Sadness is a normal part of life, but when it’s accompanied by hopelessness, worthlessness, or numbness, it’s a sign that there’s something more serious at hand that requires professional attention and care.
These feelings may indicate that you’re experiencing depression, a common mood disorder that can stem from trauma, learned behavior, negative thought patterns, and biochemistry–or some combination of all of the above.
Depression affects how we think, feel and behave, which can cause a whole host of emotional and physical problems. For example, depression may cause you to feel sad, disconnected, or apathetic, which ends up affecting not only you, but also may have a detrimental effect on your relationships.
Depression may even cause you to feel super intense emotions like emptiness, irrational guilt, preoccupation with death, thoughts of suicide and unhealthy dependence on others.
How might this show up in your own life?
Well, if there’s a happy situation going on that used to bring you joy, you may notice that you no longer feel as relaxed or excited as you used to.
You may feel a sense of apathy that never seems to go away.
You may also experience increased anxiety and agitation, making you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in situations that used to feel normal or even enjoyable.
You may also start to entertain the idea of suicide. Whether you are actually considering going through with it or just thinking about it (known as suicidal ideation), please reach out to a professional or call 911 immediately.
Suicide is a permanent way to avoid a a temporary problem that we can help you work through.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Below are some telltale symptoms you might relate to if you’re dealing with depression:
- Lethargy, fatigue or loss of energy, and lack of motivation
- Loss of interest, lack of pleasure, anhedonia
- Feelings of significant sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Hypersomnia or increased need for sleep
- Insomnia or having difficulty sleeping
- Weight loss or weight gain NOT due to normal dieting and exercise
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration over small matters
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making everyday decisions
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or self-injurious behaviors (e.g. cutting)*
- Thoughts of death or suicide*
*Again, please call 911 immediately if you are having thoughts of harming yourself in any way.*
DEPRESSION: EFFECTS ON THE MIND AND BODY
As you can see, depression doesn’t just manifest in the mind, it shows up in the body as well.
Physical problems due to depression can include insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much), memory problems, increased risk of heart attack, weight fluctuation, constricted blood vessels, body fatigue, and a weakened immune system.
In fact, research is finding more and more evidence that gut health, immune health, and mental health are tied together in a self-reinforcing feedback loop (see our Functional Nutrition & Holistic Therapy Research page to learn more).
In other words, our physical and emotional lives interact bidirectionally and reinforce one another.
What does that mean?
Well, when we feel our best, we are more likely to eat healthy, exercise consistently, be more productive, and have positive interactions with others that create new friendships and relationships.
That’s on the positive side.
On the flip side, when we’re depressed, we may have difficulty motivating ourselves to do much of anything. Work, social engagements, and exercise tend to fly out the window.
The less we take care of ourselves, the worse we feel. And the worse we feel, the less we take care of ourselves.
Makes sense, right?
This becomes a vicious cycle that’s hard to break out of without the help and support of a professional.
DEPRESSION, SELF-WORTH, AND SELF-ESTEEM
What’s even worse is that depression consequently chips away at our self-esteem and self-worth (see our Self-Esteem page to learn more).
So, whether you are simply going through a rough time or you’re fully in the throes of depression, therapy can help you to identify underlying patterns and implement strategies to restore a sense of joy, peace, and competence to your life.
Our methods are scientifically-backed and research proven to be effective for treating depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other mental health issues.
TYPES OF DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS
Our team of experienced therapists specialize in a wide range of depressive disorders including:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
- Also known as Clinical Depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Depression based on changes of the season (especially the gloomier months)
- Dysthymic Disorder
- A type of chronic, low-grade depression
- Postpartum Depression
- Depression that occurs after childbirth
OUR DEPRESSION THERAPY METHODS
Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated to be effective for overcoming depression and other related mood and anxiety disorders. Learn more about our empirically based therapy modalities by visiting our Methods page.
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A DEPRESSION EXPERT NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our depression therapists for a free consultation any time.