- Do you feel sad, negative, worried, and unable to let go of thoughts that upset you?
- Do you have trouble sleeping, or struggle with a poor concentration?
- Are you isolating yourself from friends and family?
- Have you lost the zest and joy in your life?
- Are you feeling “stuck,” hopeless, and you don’t know how to move forward?
Unfortunately, you are not alone. Depression is an extremely common problem in our fast-paced, high-pressure society. Depression can occur at any age, and is an illness in the same way that diabetes and heart disease are illnesses. According to the National Institutes of Health, depression affects 38 million Americans each year. Additionally, twice that number (75 million) will suffer from an anxiety or depressive illness during some point in their lives. The loss to our society from these illnesses is staggering: individual pain, family strife, school and relationship failure, lost work productivity, and if undetected or untreated, increased risk of suicide. While this is a serious and debilitating disorder, it is highly treatable. Research shows that talk therapy/counseling or “psychotherapy” is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. In some cases people also benefit from medication.
Everyone feels “blue” at certain times during their lives. In fact, transitory feelings of sadness or discouragement are perfectly normal especially during particularly difficult times. However, what distinguishes “the Blues” from depression is the severity, length of symptoms, and the inability to “snap out” of these feelings. If they persist beyond two weeks you should consider seeking help from an experienced mental health professional.
Nearly everyone suffering from depression has pervasive feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, and irritability. In addition, professional help should be sought if you or someone you know has had four or more of these symptoms nonstop for more than 2 weeks.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION:
- Loss of energy; fatigue- you may feel tired all the time even when you have not exerted yourself.
- Noticeable change in sleeping patterns; fitful sleep, inability to go to sleep or stay asleep, sleeping too much.
- Loss of interest in activities or relationships you use to enjoy.
- Inappropriate guilt; feeling guilty about everything.
- Decreased sex drive
- Inability to concentrate; unable to stay focused on the tasks at hand, easily distracted.
- Noticeable change of appetite; significant weight gain or weight loss.
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Physical complaints; stomachaches, headaches, backaches.
- Excessive/uncontrollable tearfulness; overwhelming feelings of sadness and grief
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide; wishing to die, attempting suicide.
I have been a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist for over 25 years and helped children, teens, and adults recover from depression. I want to help you take small steps, learn new coping skills, uncover self-defeating thoughts/behaviors and restore your zest for living. Please contact me today at (619) 980-8805 …I’d love to speak with you.