Do you feel heavy with despair, struggling each day to keep your head just above the darkness and dread?
Does it take every ounce of energy to stay afloat?
Or are you feeling overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness and hopelessness?
If this sounds familiar, we want you to know you are not alone and there is help.
What is Depression?
Depression, also known as major depression, clinical depression or unipolar depression, can be experienced by anyone. Even some of the most successful people in the world have suffered from it at one point or another; however, it’s usually not something they openly discuss.
Depression is a serious condition, but more than a condition; depression is a thief. It steals joy, love, happiness, energy, motivation, self-esteem, passion, and, in the worst cases, it steals life. Battling depression is difficult, and many days it seems impossible, and that the best option is to give up.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. Some people may experience a few or all of the following symptoms.
Losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed, including sex.
Feeling hopeless about the future. Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading or watching television.
Decreased energy levels or difficulty sleeping.
Experiencing cravings for certain foods, such as sweets or salty snacks.
What are the five treatments for depression?
The first treatment is therapy: Therapy helps someone find new perspectives on their life, helps them develop coping skills, and gives them a safe place to talk about their feelings.
The second treatment is antidepressants: Antidepressants help people with chemical imbalances in the brain that can cause depression.
Group therapy: In this type of therapy, you attend sessions with other people who are going through the same things as you. You can share personal experiences and gain insights from others' journeys that might be helpful for you in your own recovery process
Family Therapy: Trained therapists help identify and address problems within families that contribute to one or more member's depression.
Couples Therapy: With guidance from trained therapists, couples can identify and resolve issues in their relationships which may also contribute to both partners' depressive symptoms.
How long do people go to therapy for depression?
It depends on the person and how dedicated they are. Generally speaking, it takes about 6 weeks to notice a difference but it can be longer or shorter depending on your individual circumstances. If you want to see real results, then I recommend coming in for at least 6 sessions over the course of 3 months.
How is it diagnosed?
It is diagnosed based on the criteria in DSM-5, which are as follows:
1. Five or more of the following symptoms have been present during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure
• Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report or observation by others
• Marked decrease in appetite accompanied by weight loss (or increase in appetite accompanied by weight gain)
• Insomnia or hypersomnia
• Psychomotor agitation or retardation
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
• Impaired ability to think or concentrate or lack of interest in thought or conversation
2. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a mixed episode
3. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
4. The episode is not attributable to the effects of a substance or another medical condition
5. The disorder does not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder
What Happens If Depression Disorder Is Left Untreated?
Depression is treatable with therapy or antidepressants, but if not treated it can become chronic and long-lasting—and even life-threatening—in some cases. Left untreated, depression disorder can be debilitating.
How can you overcome depression?
Get Help: It is important that you reach out for help when dealing with depression. If you are feeling suicidal, contact a friend or family member who you can trust and be honest about what you are going through. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings regularly can help improve your mood. In addition, writing a journal can help you deal with your negative thoughts by expressing them in written form.
Talk about your feelings: Talking about your feelings with a professional will help you develop skills to cope with stress better.
Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment. It can be practiced with anything, and has a variety of benefits. For example, mindfulness can help with depression by allowing your brain to focus on something other than negative thoughts. You should try practicing mindfulness for at least 10 minutes every day.
Exercise Daily: Research have found that daily exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on depression
If depression is causing problems in your life, talk to a mental health professional about treatment options such as therapy or medication.
If you’d like to take the first steps to start feeling better, please contact us today for an appointment.