Depression

It's more common than you think.

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Signals of Depression

Occasionally feeling down or “blue” is a normal part of life. That said, if you can’t get yourself out of bed in the morning, have prolonged feelings of despair or emptiness, or if you’ve lost enjoyment in life, then this may be a signal of a more serious issue. Depression, which can occur acutely or chronically, can have significant adverse effects on your relationships, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, as well as general well-being.

What is Depression ?

For most people, depression is something they have heard of, but may not necessarily know much about. Sure, the word has made its way into common parlance, and you can frequently hear it used to describe sadness generally. From the perspective of mental health counselors, the word depression describes a specific mood disorder with a range of causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

While the particular symptoms of depression vary from person to person, it can generally be characterized by long-term feelings of sadness, worthlessness, fatigue, and little to no desire to take part in activities that were previously considered enjoyable. Thanks to the ebbs and flows of everyday life, we all experience the feelings listed above from time to time. In the case of depression, these feelings don’t just occur once in a blue moon — they can interfere with your normal routine, cause you to miss work, or persist for two weeks or more.

Depression doesn’t just influence emotion or mood. It can also affect crucial mental processes like concentration, decision making, and memory. For people suffering from a major depressive disorder, it can feel like their cognitive processes are slowed. Lack of energy, irritability, and restlessness are also factors that are frequently associated with the changes in cognitive function resulting from depression.

For many people outside of psychology or psychiatric fields, the effects of depression might seem like they are limited to mental health. While the symptoms listed above show that depression does have a major impact on mental health, multitudes of empirical studies have demonstrated that depression is an extremely complex mood disorder with a wide range of effects. Depression can affect many different physiological processes, including sleep, appetite, and immune response. Depression can even lead to physical pain, which can arise through headaches or chronic muscle aches.

It is crucial to remember that not everyone who suffers from depression will experience all of the symptoms. There are various types of depressive disorders, and one person can experience many different symptoms over time. Depression is not a simple mood disorder. It can show its head in a variety of ways, and it can impact the entire body. Due to this, it is wise to seek help from a trained professional mental health counselor.

Common Causes of Depression

For some mental health challenges, one specific event, thought, or behavior causes issues. Depression is not like that. Depression usually results from various biological, mental, behavioral, and environmental factors. It can arise completely out of nowhere, or it can be the culmination of negative events in your life. As we mentioned above, a person can suffer from chronic depression or acute depression, both of which should be taken seriously.

There are several different types of depressive disorders that commonly afflict people. Dysthymia, or persistent depressive disorder, is a condition that lasts for at least two years. Without treatment, a person with dysthymia may have their symptoms spontaneously remit, but they will typically return at some point.

Other serious types of depression include seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and peripartum depression. SAD usually occurs during the winter and goes away with more exposure to sunlight. Peripartum depression is also known as postpartum depression, and it occurs after a mother gives birth to a child. Our mental health counselors in Manhattan can assist with both of these types of depression.

Perhaps it stems from the loss of a loved one, a major change, or years of stress and anxiety. It can arise frequently, last for months, or develop from a negative situation. Regardless of the cause, depression is a serious condition and our counselors are here to help.

Prevalence of Depression

Depression is not something that simply affects a few people. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers depression the leading cause of disability worldwide, and it is estimated that more than 300 million people globally suffer from some form of depression. People at all ages can suffer from depression, including children.

Thankfully, depression is highly treatable. No matter the cause, how long someone has been suffering, or the severity of symptoms, there are treatments that can improve mood and help people overcome it.

When to Get Help & Treatment Options

If you are currently suffering from any of the symptoms above, then you should consider seeking help. This is especially true if your symptoms interfere with your daily life and keep you from taking part in the activities you love to do. Although your symptoms could fade away without professional help, counseling is the best way to eliminate symptoms on your own terms and learn the best techniques to keep them from returning.

Our counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people overcome depression. CBT is an evidence-based therapy that has been proven to be effective time and again. Moreover, CBT is one of the most effective methods for treating depression, and it has been used in the past to help people lessen the effects associated with depression, no matter the underlying cause. To learn more about CBT, head over to our cognitive behavioral therapy page where you can learn more details about the process of using CBT.

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