There are a wide range of different treatment options available for helping children, adolescents, and adults dealing with depression. Still, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the treatment that people with depression may receive will often depend on what symptoms they happen to be showing, their life history, the treatment they have received in the past, and the progress they are making over time. For most people seeking help for depression, whether they are adolescents or adults, treatment usually begins with an evaluation to determine how to proceed and also to start developing a treatment plan (see Question 37). This is basically a road map that will help guide people through the treatment process. Also, depending on how severe the symptoms are and whether there are additional problems such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, or anxiety, some people may require round-the-clock care in an inpatient facility. In most cases, however, depression can usually be treated with a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. Though the medication may be prescribed by either a family physician or a psychiatrist, psychotherapy usually begins with one-to-one sessions with a trained psychologist or counselor. The main purpose of individual treatment is to make clients comfortable enough to be willing to open up about their depression and other related issues. It is also through individual sessions that clients can start talking about other issues that may be triggering their mood problems. This can include having a history of childhood physical or sexual abuse, posttraumatic symptoms, family concerns, social anxiety, and so on. Many clients may prefer to deal exclusively with individual counseling while others may prefer to move into group treatment as soon as possible. What better way to celebrate World Kindness Day than with kindness? World Kindness Day was introduced by the World Kindness Movement, a group of national kindness organizations, in 1998 and is celebrated on 13 November each year. In the UK, there is also a National Kindness Day - this year it was held on 31 March. Get your friends together and form a help mob' (a helpful flash mob), say, for a charity or somebody who needs a hand with something; dress up as a superhero and perform random acts of kindness that day; or call or write to someone who has been kind to you in the past and thank them. <a href=''>Not</a> only can our current mood be improved by a helper's high but altruism can also affect our overall happiness and how we evaluate our lives. <a href=''>People</a> who volunteer are happier than those who do not, even after controlling for other factors such as socioeconomic status. <a href=''>Moreover,</a> they experience fewer depressive symptoms, less anxiety and enjoy a more meaningful life. <a href=''>Part</a> of the explanation may be that people who are happier tend to be more inclined to sign up for voluntary work. <a href=''>However,</a> another part may also be that some groups may expose you to the way in which people who are less fortunate than you live and thus make you more grateful for what you have. <br /><br /><a href=''>Doing</a> voluntary work may also have indirect positive effects. <a href=''>You</a> can't just say, I'd like to be successful. <a href=''>You</a> need to be as specific as possible about what's involved in getting there. <a href=''>Each</a> goal involves hundreds and thousands of tiny details and being successful can involve accomplishing hundreds of goals before you get there. <a href=''>If</a> you can familiarize yourself with each detail and the details that surround each detail, reaching your goal is 100% certain to, eventually, happen. <a href=''>If</a> you overlook and ignore the details and don't see them as important, you diminish your chances of ever reaching that goal. <a href=''>While</a> everyone else is just looking at the goal and missing the details, you're handling the details first so you're more likely to reach the goal. <a href=''>We</a> live in a more distracted society than ever before and with a new distraction popping up around every corner, it's important, now more than ever, to be and stay overly-focused on goals and targets. <a href=''>Average</a> focus tolerates distraction but overly-focused tolerates no distraction. <a href=''>It's</a> deliberately, purposely, and energetically keeping your attention on what you're accomplishing and immediately destroying each and every distraction as it pops up. <a href=''>It's</a> forcing yourself, regardless of how you feel about it, to see it through to the end. <a href=''>It's</a> a level of focus so intense that others say it's unhealthy, to take it easy, to take a break, and to quit being so hard on yourself. <a href=''>If</a> others aren't saying you're a little too involved in what you're doing, you're not focused enough. <a href=''>Just</a> as some procrastinators fail to keep the promises they make with themselves towards dealing with their tasks, sometimes we give ourselves vague and even confusing directions for how to go about accomplishing our tasks. <a href=''>Ted,</a> our friend who tends to "compare and despair," is one such procrastinator who sometimes finds himself stymied by his own logic. <a href=''>For</a> instance, another reason for putting off his housecleaning is because he thinks: "There's little point in getting started if I'm not going to get it all done." This is a conflicting instruction because the truth is, Ted's put off his housecleaning for so long, that it would take a professional cleaner at least two or three visits in order to make his living space look nice. <a href=''>This</a> sort of self-statement, although very common with a lot of habitual procrastinators, is filled with the kinds of traps and pitfalls that can cause us to cease work before we've even begun. <a href=''>When</a> we engage in this practice, we cause ourselves to shut down, and then nothing gets accomplished. <a href=''>Let's</a> re-examine Ted's thought from the previous paragraph: "There's little point in getting started if I'm not going to get it all done." If Ted continues along this train of thought, here are just some of the roadblocks that he may encounter: One of the advantages of individual counseling is the added privacy that it provides. <a href=''>This</a> means that clients can open up in a way they might not feel comfortable doing in a group setting. <br /><br /><a href=''>Individual</a> counseling can either be open ended or with a fixed number of sessions. <a href=''>Open-ended</a> treatment means that sessions will continue until such time that the client is seen as ready to try group treatment. <a href=''>In</a> addition to individual counseling, people in therapy may also be seen in family counseling sessions with participating family members to learn how to work together to overcome the depression. <a href=''>For</a> many patients who have successfully completed individual counseling and who feel ready to talk about their emotional problems more openly, the next step is to join a therapy group. <a href=''>The</a> type of therapy offered often depends