Depression, Symptoms of Depression, Feeling sad, Major depression, Loss of interest

Depression

Depression is a mood disturbance that goes beyond feeling sad. It affects one’s thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and physical health. It can lead to withdrawal from people and activities. Depression is a medical illness and not a sign of personal weakness.

9.5% of the U.S adult population suffers from some type of Depressive Disorder, of which 6.7% suffer from Major Depression. Without treatment, the severity of the symptoms increases over time, as well as the frequency of the episodes.  If left untreated, a person may face serious impairments in their ability to function at home and work.

Symptoms of Depression may include the following:

  1. Feeling sad persistently
  2. Loss of interest in activities that one used to enjoy
  3. Sleep patterns changing (needing more sleep or less sleep)
  4. Feeling irritable or restless
  5. Experiencing changes in appetite (either eating much more or much less than usual)
  6. Feeling tired, and loss of energy
  7. Low or no motivation
  8. Having thoughts of suicide or death
  9. Feeling helpless
  10. Feeling hopeless
  11. Having difficulty concentrating, and making decisions.

If these symptoms exist for at least two weeks, for more days than not, then it is recommended to schedule an appointment with a therapist and/or a psychiatrist for Depression screening.

Depression can occur due to any of the following factors (or a combination of them):

  1. Genetic reasons (family history)
  2. Biochemical (chemical imbalance or change in hormones)
  3. A traumatic or stressful incident (childbirth, loss of a loved one)
  4. Psychological factors (social, stress, anxiety).
  5. Substance abuse
  6. Certain medication

Once Depression is diagnosed, you would have several treatment options. Some of the options include the following:

  1. Individual psychotherapy – This treatment helps an individual become more aware and better able to cope with their problems. It provides support and help by examining some of the underlying reasons of depression. There are many methods of therapy including Cognitive, Behavioral, and Psychoanalysis.
  2. Psychotherapy and support groups – Support groups are great option to be able to relate to others, and to connect. Group members learn from each other. Oftentimes this option helps to not feel alone.
  3. Medication- Medications are used to treat seriously depressed people. It helps to correct chemical imbalances of certain brain chemicals.
  4. Alternative therapy (Thought Field Therapy, Acupuncture, Natural Remedies)- Thought Field Therapy provides a quick relief of symptoms. Recently, people have been trying alternative methods prior to medications.
  5. Educational classes- offers material to help one learn to understand and cope with Depression.
  6. Self-Care- Learning to pay attention to ones lifestyle, eating and exercising habits.

Anita Avedian, MFT, has been working with individuals suffering from Depression for many years. Individual therapy is offered to help one learn about coping skills, problem solving, learning ways to increase motivation, and understanding underlying causes of ones depression.