With more than 16 million Americans suffering from depression the chances are high that if you haven’t experienced depression personally, you know someone who has. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health conditions affecting adults. So what exactly is it?
What is depression?
It is not sadness. Sadness is a human emotion that all of us have experienced at one time or another and it’s a natural response to pain and emotional upset. It can sometimes be heartbreakingly intense but it is temporary. Depression is much more severe and long lasting. It is a serious mental health disorder whose symptoms can become severe enough to interfere with day-to-day activities, like school, work, social activities or your relationships with others. It has been described as a constant and meaningless struggle and can affect each of us differently.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression can sometimes look like:
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
What can you do if you are depressed?
Depression is the number one cause for disability in Americans ages 15 to 44 years. Left untreated, depression at its most severe can lead to suicidal thoughts. Hope can feel lost and it may be hard to remember the reasons why the struggle is worth it.
The good news is that you don’t have to suffer, we are here to help. If you are feeling sad; connecting with others, doing activities that make you happy, getting enough sleep and eating right can help you feel better. With depression you may need a little more help. If you’re depressed, psychological counseling with a professional you trust can make a difference.
Your physician or therapist can work with you to find a treatment plan that works best for you. That may include medications, talk therapy and/or TMS therapy depending on your needs, family history, allergies and lifestyle. You may need to try out several options before finding a treatment plan that works best for you.
Take the first step in feeling better, contact Life Change Associates today!
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