on what the person in treatment hopes to achieve. <a href=''>Groups</a> can include: Psychoeducation training programs. <a href=''>Much</a> as the name suggests, these programs focus on educating depressed patients about their emotional issues and the barriers they may face in learning to move on with their lives. <a href=''>Training</a> modules can include anger management, relaxation training, good nutrition and exercise, and meditation. <a href=''>There</a> are two points to this story. <a href=''>First,</a> doing voluntary work is a great way to meet new friends - and second, always make friends with people who can see through you. <a href=''>Studies</a> back up my experience that volunteering can lead to more social relationships and friendships, and this (I hope this comes as no surprise at this point) has an impact on our happiness. <a href=''>It</a> may also be one of the reasons for the large number of Danes who engage in voluntary work. <a href=''>At</a> the time of writing, 42 per cent of Danes are engaged in unpaid activities and 70 per cent have been active in the last five years, according to the Danish Institute for Voluntary Effort - and this helps to keep Denmark happy. <a href=''>The</a> question, of course, remains: if kindness is so great, why aren't we doing more of it? <a href=''>If</a> there is a helper's high, why aren't rock stars checking into rehab centres because they volunteer too much? <a href=''>According</a> to a report by Jill Loga of the Norwegian Institute for Social Research, perhaps the reason is that most of us see volunteering as doing something good for others - not for ourselves. <a href=''>In</a> other words, we need to highlight the personal benefits that come from perpetrating acts of kindness and altruism, such as getting more friends and making us feel more grateful for what we have. <a href=''>You</a> don't have to sign up to do work for a charity, it could be anything from volunteering to help out at football practice to simply giving out more smiles to strangers in the street. <a href=''>When</a> I was talking about not being lazy and said that even if I reach a big goal and go out to celebrate for a few hours, I still fail to detach my mind from my job. <a href=''>I'm</a> still overly-focused, obsessed, and unable to take a break from thinking about the next goals, the details surrounding those goals, and how they relate to the bigger picture. <br /><br /><a href=''>I'm</a> consistently focused on moving forward and there is never a second throughout the day that I'm not thinking about what needs to happen, how it's going to happen, and when it's going to happen. <a href=''>With</a> a high-end camera, if you focus on everything at once, the thing you want to focus on isn't as clear as you'd like it to be. <a href=''>But</a> if you zoom in and focus on that one specific thing, everything else becomes blurry. <a href=''>That's</a> what being overly-focused looks like. <a href=''>When</a> you're focused on one goal at a time and want to make it easier to reach, nothing else should matter. <a href='!topic/search-engine-optimisation-tips/OoC54rZegfg'>Everything</a> else should be blurred out. <a href=''>There</a> should never be a second throughout the day that you're not thinking about and obsessing over the details and figuring out as much as you can. <a href=''>It's</a> full-immersion focus. <a href=''>It's</a> so focused that it's hard to be concerned with anything else. <a href=''>Ted</a> doesn't realize that his goal is unrealistic. <a href=''>He</a> simply isn't going to get everything accomplished in just one undertaking. <a href=''>When</a> he makes up his mind to get down to cleaning, he sees only the big picture, and then he becomes overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. <a href=''>Ted</a> concentrates on the big picture because he sees only the overall goal as the one that counts. <a href=''>He's</a> like an army general who wants to win a war, but doesn't want to engage the enemy in small battles. <a href=''>By</a> the same measure, if Ted completed a few tasks, he'd likely disregard the results as nil because he failed to get everything done. <a href=''>Ted</a> expects perfection from himself, which is completely unrealistic. <a href=''>When</a> he attempts to take on one of his tasks, he feels overwhelmed, and then puts it off for another day: "A day when I'm more up to it," he says to himself. <a href=''>Then,</a> Ted falls into feelings of depression and inadequacy because once again, he's failed himself. <a href=''>Skill</a> development programs. <a href=''>Using</a> an interactive training approach allowing group members to share their own insights and ideas, these group sessions focus on training members to handle anger effectively, forming stronger social networks, coping strategies, relaxation training, and recognizing the triggers that can lead to negative thinking. <br /><br /><a href=''>Cognitive</a> behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). <a href=''>In</a> a CBT group, members are trained in how to recognize and change maladaptive beliefs and behaviors that can reinforce negative thoughts and beliefs. <a href=''>One</a> of the central principles of CBT is to learn how to anticipate problems and develop self-control using effective coping strategies. <a href=''>Cognitive</a> behavioral strategies can include cognitive restructuring, problem solving, stress inoculation training, relaxation training, mindfulness, and relapse prevention techniques (see Question 42 for more information). <a href=''>While</a> most patients can receive treatment on a weekly basis, people with long-standing depression and a history of relapses may require much more intensive treatment than what is usually offered. <a href=''>They</a> may also need more intensive monitoring of the medications they are receiving including whether they are experiencing side effects that are complicating their recovery. <a href=''>As</a> a result of the financial crisis, Sophie was made redundant. <a href=''>I had been used to working at full speed. I loved my work, but I also had all these ideas of what I would do if I had the time. The irony was that, when I lost my job, I couldn't seem to get out of bed.' In the following months, she felt she lost who she was and had been. My</a> job was my identity - that was gone. <a href=''>My</a> social network was my colleagues. <a href=''>Gone</a> - or not gone, but gone awkward. <a href=''>We</a> used to talk about work - and now I wasn't part of that conversation.' She started to isolate herself. <a href=''>She</a> found going to dinner parties the worst; everybody would be talking about their careers, and how busy they were. <a href=''>Or you would chat with someone, and then the dreaded question would come: "So what do you do?" I developed a sense of when that question would be approaching and would quickly excuse myself. It</a> became tiring.' Then came the period she callsdoubt and out'. You should be taking constant and aggressive action as often as you breathe. More action than you think is physically possible. So much action you forget to eat, take breaks, and sleep.