Depression In Physical Therapy

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Depression, by definition, is a “mental illness that is characterized by a profound and persistent feeling of sadness or despair and/or a loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable” (Langwith, 2009, p. 16). Signs and symptoms vary from person to person, and can be categorized from mild to severe – some of the most common being: “hopelessness, loss of energy, persistent fatigue, persistent feelings of guilt or self-criticism, sense of worthlessness, irritability, inability to concentrate, insomnia or excessive sleep, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide” (Venes & Taber, 2013). To be diagnosed with depression, “one must have symptoms that last two or more week. In chronic depression, symptoms last for two or more years” (Langwith, …show more content…
A few factors that bring on depression in the Physical Therapy world are patients who have chronic pain, slower recovery times, and those with a loss of body function. Depression can also be associated with the fear of pain, perceived disability, and poor rehabilitation outcomes” (O’Sullivan, Schmitz, & Fulk, 2014). In patients with low back pain, depression is said to be onset by physical disability (Haggman, Maher, & Refshauge, 2004). The severe pain that some patients endure makes them unable to interact and maintain social roles such as taking care of their families, maintaining a job, and fulfilling their personal needs. Once this independence is gone, patients might feel guilty for needing help and not being able to take care of things themselves. For these reasons, relationships start to suffer and patients start feeling a loss of identity (O’Sullivan, Schmitz, & Fulk, 2014). On a different note, high morbidity, and mortality rates contribute to the reason for “more than 50 percent of Parkinson’s disease and stroke patients experience depression” (Special Implications for the PTA, E2-7, para. 1). From just these few influencing factors that play a role in why a patient may experience depression, it is evident that it would have a great effect on their psyche and social …show more content…
“Express empathy through listening. 2. Develop a discrepancy between clients ' goals or values and their current behavior. 3. Avoid argument and direct confrontation. 4. Adjust to client resistance rather than opposing it directly. 5. Support self-efficacy and optimism” (Motivational Interviewing as a Counseling Style, 1999).
Per O’Sullivan, Schmitz, & Fulk, “When depression is noted, it should be included as a problem in the care plan; then the team can develop strategies to help that person” (2014, E2-7, Special Implications for the PTA). Depression as a whole might have a negative effect on rehabilitation, but with a good communication, patience and a little extra time from the therapists, patients can be

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