Do You Have Depression? Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is the definition of depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health characterizes depression (also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder), as “a common but serious mood disorder…[that] causes severe symptoms which affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities.” There are many forms of depression (such as postpartum depression, psychotic depression), but one overarching mood present in all of them is a persistent sadness or “low” feeling.

Do You Have Depression? Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

  • Feeling consistently sad, down, or “blue”
  • Unusual irritability
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Self-loathing
  • Suicidal thoughts or a fixation on death
  • Appetite/weight fluctuations
  • Taking less or no pleasure in activities one used to enjoy
  • Physical problems such as aches, cramps, headaches, etc. without a clear cause

How can depression be treated?

There are many forms of treatment for depression, including psychotherapy and/or medication. In more severe cases, electroshock therapy (ECT) is another option. Different treatments will have different effects on different people, and no one treatment works best for everyone. By trying different combinations of treatment methods, one can find what works best for them.

Many people choose to go to therapy (also often called “counseling”). Common types of therapy used to treat depression successfully include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). By finding a therapist with whom one enjoys working and with whom one feels comfortable, therapy can often help one find healthy coping mechanisms and give one an outlet to express their feelings. Here at Family Restoration Counseling Services, we can help to provide you with just such a therapist.

Some people opt to take medication, specifically antidepressants, to combat their depressive disorder. In order to do so, one must visit a doctor (most often a psychiatrist) and discuss their symptoms in order to obtain a prescription for whatever antidepressants the doctor thinks will work best. Antidepressants balance the chemicals in one’s brain in order to help one’s mood improve. Not every medication will work for every person—it takes a period of trial and error in order to find the right combination of medication, and this period can last months.

Do you think that you or a loved one may have depression?

Contact us in order to get an initial consultation. We can figure out together if Stonebriar Counseling Services is right for you.

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