The topic of the research is how healthcare professionals communicate with people who struggle from depression and anxiety to overcome their communication barriers.
Communication is the integral factor that binds together society. Where two or more animals are in the same environment, they have to find a way of communicating to ensure their survival. Most animals have primitive modes of communication that are just enough to ensure that the animals are able to survive in their environment. Human beings are more developed and have more advanced modes of communication, such as language. Although communication is not entirely for survival, it enables the human being to be able to live comfortably. Humans are social beings and they therefore need good communication for a comfortable life.
Depression has, for a long time, been ignored as a small issue. Everybody goes through periods when they feel sad and down. For many people, they are able to get over this sad feeling relatively quickly. Therefore, it has been ignored as a serious disease for a long time. However, when you are depressed, the sad feeling persists for weeks or months at a time. Depression is a serious clinical disease and has clear symptoms. One of the symptoms is the difficulty in communicating the individual’s feelings, which leaves the individual isolated.
Health professionals are the first line that deals with depressed people. It is therefore important to know how they communicate with people suffering from depression. This is because it is this help that makes them able to overcome communication barriers and set them on the path to recovery. Through this study, the various ways of communicating with depressed people will be analyzed so as to determine the benefits of each mode of communication.
Depression and anxiety are serious problems affecting the society today. Depression affects a large part of society and can affect people in various ways. However, there are a number of symptoms of depression that have been well documented. These may include but are not limited to a general feeling of sadness, feeling hopelessness, feeling tearful and generally losing interest things a person was interested in. it is also documented that people who have depression also show signs of anxiety. Apart from the psychological symptoms of depression, some physical symptoms are also experienced. These include tiredness, bad sleeping behavior, no appetite, low sex drive and various aches and pains.
There are very classes of depression. These are determined by the severity of various symptoms. The mildest form of depression can be when a person persistently fees sad. At the most severe, depression may lead to suicidal thoughts. Many people feel sad and stress after periods of loss. However, most people have the ability to overcome these sad feelings after a short while. This is the biggest distinguishing factor between low moods and depression (Savard, 2004).
Anxiety exhibits some symptoms that are similar to depression. Anxiety exhibits itself with symptoms such as a general feeling of unease. These may be fear or worry and there are also various levels of anxiety. As with depression, many people experience anxiety but the difference between anxiety disorder and general worries is that normal people are able to control their worries. People with anxiety disorder are not able to control their feelings.
In any society, communication is very important. People who are able to communicate are able to develop as a group. An old English adage states that a problem shared is a problem half solved. People with depression usually have a feeling of sadness and stress. They feel that they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. The biggest problem is that they feel like other people do not understand how they are feeling. To compound this problem, they are not able to effectively communicate their feelings. It is therefore very important to be able to get people with depression to talk about their feelings. Health professionals are the first people that people suffering from depression and anxiety interact with. They have to develop means of communicating with these patients so that they can earn their trust and open up. Once this is done, it is usually the first step towards recovery (Sheldon, 2009).
Depression is a very serious illness and it has been seen to affect a large percentage of the world population. The effects of depression are very serious and it is very important to treat people with depression. Humans are social people and people with depression find it hard to communicate with other people. This leads to them feeling more isolated and worsens their condition. It is therefore important to help them to overcome their communication barriers to aid in their recovery and prevent a relapse. Healthcare professionals are the first line of people who deal with sick people and this is the same case with depression. It is therefore important to understand the methods they use to communicate with people with depression to help them overcome their communication barriers.
Communication literature review
Communicating with people suffering from depression or anxiety is very difficult. Such people are usually highly sensitive to any form of real or implied criticism. In an ideal world, people would be advised to try and understand that people with depression are very sensitive and therefore be careful in the way we communicate with them. In the real world, this rarely happens because it might be difficult at first to know that a person is suffering from depression. People are under a lot of pressure and personal relationships are no longer considered very important. It might therefore take longer to identify that somebody is suffering from depression (Klerman, 2004).
Research has identified the communication barriers that come along when dealing with people suffering from depression. The first is threats. This implies that the depressed person is simply indulging in their behavior and that they can choose to snap out of it if they wanted. This pushes the depressed person further into their problems since they are not comfortable anymore. The next barrier is making the sick person feel like they have no choice. When a depressed person is addressed to in a way that leaves them in a position where they feel like they have no choice, they retreat further into their reclusiveness and acts to fan the illness.
