WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
When people come to see me sometimes they are aware that they are depressed, other times they are experiencing symptoms that they don’t immediately associate with Clinical Depression. The predominate symptoms of Depression are:
- Depressed Mood
- Insomnia or Hypersomnia (sleeping more than usual)
- Feelings of Sadness, Crying often or easily
- Decreased Libido (Sex Drive)
- Loss of Energy
- Problems Concentrating
- Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt
- Physical Aches and Pain for no physical reason
- Suicidal Ideation (thoughts of death or suicide, with or without a plan)
- Loss of interest in things that used to give you pleasure
Not everyone that is depressed experiences all of these symptoms. Some people notice that they have gained or lost weight since they have been feeling sad. Almost everyone experiences low self esteem and problems making decisions. Some people feel as though they want to sleep most of the day, while others find that they are tired but when they get into bed they either can’t fall asleep or they wake up many times during the night. Whatever your specific symptoms are, you are probably experiencing a few of them almost every day.
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
There are many things that can cause or increase an individual’s risk for experiencing depression. Past physical, sexual or emotional abuse (See PTSD), certain medications (beta blockers or Resperine), conflict with your family of origin, your partner or at your job can all contribute to becoming depressed. Individuals that have been diagnosed with a Chronic or Life Threatening Illness often become depressed because their life has turned out differently than they imagined. Individuals that are sick and have children worry about how to parent a child when they are exhausted and in pain. Suffering with pain day in and day out is another cause of Depression. Family History can also play a role in whether you are prone to Depression or Bipolar Disorder.
Any major event or change, good or bad, can cause you to become depressed. The loss of a Job, a Divorce, Moving or even things that are technically “happy events” such as Marriage or Graduation can stir up your emotions, and the new changes in your life or routine can cause you to become depressed.
WHAT IS BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Some individuals find that they go through periods of deep depression and then suddenly for no reason they experience an abnormally and persistently elevated mood.This is called Mania.When individuals struggle with extreme mood shifts, with no middle ground it is called Bipolar Disorder (formerly called Manic-Depression).
Mood disorders, especially Bipolar Disorder, can require Medication in addition to therapy. I have some patients with Depression that don’t want medication, they just want to work on their pain without “drugs.” Depending on how severe your symptoms are, psychotherapy can be an effective option for Depression. However, for Bipolar Disorder, medication plus therapy is optimum in most cases. Since I have a Ph.D. I cannot prescribe medication, but we have different options avaiable to you. If you have a GP or Internist, with your permission, I am happy to discuss psychopharmacological options for you. If you would prefer, I can refer you to a Psychiatrist for medication monitoring and you can continue to see me for therapy.
Right now, if you are reading this you are experiencing a lot of emotional pain. You may be frightened, angry, or confused. If any of the things I have described sound like how you feel then I encourage you to call me. As you begin to tell me your story we can work together to help you regain your power and self-esteem. Imagine life being the way that it used to be…You awaken in the morning wanting to get out of bed. You begin to desire to get back involved in the hobbies that you used to enjoy working on. Feeling exhausted, sad, and in pain is not how life should be lived.
You don’t have to pretend that everything in your life is good. You no longer have to hold back the tears, or drag yourself to work or to your child’s activities. Call right now, and you are one day closer to feeling better physically and emotionally!