Clinical depression involves more than just “the blues”. While everyone gets sad from time to time, clinical depression is a serious disorder that affects more than 15 million Americans.
Depression interferes with an individual’s ability to function from day to day. It can affect a person’s thoughts, mood, behavior, and physical health. Over half of people who struggle with one episode of depression will go on to experience more episodes of depression in the future. When depression goes untreated, the symptoms become more frequent and intense over time and can eventually lead to suicide.
Types And Symptoms Of Depression
Symptoms of Major Depression Include:
• a sad or irritable mood that won’t go away
• changes in appetite or sleep
• low energy
• the inability to enjoy activities that were previously enjoyable
• fatigue or low energy
• inability to concentrate
• poor memory
Other Depression Symptoms Include:
Feelings such as hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, and emptiness
The depressed person may even consider suicide. They may also suffer from a number of physical ailments that don’t respond to treatment. Overall, there is a marked change in how the person acts and feels as compared to before the symptoms of depression became noticeable.
Dysthymic Disorder (Dysthymia)
Dysthymic tends to be less severe than major depression, but is characterized by a depressed mood almost daily for at least two years. People with Dysthymia often report that they can’t recall a time when they were not depressed. They tend to be able to function in most areas of life, but not at an optimal level. They often have negative thoughts, are pessimistic, and very self-critical. They report feeling sad for no reason. They often feel uncomfortable around others, so withdraw from social activities.
Depression in Children & Teenagers
Children and adolescents also get depressed. Research shows that about 5% of children may experience depression at any given time and that it runs in families. Child depression is more likely if the child is under stress, anxiety, or has learning or attention problems; but depression in children can look different than depression in adults.
They may have a lot of behavior problems or be less interested in activity or friends than usual. They may become angry or aggressive, or have problems communicating. They may complain about feeling sick or show a change in their usual sleeping or eating patterns. Some children talk of running away or committing suicide.
Depression Treatment, Therapy and Counseling
At Birmingham Anxiety and Trauma Therapy, our psychologists, therapists and counselors are skilled in treating all types of depression. They can help ease your pain by addressing your feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Therapists will help you change your negative thinking and help your improve your personal relationships. You will learn to identify patterns of thinking that keep you stuck in the symptoms of depression. You will develop skills to solve problem areas of your life that contribute to stress and pain. We have several psychiatrists to whom we prefer to make referrals when medication is needed.