Suffering from Depression?
You are not alone if you suffer from Depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is a common medical illness. It is NOT a sign of personal weakness. It's not something you can just "snap out of." It's an illness that requires professional treatment. Symptoms of Depression affect our thoughts, feelings, relationships and even body functions. Depression is not only just a negative feeling about things in life. Everyone feels sad or low sometimes, but these feelings usually pass with a little time. When suffering from depression you can have a low mood every day accompanied by other negative symptoms that last for at least two weeks. These symptoms can become so severe that they will interfere with your normal day-to-day activities.
What Causes it?
Some factors include:
- Brain chemistry
- Learned patterns of thinking and feeling
- Genes inherited from family
- Life stressors, ether ongoing or in crisis situations
Symptoms can affect day-to-day life and can become very distressing.
Key symptoms include...
- Persistent sadness or low mood. This may be with or without weepiness.
- Marked loss of interest or pleasure in activities, even for activities that you normally enjoy.
Some other common symptoms include...
- Disturbed sleep compared with your usual pattern. This may be difficulty in getting off to sleep, or waking early and being unable to get back to sleep. Sometimes it is sleeping too much.
- Change in appetite. This is often a poor appetite and weight loss. Sometimes the reverse happens with comfort eating and weight gain.
- Tiredness (fatigue) or loss of energy.
- Agitation or slowing of movements.
- Poor concentration or indecisiveness. (difficult to read, work, etc.) Even small tasks can seem difficult.
- Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive, or inappropriate guilt.
- Recurrent thoughts of death. This is not usually a fear of death, more a preoccupation with death and dying. For some people despairing thoughts such as "life's not worth living" or "I don't care if I don't wake up" are common. Sometimes these thoughts progress into thoughts and even plans for suicide.
To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.
Here at Hamilton Health Associates our Psychologists are here to help you! Our Psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals with experience in helping many patients recover from depression. There are several approaches to psychotherapy that have been shown to help individuals recover from depression, especially those with mild-to-moderate depression.
Psychotherapy can help people with depression to:
- Pinpoint life events that contribute to their depression and help them find ways to change, accept, or adapt to those situations.
- Set realistic goals for the future.
- Identify distorted thought processes or unhelpful behaviors that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
- Develop skills to cope with symptoms and problems and identify or prevent future episodes of depression.