Nearly 16 million Americans deal with it every year. Depression is not the same as being sad. Feeling sad is usually a temporary state but depression is long-lasting.
Depression does not look the same in everyone.
Depression affects people in different ways. For example:
Women have depression more often than men. Biological, lifecycle, and hormonal factors that are unique to women may be linked to their higher depression rate. Women with depression typically have symptoms of sadness, worthlessness, and guilt.
Men with depression are more likely to be very tired, irritable, and sometimes angry. They may lose interest in work or activities they once enjoyed, have sleep problems, and behave recklessly, including the misuse of drugs or alcohol. Many men do not recognize their depression and fail to seek help.
Older adults with depression may have less obvious symptoms, or they may be less likely to admit to feelings of sadness or grief. They are also more likely to have medical conditions, such as heart disease, which may cause or contribute to depression.
Younger children with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.
Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, and be irritable. Teens with depression may have symptoms of other disorders, such as anxiety, eating disorders, or substance abuse.
It is important to understand the source of your depression
· Personal health
· Learned behavior
· Family relationships
· Career and lifestyle
· Unrealistic expectations
· Unfulfilling relationships and careers
· Financial stress
Factors involved in depression
· Angry thoughts
· Hormonal Depression
· Puberty associated depression
· PMS-based depression
· Menopausal depression
· Chronic situational depression
· Post-traumatic stress disorder
· Old Age Depression
· Fear of death or disease
· Loss of spouse or friends
· Medication-induced depression
· Substance-induced depression
· Lack of exercise
· Stress-induced Depression
· Seasonal affective disorder
Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
Risk factors include:
- Personal or family history of depression
- Major life changes, trauma, or stress
- Certain physical illnesses and medications
- Psychotherapy helps by teaching new ways of thinking and behaving, and changing habits that may be contributing to depression. Therapy can help you understand and work through difficult relationships or situations that may be causing your depression or making it worse.
At DC Counseling, we can help you:
· Adjust to a crisis or other current difficulty
· Identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones
· Explore relationships and experiences, and develop positive interactions with others
· Find better ways to cope and solve problems
· Identify issues that contribute to your depression and change behaviors that make it worse
· Gain control over your life
· Learn to set realistic goals for your life
· Develop the ability to tolerate and accept distress using healthier behaviors
· Learn ways to relax and manage your stress through Meditation, guided imagery, EMDR, and EFT
- Locate helpful groups. Many organizations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, offer education, support groups, counseling and other resources to help with depression.
- Contact the National Suicide Prevention Life line
- Don't isolate. Try to participate in social activities, and get together with family or friends regularly. Support groups for people with depression can help you connect to others facing similar challenges and share experiences.