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Everyone feels “blue” at certain times ….but you shouldn’t have to live with constant anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, or inappropriate guilt.

 

Transitory feelings of sadness or discouragement are perfectly normal especially during particularly difficult times.  However, what distinguishes “the Blues” from depression is the severity, number & duration of symptoms, and the inability to “snap out” of these feelings within two weeks. Symptoms often include feelings of sadness, helplessness, irritability, constant worry, and the inability to let go of thoughts that upset you.  People often mention they are having difficulty sleeping, eating and/or concentrating and have lost the joy from their life.  They might start to isolate themselves from their friends or family, which only compounds the feelings of low self-esteem. Overall, they feel “stuck or indecisive”, hopeless, and cannot muster the energy to move forward.

You’re not alone

Depression is an extremely common problem in our fast-paced, high-pressure society.  Depression can occur at any age and is an illness in the same way that diabetes and heart disease are illnesses. According to the National Institutes of Health, depression affects 38 million Americans each year. Additionally, twice that number (75 million) will suffer from an anxiety or depressive illness during some point in their lives.  The loss to our society from these illnesses is staggering: individual pain, family strife, school and relationship failure, lost work productivity, and if undetected or untreated, increased risk of suicide. While this is a serious and debilitating disorder, it is highly treatable. 

 

Getting “unstuck”

Research shows that talk therapy/counseling or “psychotherapy” is a highly effective treatment for depression. In some cases, people benefit from medication in combination with therapy. Through my 30 years of clinical experience, I have helped children, teens, and adults recover from depression in a safe, compassionate, and non-judgmental space.  By taking small steps you can learn new coping skills, uncover self-defeating thoughts/behaviors, discover the hidden strengths you have, and restore your zest for living.  Whether you have been living this way for many years (and believe this dark cloud was “normal”), or you had a recent loss that set the depression in motion, Help is a phone call away!

Professional help should be sought if you or someone you know has had four or more of these symptoms nonstop for more than 2 weeks.

Symptoms of depression

  • Loss of energy; fatigue-you may feel tired all the time even when you have not exerted yourself.

  • A noticeable change in sleeping patterns; fitful sleep, inability to go to sleep or stay asleep, sleeping too much.

  • Loss of interest in activities or relationships you use to enjoy.

  • Inappropriate guilt; feeling guilty about everything.

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Inability to concentrate; unable to stay focused on the tasks at hand, easily distracted.

  • Noticeable change of appetite; significant weight gain or weight loss.

  • Feelings of worthlessness; low self-esteem, emptiness

  • Physical complaints; stomachaches, headaches, backaches.

  • Excessive/uncontrollable tearfulness; overwhelming feelings of sadness, grief

  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide; wishing to die, attempting suicide

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1(800) 273-8255.  Help is available 24 hours a day.