Depression Symptoms: What are the symptoms of depression?
I discovered recently that the phrase “Depression Symptoms” is one of the most Googled phrases in mental health; a lot of Americans seem to feel depressed or think they may be depressed. Could be the economy, could be that most marriages fail in this country, or the stress of the “sandwich generation” caring for both children and elderly parents. In any case, depression is not pleasant and can affect many areas of your life, but the good news is that it is very treatable. However, a lot of people don’t seek treatment because they don’t realize they have depression.
What are the symptoms of depression?
All of us have some of these symptoms, some of the time, but when you find yourself having several symptoms at once, or a few over a long period of time it could signal something worth paying attention to. Often times, you might hear the term “depressive disorder” or “clinical depression”. To me, that’s not so important. Sure, I can easily give you a diagnostic label based on your symptoms, but what’s more important is finding what is causing this (for example, is it a hormonal shift like in certain types of Postpartum depression, or accumulate stress over several years that is causing your brain and body to shut down in a way, or even a recent or early life trauma), and to determine what is the best treatment for YOU.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Loss if interest in activities;
- Things you used to enjoy are not that enjoyable anymore;
- Change in appetite: either eating too much, or having poor appetite;
- Decrease in libido (lack of sex drive);
- Feeling tired a lot;
- Change in sleep habits: sleeping too much or not enough (insomnia);
- Feeling sad;
- Crying a lot;
- Being more irritable than usual;
- Not feeling optimistic about the future;
- Feeling hopeless;
- Believing that your circumstances will not change, or that happiness is for other people;
- Feeling suicidal (whether or not you would actually do it);
- Low energy;
- Poor concentration;
- Lack of motivation.
If you have a few of these symptoms, and you have been feeling this way for at least a few weeks, then you might have depression that can very likely be improved with therapy or a combination of therapy and medication.
How is Depression Treated – Help for Depression
In most cases, depression is treated by either psychotherapy alone, or a combination of psychotherapy and medication (see my blog post titled Should I Take Medication for Depression?). Many times, psychotherapy alone will be enough. Of course, within the realm of psychotherapy there are lots of approaches so it can seem a little confusing. When you are looking for help, how can you possibly know if you need Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, PsychoDynamic Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Humanistic Therapy, and the list goes on! Luckily in my office, you don’t need to figure that out. I am trained in many different types of therapy (including the ones I just mentioned) and will taylor my approach to your specific circumstances and needs.
Help for Depression – Feel good Again!
What is Depression – Part 1