Another barrier to communicating with people with depression is questioning. Questions can be asked in a way that promotes communication, but when they are overused, they act in the opposite way, blocking effective communication. Overuse of questioning tends to shift from enquiry to inquisition. When a depressed person feels like they are being questioned, they tend to retreat which effectively blocks communication. Another communication barrier is diversion. This is when a person quickly changes topics when topics they are not comfortable with are brought up. For a person suffering from depression, it takes a lot of strength and courage to be able to bring them to talk about their feelings. When such a person raises this issue, it is important that we offer a listening ear. Otherwise, postponing the discussion for later or changing the topic will bring about the view that your re disinterested.
The depressed person will keep quiet and have their feelings eat them up inside. This is negative for them because the more they remain quiet, the more the problem becomes bigger and they might not find the strength to talk about the issue again. Admonishments are another communication barrier for people with depression. These people are already feeling bad and it does not help when it is pointed out to them verbally in form of admonishments. They can result in the person becoming angry or resentment which does not help their cause. These are just a few of the communication barriers that people with depression face. It is important to study communication methods that make it possible for these people to overcome these barriers (Morrissey & Callaghan, 2011).
The research question is going to concentrate on interpersonal communication. In light of the issues identified, depression has been identified as a major health problem worldwide. As explained earlier people suffering from depression and anxiety may find it hard to communicate with other people. Since people suffering from depression find it hard to communicate with other people, they find it hard to express their feelings. If they cannot find a way to express their feelings, they continue to feel isolated and this can lead to more severe cases of depression. Communication is a major factor in making a society to function. In order to break the cycle, a way has to be found to establish a way of proper interpersonal communication. This will break the barriers involved in communication between people with depression and help them on their path to recovery. The research question is how healthcare professionals communicate with people suffering from depression and anxiety to help them break their communication barriers. People with depression find it difficult to communicate. This research will make it possible to determine effective ways of communicating with people suffering from depression. This research is specific as it concentrates on the ways in which healthcare experts communicate with depression patients.
Methods and methodology
This project aims to work with healthcare professionals dealing with people with depression and the people actually suffering from depression. Depression is largely misunderstood and it is therefore impossible to get proper information from people who do not suffer from the illness or people who have worked on the topic. These are very important people to the research as they will provide all the information required to determine the communication methods used to help them overcoming communication barriers.
Healthcare professionals are going to provide the insight into the various communication methods they use with their patients. This is the primary information required for the research. This is important to the whole research. Individuals suffering from depression and anxiety are also going to provide information about the effectiveness of the communication methods used by healthcare professionals.
Depression is clearly misunderstood by the majority of the population and therefore it is not possible to get the information needed from the general population. This is why these people are required for the research.
The research will be conducted in a confidential manner and stick to the strict international standards of confidentiality. This will ensure that the data collected cannot be connected to a specific individual and cannot therefore be used against them.
The data will be conducted via a survey. Due to the large population size, a sample that is representative of the whole population will be selected. Interviews will be conducted in the form of guided questionnaires. The interviewer will use a questionnaire to guide them ask the respondent questions while noting down the responses given.
When conducting the interviews, it must be noted that the people suffering from depression may find it hard to communicate their feelings. Due care must be taken during this stage so as not to appear imposing and aim to win the trust of the respondent in order to get the most accurate information.
Data analysis will be quantitative analysis. The data gathered from the healthcare workers and patients will be compared so as to determine the most effective communication methods that can be used in order to help the patients overcome their communication barriers.
The research will be carried out over a period of six months. The first months are going to be used for preparing the research. This involves the background research towards the research problem. This period will be used to gain all the background information necessary so as to determine a proper research. This is important because it is important to prepare well for every research. The preparation stage includes selecting the questions to be asked as well as selecting the population sample.
Majority of the time is going to be used during the actual data collection. In order to get accurate results, a lot of data needs to be collected. This phase of the research is going to take two months. This is because this stag involves time intensive tasks. The interviewer will have to travel physically to all the selected participants to personally administer the questionnaires. This is because the questionnaires are fairly technical and require the knowledge of the researcher to properly fill in. the population sample is also collected over a large geographical area and therefore it will require ample travelling time for the researcher.
The last part of the plan is going to involve data analysis. This stage requires the comprehensive analysis of the data gathered in order to come up with the most accurate results. The research aims at identifying the ways in which healthcare professionals communicate with people suffering from depression. There are various ways in which the healthcare professionals communicate with patients and each method has its own benefits. This time will be used to identify the benefits of these communication methods and the negatives of each.
Klerman, G.L. (2004), interpersonal psychotherapy of depression. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
Morrissey, J., & Callaghan, P. (2011). Communication skills for mental health nurses. Maidenhead: Open university press.
Savard, M. (2004) Bridging the communication gap between physicians and their patients with physical symptoms of depression. Primary care companion to the journal of clinical Psychiatry, 6 (suppl 1), 17.
Sheldon, L. K. (2009). Communication for nurses. Talking with patients. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Barlett Publishers.