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UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION:. MAINTAINING A HEALTHY COMMUNITY. Connie Jung Fox, Ph.D. Licensed Professional Counselor 825 N.W. 58th Street, OKC, OK 73118* 405.473.3453 jubimoore@yahoo.com *(Diagonal to Chesapeake Health Center). Depression Defined.

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understanding depression


connie jung fox ph d
Connie Jung Fox, Ph.D.

Licensed Professional Counselor

825 N.W. 58th Street, OKC, OK 73118*



*(Diagonal to Chesapeake Health Center)

depression defined
Depression Defined

Severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy

Clinical depression: a condition of mental disturbance characterized by such feelings to a greater degree than seems warranted by the external circumstances, typically with a lack of energy and difficulty in maintaining concentration or interest in life

A long and severe recession in an economy or market

debunking depression myths

Depression is NOT a sign of personal weakness.

It is NOT a personal decision.

It IS a neuro-biological-chemical process.

depression in the workplace
Depressionin the Workplace

Major Depression accounts for more job absences than any other illness.

Stressed, anxious, and depressed employees miss an average of 16 work days per year.

Loss of productivity

Increase in accidents

who is at risk for depression
Who is at Risk forDepression?

People who have a family Member with Depression. (Genetic)

People who have experienced a stressful (positive or negative)or traumatic life event: single-parents, dual career families, military deployment or reintegration, marriage or divorce, family death, especially suicide).

People with work-related concerns (economic crisis/windfall, job loss/promotion, lay-offs, hiring freezes, conflict with co-worker, competitiveness.

People who lack the social support of a spouse, friends, and family, or with poor communication in their relationships.

People whose lives are out of balance: poor eating, little exercise, sleep disturbance, illness, alcoholism or other addictive behaviors.

People who have chronic medical conditions or persistent pain

People who have rigid personalities, perfectionistic tendencies, compulsivity.

diagnosing depression diagnostic statistical manual mood disorders
Diagnosing Depression:Diagnostic & Statistical Manual: Mood Disorders

Major Depressive Disorder

Dysthymic Disorder

Bipolar Disorder l

Bipolar Disorder II

Cyclothymic Disorder

1 Depressed mood most of the day nearly ever day for two weeks.

2 Diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities most of the day.

3 Significant change in appetite resulting in weight gain or loss (more than 5% in one month)

4 Insomnia nearly every day for two weeks.

Symptoms of DEPRESSION

symptoms of depression
Symptoms of DEPRESSION

5 Psychomotor agitation or retardation (slowing of movements or speech).

6 Fatigue or loss of energy.

7 Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt.

8 Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.



diagnosis of depression requires 5 symptoms
Diagnosis of DEPRESSION Requires 5Symptoms

1 Depressed Mood 6 Changes in sleep patterns

2 Changes in appetite 7 Fatigue

3 Psychomotor agitation 8 Indecisiveness

4 Worthlessness 9 Suicidality

5 Diminished interest or pleasure

other symptoms of depression
Other Symptoms of DEPRESSION

Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism.

Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment (i.e. headaches, digestive disorders, chronic pain)

In children...sadness, irritability, crankiness, low self esteem, and poor social skills

three major neurotransmitters in the brain
Three Major Neurotransmitters in the Brain




Balance among these chemicals creates a positive self-image and optimistic mood.

Mood changes are inevitable when unbalanced.

When serotonin levels drop, depression can quickly settle in.

When serotonin levels can be made to rise, a happy contented mood generally results.

components of a neuron tree
Components of a Neuron “Tree”

Dendrites: Branch-like structures: Receives impulses

Axon: Trunk-like structure: Conducts nerve impulses

Axon extensions: Root-like structures: Sends impulses

Synapse: (Gk. “to join” of “to connect”) watery space between nerve cells

Synaptic vesicles: Baloon-like structures which store chemical messengers called neurotransmitters


The Synaptic Gap: Neurotransmitters are like tiny ferryboats that must cross the synaptic gap and dock to a specific chemical receptor site on the receiving nerve cell, like a key fitting into it’s matching lock.

serotonin reuptake and depression
Serotonin Reuptake and Depression

Serotonin is released from vesicles on the sending nerve and travels across synapse.

Serotonin docks in receptors on receiving nerve and sends nerve impulse along axon.

Serotonin is pulled back and reprocessed in sending nerve: reuptake.

Supply of serotonin in the synapse keep nerve impulses moving efficiently.

Too little serotonin in the synapse slows down nerve impulses, reaction times, and thought processes, resulting in depression.

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, which allows it to remain in the synaptic gap longer.

This allows never impulses to be transmitted at normal speed, lifting the fog of depression, or preventing it.

redefining depression

Depression is a form of hibernation: a survival instinct to conserve resources, keep still and stay out of harm’s way.

It is a crisis of connectivity.

The slower reactions and sluggish thinking that we observe on a social level mimic what is occurring on a cellular level.

The depressed person feels empty, helpless, and hopeless....because each nerve cell in their brain is struggling to connect, affecting learning, attention, motivation, and energy.

treating depression

Lifestyle Changes

Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling


exercise and depression
Exercise and Depression

“Endorphin Rush:” The body’s built-in way of killing pain in the body and producing euphoria in the mind with molecules that work like morphine.

In addition to feeling good when you exercise, you feel good about yourself.

Exercise reduces depression and anxiety, and increases social connections.

helping someone who is depressed23
Helping Someone Who Is Depressed

Understand that they are experiencing a delay in neuro-processing which creates uncertainty and an inability to generate answers and solutions.

Debunk the myths of “mental” illness.

helping someone who is depressed24
Helping Someone Who Is Depressed

Encourage them to seek professional help: Medical Evaluation & Therapy.

Stress confidentiality.

Help them conserve energy through the relaxation of long term goals, breaking large tasks into small steps, setting easily managed priorities.

helping someone who is depressed25
Helping Someone Who Is Depressed

Help them to restore adequate self-care through balance: good sleep hygiene, nutrition, exercising, working.

Encourage them to participate in undemanding social activities like movies or visiting with an understanding friend, and enjoying the beauty of nature.

resources for depression
Resources forDepression

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance 405-634-4646

Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma 405-843-9903

National Alliance on Mental Illness (OKC) 405-230-1900

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (Tulsa) 918-582-8264

Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse 405-522-3908

Oklahoma County Crisis Intervention Center (OCCIC) 405-522-8100

HEARTLINE (24-Hour Toll Free Hotline) 1-800-273-8255

quotes on depression

Depression is the inability to construct a future. Rollo May

Depression is rage spread thin. George Santayana

You largely constructed your depression. It wasn't given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it. Albert EllIS

Depression is rage spread thin. George Santayana

more quotes on depression
More Quotes on DEPRESSION

Hiding in my room, safe within my womb, I touch no one and no one touches me. I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries. Paul Simon

When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade a foreign country. It’s a whole different way of thinking. Elayne Boosler

If I had not been already been meditating, I would certainly have had to start. I've treated my own depression for many years with exercise and meditation, and I've found that to be a tremendous help. Judy Collins

It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.Harry S. Truman