Depression can be triggered by events in one’s life, or seemingly arise for no reason at all. Many things can cause depressive feelings—medical illness, substance use, family or job stress. The treatment of depression starts with a thorough evaluation, and then may include psychotherapy, medication, or both.
We all get “the blues” sometimes, but sometimes “the blues” become troubling enough to affect our ability to work, or go to school, or participate in our family-life. Then we may have a treatable, medical condition of depressive illness.
Depression is an extremely common problem. It is estimated that about 1 in 6 people in America will have at least one depressive episode during their lifetime. Sadly, probably nearly half of those suffering with depression do not seek treatment. Depression is not merely “feeling a little down”. We all may have times of feeling disappointed, regretful, discouraged, or sad. But when you have many of the above symptoms that occur most of the day, on most days, for at least two weeks—and when you find that these symptoms are affecting your ability to work or social life—then you may have a “clinical depression”.
Symptoms of depression can include such things as:
- Loss if interest in activities that previously were pleasurable
- Decrease in energy
- Feeling agitated or slowed in movement and thought
- Loss of sex drive
- Changes in appetite and weight (either up or down)
- Frequent tearfulness or feelings of sadness
- Feeling stressed and overwhelmed or anxious
- Disturbed sleep (trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up very early in the morning, or oversleeping)
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Body aches
- Thoughts about dying or suicide
The good news is that there is treatment for depression. A search of the Web will bring up tremendous amount of information about symptoms of depression, causes of depression, screening tests for depression, and treatments including medications and many different types of psychotherapy.
Finding the right therapy and the right doctor/therapist is sometimes not easy. If you are depressed, you want something that will help you feel better— and the sooner the better, too! There are now many types of therapy available to choose from, such as Behavior Therapies (e.g., Cognitive Behavior Therapy), Interpersonal Therapy, Supportive Therapy, and a host of others.
There have been studies that show the most important factor in terms of a person getting better is not so much the specific type of therapy, but rather the ability of the therapist/doctor to establish a hopeful and positive therapeutic relationship. To this end, I make every effort to communicate a caring attitude, along with realistic optimism, and practical suggestions. You can have joy in your life again.
Depression- Depression is a condition with symptoms such as excessive sadness, changes in appetite (either loss of appetite or increased appetite) and weight (up or down), feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, irritability, loss of ability to feel pleasure or enjoy activities that are usually pleasurable, loss of interest in sex, feeling lethargic - or no energy, sleep problems (either too much or too little), etc. Depression can be triggered by events in one’s life, or seemingly arise for no reason at all. Many things can cause depressive feelings- medical illness, substance use. The treatment of depression starts with a thorough evaluation. Treatment may include psychotherapy, medication, or both.