As a depression counselor, I can tell you that depression isn’t normal. Mood changes and occasional sadness happen to everyone but depression is an often-disabling medical condition that must be addressed. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, there are some important things you need to know about this highly-treatable condition.
Common Symptoms Of Depression
The symptoms of depression vary from patient to patient and they can include both mental and physical problems like:
▸ Feeling down, blue, hopeless, sad or irritable
▸ Finding no enjoyment in once-pleasurable activities
▸ Feeling worthless and having negative, hopeless thoughts
▸ Feeling emotionally numb
▸ Having trouble concentrating
▸ Feeling tired or having no energy
▸ Having trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night or sleeping more than usual
▸ Having an increased or decreased appetite
▸ Having upset stomach, back pain or headaches
▸ Having trouble doing normal activities at home or at work
▸ Having thoughts of suicide or death
Some of these symptoms can occur if you have experienced the death of someone close to you; and while the symptoms of depression and grief are similar, generally grief passes with time. Though mild depression can resolve itself, if your symptoms last longer than two weeks or they interfere with your normal routine, contact a depression counselor.
Types And Causes Of Depression
Depression is usually divided into minor and major types with the difference being the length of time the symptoms are experienced and the number of symptoms. People with bipolar disorder often display symptoms of depression as do people who have seasonal affective disorder and those who have anxiety disorders. The causes of depression are not always clear as often a family history of depression, rather than one or more trigger events, can result in depression. There are stressful events, like a death or divorce, that can result in depression. In addition, alcohol or drug abuse or a physical ailments that result in chronic, long-term pain can result in depression.
Why It’s Important To Get Help
Mild depression can sometimes resolve itself in time; but major depression can have a long-lasting mental and physical impact and it doesn’t go away on its own. Depression can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke and it can keep you from taking care of yourself properly if you have other medical conditions that require taking medications, eating correctly and exercising. Major depression can also lead you to thoughts of suicide – or even attempting suicide. Therapy and the use of some types of antidepressant medications can help you get your life back on track and keep you from having to live with many of the debilitating symptoms of depression.
If you or a loved one need help with depression that is interfering with the life you want to lead, get the help of a depression counselor. Call me, Jody VanDrimmelen at Insight Child & Family Counseling, at (972) 426-9500 or visit me online at www.ldscounselordfw.com to schedule an appointment.