Depression is characterized by feelings of intense sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness that persists for weeks and significantly interferes with a person’s day to day functioning.
Depression affects more than 15 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
Some symptoms of depression to look out for include any of the following:
The exact cause of depression can be difficult to determine. Often times there is more than a single cause, and the cause or causes may be different for each person. We do know that depression can be related to a multitude of factors, such as:
Depression is a vicious cycle. What causes depression creates symptoms which creates terrible effects. The effects then impact the original cause or creates a new cause, which creates symptoms, and so on.
For example, financial hardship (cause) can create hopelessness and a lack of focus and motivation (symptoms), which can create the effect of going further into financial hardship and drinking. The further financial hardship, now combined with drinking, produces even more hopelessness and lack of focus, or motivation, while the cycle continues.
Depression can adversely impact major areas of life functioning, such as work, relationships, and health.
A depressed person may take multiple sick days, experience a lack of focus or motivation at work, or produce insufficient work products. This can lead to being passed up for a promotion or disciplinary action.
A depressed person may experience decreased sexual interest, irritability, and a desire to withdraw. This can lead to conflict in the relationship and can result in resentment, disharmony, and dissatisfaction. It may result in dissolvement of the relationship. A depressed person may have difficulty socializing or making and maintaining friendships.
A depressed person may experience various aches and pains, insomnia, oversleeping, over-eating, under-eating, lack of motivation to take medications, follow through with medical treatments, and exercise, suppression of immune system, substance abuse, attempted suicide, completed suicide.
Medications and psychotherapy are effective treatment options for depression. Your primary care physician or psychiatrist can discuss various medication options with you. Many people with depression benefit from a combination of medication and psychotherapy. A hospital stay, outpatient treatment program, or in-patient treatment program may be needed for severe depression. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 911 or go to your local emergency room right away. Anyone with suicidal urges should seek help from a mental health professional right away.
Dr. Messina provides psychological evaluation and treatment for depression in adults, adolescents, and children in Southlake and surrounding areas using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). If you or your child are experiencing depression, contact me today to schedule an appointment.