Transitory feelings of sadness or discouragement are perfectly normal especially during particularly difficult times. However, what distinguishes “the Blues” from depression is the severity, length of symptoms, and the inability to “snap out” of these feelings. 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 and have lost the zest and joy form their life. They might start to isolate themselves from their friends or family. And overall, they feel “stuck”, hopeless, and don’t’ know how 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.
Research shows that talk therapy/counseling or “psychotherapy” is a highly effective treatment for depression and anxiety. In some cases people also benefit from medication. Through my 25 years I have helped children, teens, and adults recover from depression in a safe and non-judgmental space. By taking small steps we can learn new coping skills, uncover self-defeating thoughts/behaviors and restore your zest for living.