual titled Mind Over Mood and another book titled The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression; A Step by Step Program as good places to start. You can find them both here.

If you find you aren't making the kind of progress you would like using a self-help approach I would then recommend you consult with a CBT trained therapist. CBT is usually offered by Clinical Psychologists (although not exclusively) and you can contact the American Psychology Association (APA) for assistance with locating a Psychologist; take a look at the APA locator service here. You can use this to find Psychologists in your area and there is a phone number you can contact if you want a referral arranged for you. Also, take a look at an article published by the APA here. It's an interview with a senior Psychologist and covers some of the things you should consider when you looking for a Psychologist.

If after consulting with a CBT therapist you are still having trouble with Depression
then you should consult with a Psychiatrist about commencing an anti-depressant
medication. Consulting with a GP/family doctor is fine to check that there is no underlying medical problem but for a treatment involving psychiatric medication you really should consult with a Psychiatrist.

I hope this has been of some help. Please let me know if you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer.

Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience: PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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