Major depression affects most people sometime in their lifetime. Depression that lasts a couple days is not uncommon. Depression prevents people from enjoying their lives, can cause physical ailments, and often leads to problems at home, at work, or at school. Relationships are also negatively affected by depression. Depression can also endanger people’s safety and well-being.
Depression is characterized by disturbances in one’s emotions – from the feeling of deep sadness for no reason to being grief-stricken over loss to losing interest in things one used to enjoy. Depression can also manifest itself as irritability and tension.
Physical Manifestations of Depression
There are also physical manifestations of depression, including fatigue, sleep disturbances, eating disturbances, and feeling like you’re in a fog. Sometimes these physical symptoms are what cause people to seek therapy or medical care, not knowing that they are suffering from depression.
Depression can also be characterized by feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, helplessness, and hopelessness. This can interfere with people seeking help for their depression.
It’s also common for people suffering from depression to think a lot about their own death and dying, and they may contemplate or attempt suicide. Suicidal thoughts are often due to unbearable emotional pain and the desire to stop the suffering. In therapy, our focus is to treat that unbearable pain.
Depression is a very treatable condition.
Evidence-based treatment for depression includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), behavior therapy, mindfulness informed therapy, and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). The benefits of therapy can be enhanced with medication, herbal supplements, exercise, and gratitude mediations.