A common mental illness experienced by adults and children of all backgrounds. Can occur at any stage within life and has both biological and environmental causes.
Depression is the “common-cold” of mental-illness. Everyone in their lifetime will experience a form of depression at some point. Depression can follow a major life event, such as moving to a new city or losing a job. Some people have a predisposition to depression, making them more likely to experience it.
Symptoms of depression include physical changes such as weight loss or gain without dieting, loss of interest in activities that once brought joy, slow speech, and difficulty thinking. While many people may have a bout of these symptoms, people with chronic depression may experience cognitive complications. Longer-term depression can impact thinking, speech, memory, perception and decision making.
Treatments for depression range from pharmacological, brain-stimulation, and psychotherapeutic interventions. Patients can be treated with a combination of therapies, according to what their medical professional determines is the best course of action. An obstacle with depression is that some medications work for some people while others do not. It takes a few months to a year for an antidepressant medications to work, while cognitive functioning can decline as the experience of depression remains.
Cognitive remediation therapy can help depressed patients with their cognitive functioning. The goal of cognitive remediation therapy for depressed patients is to assist them in developing effective strategies when challenges arise, such as making an important decision when many options and pieces of information are available.
Working with clients battling depression can be difficult as clients may have days where they may have low motivation or desire to participate in therapy. HappyNeuron Pro can be used as a warm-up activity to help stimulate your client’s mind and ease them into discussing life difficulties they are experiencing. Additionally, for group therapy practices, HappyNeuron Pro offers many exercises that can be used to encourage social interaction while building cognitive skills. Some activities therapists have found helpful in providing group therapy include Private Eye, Split Words, Restaurant, Root It Out and Sleight of Hands.
Depression can also make coming to therapy sessions difficult, which is why the option to do home-training is appealing to many therapists. With HappyNeuron Pro, clients are provided a unique login that they can use to access HappyNeuron Pro from home. All that is needed is an internet connection and a compatible device such as a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Clinicians can assign homework according to a client’s treatment goals, and use their client’s results to tailor therapy to focus on improving weaknesses while maintaining strengths.
In addition to these suggested exercises, we provide more content that focuses on other domains of cognition such as Memory, Executive Function, Visual Memory, Processing Speed, Auditory Processing, and Verbal Memory.
We encourage you to try our software with your patients. HappyNeuron Pro is an engaging and accessible platform for both therapists and patients alike. HappyNeuron Pro can be used creatively during the therapeutic process for cognitive stimulation and practice of cognitive skills.
Clinicians that work with depressed populations include psychologists, psychiatrists, LPC’s, social workers, and rehabilitation counselors. Other therapists may encounter clients battling depression on-top of neurological or psychiatric complications. For these populations, it is important that exercises are challenging, but not defeating so as to maintain engagement with therapeutic material.
HappyNeuron Pro can be adapted according to a client’s level of function. If a client is having an off day, a therapist may make exercises easier so as to enforce reward and positive feeling. For better days, exercises can be made to be more challenging. In addition to the adaptation of difficulty, it is important for the therapist to encourage attempts and provide positive reinforcement. HappyNeuron Pro is meant to be used as a tool to stimulate your client’s mind and practice cognitive skills in a fun and novel way using technology.
To see how we can be integrated into your setting and assist your clinicians providing care to clients with depression, take time to complete our 15 Day Free Trial. You are able to access all of our digital content, as well as our free resources for additional material to use during your therapy sessions with your clients. If you are a researcher, please contact us about using our software for your research study.
Page last updated on Jan 10,2020