What is Depression?
Sadness is something we all experience. It is a normal reaction to difficult times in life and usually passes with a little time. When a person has depression, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning. It can cause pain for both the person with depression and those who care about him or her. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you felt sad, down or in the dumps?
- Have you lost interest in your daily activities?
- Have you felt a lack of energy?
- Have you felt less self-confident or been experiencing low self-esteem?
- Have you been feeling guilty or self-critical?
- Have you had difficulty in concentrating?
- Have you felt restless?
- Have you slowed down?
- Have you had trouble sleeping at night or are you sleeping too much?
- Have you suffered from a reduced appetite?
- Have you suffered from an increased appetite?
- Have you felt that life was not worth living?
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression commonly affects your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviors, and your overall physical health. Here are some of the most common symptoms that point to the presence of depression:
- Loss of interest in friends, family, and favorite activities, including sex
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble making decisions
- Trouble remembering
- Thoughts of harming yourself
- Delusions and/or hallucinations can also occur in cases of severe depression
- Withdrawing from people
- Crying episodes
- Substance abuse
- Missing work, school or other commitments
- Attempts to harm yourself
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood. Depression is now recognized as occurring in children and adolescents, although it sometimes manifests itself as a genuine affliction through a more prominent state of irritability rather than a sad mood. Many chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children.
Therapy is one alternative to help regain hope and happiness
Talking with a trained mental health professional, who is experienced and truly understands depression, can provide you with much relief. When in the mist of depression many individuals develop tunnel vision and feel trapped. Stepping Stone's therapists can help you gain a fresh perspective and provide you with cognitive and behavioral strategies that can help eliminate self-destructive patterns. In your counseling sessions, you can begin to identify and address depression symptoms, learn ways to take better care of yourself and those who depend on you, and learn how to live your life in more constructive and empowering ways.
Your therapist can give you honest feedback in a safe and supportive environment as you explore what’s blocking your ability to feel happiness. You can uncover self-limiting/defeating thoughts and behaviors that you may not even know you have, and learn healthier ways to cope with stress and difficult emotions. Your therapist will use a strengths based approach to build on your unique qualities and help you attain your goal to feel better. You can discover resources, reconnect with your inner strength, and regain a sense of purpose and meaning in your life.
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