- Are there days where you just go through the motions, and everything just seems pointless?
- Are there times that you feel so overwhelmed that everything in your life seems unmanageable and out of control?
- Do you find yourself on edge more often? Are you irritated and angry more than you feel you should be?
- Is it becoming a struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Is self-care becoming a chore for you?
- Is it hard to see the future because you are just focusing on getting through each day?
- Do you find yourself sad and you aren’t even sure why?
No one maintains a constant state of happiness. That’s not realistic. Instead, life is a multitude of emotions: happy, sad, thoughtful, melancholy, fearful, contented, fearless and so forth.
While everyone gets the occasional blues, sometimes sadness can become so overwhelming and prolonged that it starts to disrupt our lives. When this happens, work, relationships, and our personal well-being begins to suffer. Let this be the litmus test for you: if your symptoms have been constant for at least two weeks, and you find your life and relationships being negatively impacted, you may want to get some help.
If you feel you may have some level of depression, let me assure you that you are not alone. Depression affects roughly 16 million American adults in a given year. It affects people from all walks of life and no one is excluded.
What Does Depression Look Like?
Depression is much more than intense sadness. Here is a list of some of the common symptoms.
- Feelings of sadness or depressed mood (in kids and teens, this could be more anger and irritability)
- Appetite changes (e.g., overeating or poor appetite)
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Loss of interest in things you once found pleasurable
- Difficulty sleeping (e.g., sleeping too much or too little)
- Fatigue or low energy
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or extreme guilt
- Low or poor self-esteem
- Agitated, irritable or slow movement
- Thoughts of death, dying, or suicide
Causes of Depression…
Depression can occur due to a variety of factors, and it’s important to realize that you did not cause your depression. It is not a character flaw or a weakness. Let’s take a look at some of the elements that can contribute to the onset of depression:
- Genetics or family history
- Hormonal changes
- Brain chemistry
- Grief and loss
- Difficult life events or challenges
- Certain medical conditions or medications
- Trauma (e.g., physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; traumatic brain injury; domestic violence; childhood neglect, etc.)
- Substance use or abuse
Treatment for Depression…
When treating depression, it is important to focus on the underlying causes of your depression and symptom relief. For example, if I determine that your depression has been caused by a past trauma, we will work through those feelings in a safe and supportive environment. We will also explore evidence-based strategies to help to start to relieve your symptoms, such as:
- Learning how sleep, exercise, and nutrition can affect your mood
- Managing your symptoms by challenging negative thinking patterns and adopting healthy thinking styles
- Adopting or changing certain behaviors to help relieve symptoms
- Incorporating self-care and stress management strategies into your daily life
- Developing healthy coping skills and tools
- Improving self-esteem and confidence
- Exploring complementary natural remedies, such as acupuncture, yoga, massage, etc. and providing referrals to these other health practitioners (if needed)
- Providing medical referrals for medication (if needed) and monitoring your progress
You Are Not Alone…
If you feel like you may be suffering from depression or any of its symptoms, please know that you don’t have to struggle alone. Whether it’s seasonal blues, sadness that you just can’t seem to shake, or ongoing clinical depression, I can help you get back to living and not just existing.
Want to know more? I offer a free 15-minute consultation where we can determine if working together would be a good fit for you. Or, if you know you want to jump right in, make an appointment today. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.