The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) states that people who have depression lose their energy and the drive to maintain and take pleasure in their lives. They also find it difficult to care for themselves and their families, if they have one. Additionally, people suffering from minor depression have a hard time summoning the strength to take care of their obligations and responsibilities even if it appears that they do so. Depression affects mood in all these ways, and occupational therapy can help people regain satisfaction in lives.
Minor depression affects the different levels of responsibility a person has in his life at any given time. This includes family, friends, work and even leisure activities. The AOTA notes that occupational therapists can assist patients in adapting to their responsibilities, making life seem more manageable even while depression is making it hard for them. Therapy often includes breaking down tasks into smaller and more doable ways to get things done, which can be helpful in caring for children, and at work. Occupational therapists help their patients balance the demands of work, family and down time so that they feel more accomplished, the end result being a decrease in feelings of depression, which are exacerbated by the feeling of letting people down and not completing tasks.
Even minor depression can make it difficult for a person to manage his day and the demands he faces. An occupational therapist can help patients form and maintain a structure within the day, explains West Virginia University's School of Medicine. This includes learning effective ways to manage time and stress so that tasks can be completed within a reasonable time frame. This also enables those suffering from depression to care for themselves and their families, especially if they have children. An occupational therapist can also assist a patient in getting and keeping a job, as well as maintaining a normal medication routine, and provides education pertinent to the patient's condition and treatment.
An important part of treating depression is to help a person increase his self-esteem, explains AOTA. An occupational therapist teaches a person how his choices can affect self-esteem and ways to make the right choices. In addition, patients learn how to replace bad habits, such as staying in bed, with good ones that help alleviate their symptoms of depression. An occupational therapist also assists a person with minor depression in setting attainable goals, thus increasing self-esteem. Self-expression is another way that depression is treated since it can help a person feel better about himself. This can be done through writing, painting or sewing.