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As you are aware, the title of this home study course is "Sad is How I Am! Treating Dysthymia in Children and Adults." On this track, we will discuss the difference between sadness and depression, Thought Distortions, and Handcuffed Depression.
According to the DSM, a dysthymic disorder is a type of depression that is not severe enough to be called a Major Depressive Episode. A Dysthymic Disorder lasts much longer than Major Depressive Disorder, and there are no high phases. For purposes of brevity of terminology in this home study course, however, I will use the terms dysthymia and depression interchangeably.
To make sure we are on the same page, so to speak, a dysthymic disorder is characterized by sadness, pessimism, dysomnia (dis-som-nee-a) or sleep disorder, poor appetite or overeating, and so on. Symptoms occur most of each day, most days for an extended period of time.
3 Differences Between Sadness and Depression
Do you agree with these three ideas concerning the differences between sadness versus depression? If not, turn the CD player off and derive criteria that is more meaningful to you.
Regarding depression, just to make sure we're on the same page, I define depression as an illness that results from thoughts that are distorted in some way. According to the National Institute of Health, major depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Depression affects almost 10% of the population, or 18 to 19 million Americans in a given year.
Freud's 3 Kinds of Ambivalence:
So what does all this mean to the depressed client you are currently treating? I like to boil all of this down into the concept I mentioned earlier, the concept of Handcuffed Depression. I like the term Handcuffed Depression, because it creates a visualization which describes the depressed client's inability to make decisions.
As I describe three interventions on the next track regarding handcuffed depression, think of a client you are treating who feels frozen or handcuffed into depression because, as the title of this course states "Sad is How I Am" or rather "sad is how they are." Sadness appears to your client as being a state or condition that is beyond their control.
as you will see on track two with Alison her depression held her captive and frozen
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