Sue Brazee, MA, LMFT Therapy Blog

Below are articles about my individual, couples, and family therapy services.

What Are The Symptoms of Depression?

What Are The Symptoms of Depression?

Recognizing Depression and the Symptoms

Depression is a mental illness that causes feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and even thoughts of suicide. Depression also causes physical health concerns such as headaches, pains in the joints and muscles, elevated blood pressure and digestive concerns.

Sept_11_DepressionWhen depression strikes, it can hinder many aspects of life. A depressed individual may lose interest in physical intimacy, causing problems in a spousal relationship. A person who is depressed often loses the motivation to work and focus, and this can destroy professional relationships and career endeavors. Depression can also negatively impact personal growth, physical health, and relationships with friends, children and extended family members. While risking the loss of so many positive aspects of life can feel overwhelming, there is hope when it comes to winning the battle against depression. With the help of individual therapy, it is possible to overcome this mental illness and return to a positive, productive and happy life.

Individuals often have a difficult time distinguishing between true depression and a normal case of the blues. While everyone experiences feelings of sadness from time to time, clinically diagnosed depression presents in a way that moves beyond sadness.

Indicators of depression can include:

  • Isolation – When an individual chooses to remain alone at all times and pulls away from individuals that previously provided beneficial companionship.
  • Angry Outbursts – If an individual is constantly expressing anger in a verbal or physical way toward others, depression can be the cause. If domestic violence is in any way involved, seeking immediate assistance is especially important.
  • Worrying – This moves beyond the normal human patterns of worrying about important events and people in one’s life. Worrying excessively for extended periods of time and over every small detail in life can indicate a diagnosis of depression.
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities – These activities can include hobbies, exercise, sexual intercourse, work related projects or any other activities that brought joy to the person’s life. If the loss of interest extends for a lengthened period of time, the result can be feelings of isolation or suicidal ideation.
  • Persistent Insomnia – When an individual is frequently waking at night or cannot fall asleep for an extended period of time that goes beyond a day or two of restless sleep, the cause might be depression.
  • Thoughts of death, dying or suicide – This is an especially important indicator to pay attention to, and immediate help is necessary if the individual forms a plan to carry out these thought or performs activities that harm the body.

These are only a few of the many symptoms that can indicate an individual is suffering from depression. As each individual is unique, so are the symptoms that indicate a mental health concern may be present.

Overcoming depression involves making positive changes in life. Individuals who feel depressed on a regular basis should seek companionship from positive people, make efforts to get out of the house and remain active, sleep for at least eight hours at night and spend fifteen or twenty minutes in the sun daily. Additionally, seeking out the help of a licensed marriage and family therapist offers access to medically proven techniques that are beneficial in overcoming depression. In particular, individual therapy has a proven track record in helping individuals combat the negative aspects of depression. Individual therapy sessions provide opportunities for a person to realize strengths, overcome weaknesses and discuss concerns in a safe environment. Sessions also provide coping techniques, and they can help a depressed individual to feel healthy once again.