There are many things that can make a person feel down. Losing a loved one, missing a deadline on an important project or breaking up with a boyfriend can all give you a case of the blues and leave you crying in your pillow for a little while. Sometimes, however, there is more to a sad feeling than a slump in life. When that is the case, depression might be the culprit.
The Main Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression can include feelings of hopelessness, excessive fatigue, headaches, poor appetite and insomnia. Depression takes a different appearance for almost everyone, and there are many different types of depression. Exploring the many faces of depression can help you to understand what you are experiencing and know when it is time to seek professional help.
Major depression is the most common form of depression, and the National Institute of Mental Health states it affects approximately seven percent of adults in the United States at any given time. Major depression causes an individual to feel extremely sad, hopeless and guilt ridden. It can also cause those suffering to stop eating, have difficulty concentrating and alter their normal sleep habits. This condition is often a reoccurring one throughout an adult’s life, and that is why it is important to seek help from a licensed therapist as soon as major depression is suspected. With proper treatment, most people find their path to recovery and continue to lead normal, healthy lives.
Postpartum depression impacts the lives of women across the world, with statistics showing that up to 85-percent of women experience some form of baby blues following the birth of a child. While bringing a child into the world is a joyous occasion, filled with happy smiles, friendly visitors and exciting new adventures, sometimes it is mingled with sadness. During this time, many women try to mask feelings of depression, but doing so can be dangerous.Postpartum depression can cause a woman to have a difficult time bonding with her new child and retreat to isolation. Some women even experience suicidal ideations or thoughts of harming their children. While postpartum depression is serious, therapy, medical supervision and appropriate medications help many women to overcome it so that they can fully enjoy the gifts that motherhood brings.
Sometimes symptoms of depression last for a longer period of time and cause a low mood but do not completely inhibit an individual’s ability to function. This is known as dysthymia or chronic depression. Dysthymia symptoms often include trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping at night and feelings that things are not quite right in life. Sometimes dysthymia is triggered by a life changing event, and at other times, the reasons behind these feelings of low mood are not immediately apparent. The good news is that individuals with chronic depression typically respond very well to individual therapy. With early intervention, many are even able to recover without the need for medications.
Atypical Forms of Depression
Finally, there are forms of depression that are less common but equally as important to treat promptly. Bipolar depression, manic depression and psychotic depression can all cause individuals to hallucinate, become catatonic or experience extreme periods of lows, or depressed states, followed by extreme periods of highs, also known as mania. Any of these symptoms should be taken very seriously, and they require immediate therapeutic and medical intervention to reduce the risk of dangerous or even life threatening consequences.
Regardless of the face it presents with, depression is an illness to take seriously. With medical interventions and the assistance of a qualified therapist, most individuals will overcome depression and return to a happier state of being. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, Sue Brazee is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Yorba Linda, CA. Sue can help you to discover the root of your problems and explore new coping mechanisms. Contact her office at 949.407.5613 to schedule an appointment.