Do you suffer from depression? Most people feel either anxious or down at some time in their life. Losing a loved one, a change in employment, struggling through a divorce, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, scared, nervous,lonely or anxious. These feelings are perfectly normal reactions to life’s stressors.
But some people experience these feelings daily or nearly daily for no apparent reason, making it difficult to carry on with normal, everyday functioning. These people may have depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a condition in which a person feels sad, hopeless, discouraged, unmotivated, or plain disinterested in life in general. When these feelings last for a short duration, it may just be a case of “the blues.” When such feelings persist, lasting for longer than two weeks and when these feelings get in the way of your daily activities such as taking care of family, time with friends, or causing you to miss work or school, it’s likely a major depressive episode.
Major depression is a treatable illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and functions. At any point in time, 3 to 5 percent of people suffer from major depression; your lifetime risk is about 17 percent.
What are the symptoms of depression?
- Feelings of hopelessness, discouragement, sadness, emptiness or unhappiness
- Outbursts of anger, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest or pleasure in your normal activities, such as sex
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
- Trouble concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
- Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Other people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Where can I go for help with depression?
If you’re near Boise Idaho, you can schedule to meet with me to help you through your depression. If you’re not located in Southwestern Idaho, you can use the Psychology Today website to find a counselor near you.