Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. More than just “the blues”, depression is certainly not a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. Luckily, most people with depression feel better with medication, therapy or a combination of the two.
Depression may occur only once during your life, or you may have multiple episodes where you notice symptoms.
Symptoms you may notice:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss, or cravings for food and weight gain
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For many people with depression, symptoms may lead them to struggle with day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships. You may feel as if life isn’t worth living, or feel generally miserable or unhappy, without knowing why. Experiencing traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death or loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or financial problems can increase one’s risk for depression.
There are treatments for individuals who experience symptoms of depression. If you suspect you may have depression, please mention this to your therapist and we can assess your symptoms and present treatment options to address your concerns, and increase your resiliency to address symptoms proactively into the future.