Our lives are never as smooth as we would like. We all have those moments of sadness and regret, where it feels like things never going right. For some people, though, these feelings linger. And at that point, you might start to wonder: Are these the symptoms of depression?
Clinical depression is a real illness that does far more than just darken your outlook. It can interfere with sleep, sap you of energy, leave you irritable with loved ones, cause you to miss work, and even trigger cardiac or other health issues.
It’s not a rarity. About 7 percent of the U.S. population, close to 18 million adults, experienced a major depressive episode in 2018, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
The good news: Depression is treatable with a depression counseling program. Understanding the disease is the first step in getting help. So let’s look at how to recognize the symptoms of depression.
More than the Blues
Clinical depression has a very specific definition. While everyone experiences sadness or grief, depression goes so far to interfere with your quality of life.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a person is clinically depressed when he or she reports a “depressed mood” or “loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities” consistently over two weeks.
What distinguishes depression is its persistence. The feelings stubbornly refuse to go away. Depression also causes unwanted changes to your body and alters other aspects of what once may have seemed like a “normal day.”
Symptoms of Depression
Doctors will ask you some questions aimed at spotting the symptoms of depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, specific symptoms they look for include bouts of intense:
- Irritation, frustration, or anger
- Sadness, tearfulness, or hopelessness
- Worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness
- Problems sleeping — either too much or too little
- Debilitating fatigue
If you notice any of the signs of depression, in yourself or a loved one, seek help. Talk to a trusted professional and get yourself evaluated.
Treatment for Symptoms of Depression
Life is too short to suffer needlessly. Many different types of treatment are available. Work with your medical professional to find the right blend of treatment to address your needs.
Psychotherapy is something you may want to consider. A trained counselor, either a psychologist or social worker, can help you identify issues, form solutions, and change behaviors. According to NAMI, some of the most common forms of therapy include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Exposure therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychotherapy services
In addition to psychotherapy, people suffering from depression can be prescribed medications. Physicians have several classes of drugs they can prescribe to help address the symptoms of depression. Important to note, some medications take several weeks to become fully effective.
Finally, as part of your treatment, you may consider whether various forms of lifestyle change can give you a lift. This might include changes in diet, exercise, or other strategies for adopting a more positive outlook.
Often the total solution involves elements of all three types of treatment, something we call combination therapy.
Depression is Real
Don’t let depression distract you from the joy of life. If you spot symptoms of depression in yourself or a loved one, Remedy Therapy in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida can help. Our counselors provide various counseling services including, family, individual, and group therapy, as well as other emotional support, such as medication counseling management. Contact us at 516.414.2607 to start smiling again.