Feeling depressed can be a frightening and confusing experience. Maybe you are experiencing hardships in your life – stress at work or with your family, loss of relationships, trouble at school – that are causing you to feel uncharacteristically down or on edge. Maybe you have noticed that you are not enjoying life as much as you used to or that a loss of energy is causing you to isolate more. Whether these feelings arise from something difficult you are encountering in your life, or if they seem to come from nowhere in particular, I am able to help you identify strategies for coping with these feelings and ways to help you find hope in your day to day life.
The National Institute for Mental Health explains that if you experience some of the following symptoms for most of the day and for most days of the week for two weeks or more you may be suffering from depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
I believe that depression is not the same thing as having a bad day. It is not being sad or down, or experiencing remorse or guilt. It is not something we can “snap out of.” Depression is debilitating and pervasive. Depression affects our mood most obviously, but it can also affect our memory, our energy, our physical sense of wellbeing, our desire to be with our friends and family, our ability to concentrate at work.
I believe that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment for depression. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you. I will hold hope for you, even when you are at your most hopeless.