If you are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts please seek help immediately:
1-800 -273- TALK (273-8255)
Go to your local emergency room
Most people feel down every now and then. It’s a natural response to the stressors and tensions of life. There are times periodically when individuals may withdraw, lose interest, and feel sad or confused. When these feelings continue for an extended time, occurring every day for more than two weeks, you are very likely experiencing depression. Depression can occur for many reasons or with no clear reason at all. Having a family member with depression or changes in certain brain chemicals may increase one’s risk for depression. Life changes, both those perceived as positive or negative, such as the death of a family member, retirement, a promotion, or birth of a child, can trigger depression. Health issues, such as having a heart attack, stroke or cancer, or even certain medications prescribed for health concerns can trigger depression. The use of recreational drugs or alcohol can trigger depression or make it even worse.
Depression can occur regardless of age or gender. Women are most likely to report depression. This may be due to the hormonal changes women experience throughout their lifetime, or it may just be that women are more likely to seek help. Children can suffer from depressive symptoms and in children and adolescents, depression can be manifested as anger. This is also true for men. Depression in children may be triggered by many different things including, poor academic performance, bullying, fighting in the home… Depression in adolescents may be triggered by hormonal and body changes that come with maturation. Young adults are forging their way into the world, learning to manage life on their own, which can create stress or a sense of loss, both triggers for depression. In middle age, depression can be triggered by a perception of life goals seeming out of reach. In later years, depression can be triggered by the realization that goals were not met or through regrets of choices made throughout one’s lifetime.
The symptoms of depression vary from person to person but may include:
Feeling sad or empty
Decreased or Increased sleep
Feeling excessive guilt
Apathy or decreased motivation
Decreased sexual desire
Decreased or increased appetite
Feeling hopeless or helpless
Decreased confidence or self-esteem
Weight gain or loss
Poor concentration or focus
Loss of interest in things previously enjoyed
Suicidal thoughts or actions
Head, back or stomach aches
Depression effects millions of people each year, but is often misunderstood by the individual experiencing it, as well as family and friends. All too frequently, depression goes untreated. Sometimes individuals don’t realize they are depressed, other times they may worry that others will think they are weak, or sometimes individuals are just too depressed to seek treatment. When depression is left untreated, the depressed individual suffers not only emotionally, but depression can also affect every other aspect of life: work performance, relationships with family and friends, finances, physical health… There is treatment available that can help you overcome and manage your depression. For help or questions regarding depression and its treatment, contact our professional counselors at Carter Counseling Center.