Do I have depression?
Depression is a prolonged state of mind in which normal sadness grows into a painful state of hopelessness, listlessness, lack of motivation and fatigue. It can vary from mild to severe. When depression is mild, you find yourself brooding on your own negative aspects or those of others. You may feel resentful, irritable, or angry much of the time. You may feel sorry for yourself, and feel that you need reassurance from someone. You may even suffer various physical complaints that do not seem to be caused by any physical illness.
However, as depression worsens, feelings of extreme sadness and hopelessness combine with low self-esteem, guilt, and memory and concentration difficulties to bring about a severely painful state of mind. You may even feel that life is not worth living, and you may even begin to have thoughts of ending your life.
Symptoms of depression
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
Beginning to Heal
It’s important to remember depression is not something that should be considered shameful, and experiencing it does not make you weak or inadequate.
While you might experience depression, you can learn valuable skills and tools to manage, minimize, or diminish it. My goal in treating depression is to cultivate a comforting, validating environment for you to explore yourself and your feelings. Through careful and compassionate investigation, and by learning and applying techniques such as mindfulness, we can get to the bottom of your depression so that you can get to the top of your life again.
A Brighter Future
Prominent researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Neel Burton explains that depression can represent a deeper search for meaning and significance in life.
In his Tedx talk, Dr. Burton talks about how some of the most influential and important people in history have experienced depression. He explains the way different cultures respond to the phenomenon of depression, how they view human distress as an indicator of the need to address important life problems.
This is my philosophy as well. Make no mistake, depression is a serious, debilitating, painful experience, and can even be life-threatening. I do not take that lightly. But it does not have to drag you down or destroy your life. You can rise above it. Let me help you get there.