The loss of a job, loss or death of a loved, or not achieving an important goal may cause us to experience a deep sense of sadness or emptiness. But knowing whether this mood is a normal reaction or whether it is a symptom of a more serious mental disorder can sometimes be confusing. We all have felt depressed at some time in our life. For many, the feeling passes with time and with no adverse effects. But for others, long periods of these feelings can negatively affect our goals, relationships and general quality of life. Depression is highly common and becomes of concern when it affects every aspect of one’s life, persists for more than two weeks, or happens for no apparent reason.
Depression can manifest itself in three ways:
Depressed mood, including feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and loss of joy
Pessimistic thoughts and beliefs about the self, world and the future
Physical symptoms, including weight change, sleep disturbance and loss of interest in sex
The individual may begin to withdraw from others, have difficulty sleeping or sleep too much, wake erratically during the night, feel irritable or hopeless, have a difficult time concentrating, experience decreased energy, cry easily, and lose interest in activities they used to find pleasurable.
Therapy can provide hope while helping the individual to understand the feelings of loss and learn how to move forward and feel more positive about the future. It can be difficult for an individual to seek therapy when they are accustomed to blaming oneself for their current state. Depression is treatable through therapy because an individual learns how to recognize negative self-talk and change it to more supportive thoughts and actions. These actions can include raising self-awareness and gaining insight to enable him or her to seek out healthy relationships and improve the relationships he or she is currently in.
Types of depression that I treat include: