Depression is clinically defined as “a period of at least 2 weeks during which there is either depressed mood or the loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities”. It also must include 5 out of 8 of the following symptoms:
- Problems with sleep (usually insomnia)
- Loss of interest ("not caring anymore")
- Feelings of guilt (self-blame, feeling worthless)
- Lack of energy (fatigue)
- Loss of concentration (easily distracted, difficulty making decisions)
- Change in appetite (increased or decreasked intake or specific cravings)
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation (restlessness or sluggishness)
- Suicidal ideation
The two most common treatment options for depression are anti-depressant meditation and psychotherapy. There are other options, such as certain natural supplements, diet, exercise, ECT, etc.
Psychotherapy can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is one method used in psychotherapy that has been particularly effective. Cognitive therapy helps clients understand that certain thoughts, thought patterns and/or beliefs can contribute strongly to depression. Combining cognitive therapy with mindfulness gives clients the skills needed to become aware of their inner thought patterns, enabling them to identify negative thoughts and then make conscious interventions which often lead to a more positive outlook and a decrease in symptoms.
For more information on this topic, please go to