— Albert Camus
- Are you losing interest in relationships, work or activities that you once enjoyed?
- Do you feel ambivalent or hopeless about your life?
- Have you felt a deep and unrelenting sadness?
The term “depression” is frequently misused in our society and often does not accurately reflect the nature of depression and its symptoms and severity. Depression is much more than just feeling “a little sad”. It’s a state of being that permeates many aspects of one’s life, and left untreated, it can progress in severity and lead to a wide range of other emotional and physical health problems.
Both men and women experience depression, although depression often manifests itself differently based on gender, culture and personality. While there is no single cause of depression, certainly it may be impacted by biological and environmental stressors. Depression can happen at any age and effects many people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the Unites States, with approximately 7.3 million adults (or 7.1% of the population) suffering from it.
Symptoms can include:
- Loss of interest in daily activities or relationships
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of self-loathing, worthlessness or guilt
- Appetite or weight changes
- Inability to experience joy or pleasure
- Agitation and/or irritability
- Sleep disturbances: insomnia, irregular sleep patterns or excessive sleeping
- Active or passive suicidal thoughts/plans.
While it may be difficult to initially to seek counseling for depression, there are many useful therapy techniques and interventions available that make depression counseling extremely successful, and offer great hope for a return to well-being. Dealing with depression can feel like an enormous challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone.