Depression is not the same thing as having a bad day. It is not being sad or blue, having remorse or guilt. It is not something we can “snap out of.” Depression is debilitating. It can feel like trying to walk through quicksand before being swallowed up. Depression affects our mood for sure, but also our memory, our energy, our physical sense of wellbeing, our desire to be with our friends and family, our ability to concentrate at work.
· Do you feel hopeless? Helpless? Powerless?
· Is the joy of life gone, and nothing seems to help?
· Do you remember when you used to laugh?
· Does even getting out of bed seem like a chore?
· Have you lost interest even in sex?
Depression is no longer a sentence. There is hope. I have worked with individuals battling depression for over 20 years. It is a battle, to be sure, but you don’t have to do this alone.
What Is Depression?
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.
Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.
People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
More information at the National Institute of Mental Health