Depression is a very common and serious disease that affects millions of Americans. Depression symptoms can range widely and affect many different parts of the body, not just the brain. The severity of depression is also another factor to take into consideration.
Depending on if you have a mild case or more severe case of depression, you may be struggling with a wide variety of symptoms. If you’re experiencing a milder case of depression you may be struggling with a wide variety of symptoms including irritability, sadness, anger, or fatigue. These symptoms normally last for weeks or longer. Depression can not only affect you individually but may also affect your relationships too.
Severe depression includes more intense symptoms and can have a dramatic effect on your life. Sleep issues are one of the symptoms of severe depression. These sleep disturbances can be either insomnia or excessive sleeping. Issues with appetite and weight loss can also be present. Symptoms can also include frequent thoughts of death or suicide. Isolating thoughts, the inability to get out of bed or leaving the house, hopelessness, and loss of interest can also be factors. Living with depression can be complicated.
What is depression?
Depression is clinically known as major depressive disorder. Depression is a mood disorder and can cause hopelessness, a general lack of interest, and sadness among other thoughts or feelings. Most people will feel sad or depressed at different times during their life. Depression may occur when this feeling lasts for many days, weeks, or months. Depression can be diagnosed using the DSM-5 by a health professional including your Primary Care Provider or Mental Health Professional including a therapist or psychiatrist. Pursuing therapy is one of the most effective treatments for depression. (1)
What are some of the symptoms of depression?
There are many symptoms of depression. It’s important to discuss your symptoms with your Primary Care Provider, therapist, or psychiatrist. Here are some of the symptoms that you may experience if you have depression:
Other important factors to consider
The symptoms that you experience when you have depression can vary. Sometimes a person’s depression can occur or change depending on the season. Another thing to consider is that there may be physical signs of your depression. Some of the physical symptoms that you may experience include:
Depression can change the brain’s chemicals and can play a huge part in both pain and mood. It’s important to integrate your medical approach and mental health with your Primary Care Provider and your mental health professional, either a therapist or psychiatrist, or both. Therapy is a great non-invasive treatment method that you should discuss with your treatment team. (1.2)
Causes for Depression
While doctors don’t know exactly what causes depression, they believe that it is most likely causes by a combination of:
More research is constantly being done to learn more about depression, its causes, treatment methods, and tips for living with your diagnosis. Learning about your depression can help you to understand how it affects your life and how to live with your diagnosis. Working with a therapist can be a great way to discover more about your depression and symptoms. (2)
Types of Depression
There are many different types of depression. It’s important to consult a health professional to help you with a diagnosis. Some of the types of depression include:
How to diagnose Depression
Diagnosing depression can include a number of different tests and exams. It’s important to speak to a medical professional and not self-diagnose. Some of the methods that may be used to diagnose depression include:
Our licensed therapists will complete a mental health assessment to determine your diagnosis.
What are some of the important risk factors for suicide?
Suicidal thoughts are a concern for those dealing with depression. While not all people with depression will develop suicidal thoughts, it may be something to keep an eye out for. Some of the risk factors for suicide include:
The importance of treating your depression
Treating depression can help you to reduce your risk of suicide. Especially for people experiencing severe depression, suicide can be a large threat. More than 30,000 people in the US alone (though the numbers may be higher) take their own lives yearly. Current numbers show that 15% of people experiencing severe depression that remains untreated may take their own lives. Taking your depression seriously and seeking help are important. Especially if you’re having concerns about suicide or self harm, treating your depression can be a critical step on the path to healing.
What should you do if you’re having suicidal thoughts?
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, our recommendation is to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or to seek out medical intervention. To reach the National Suicide Prevention, please call (800)273-TALK. Here are some of the risk factors the National Suicide Prevention Hotline lists as possible warning signs for suicide:
Getting help if you feel like you’re suicidal
Getting help when you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide is important. Removing means to commit suicide can be a crucial step to your safety. This includes removing medications, weapons, and any other means that you may use to harm yourself. Having people that you trust caretake your medications or weapons can help.
Suicide is an impulsive action. Buying yourself time can allow you to overcome a possible suicidal impulse. In addition to the obvious potential use of weapons to commit suicide, be thoughtful of your medications and any substances including alcohol or illegal drugs. These can worsen your depression and can lead a person to thoughts of suicide.
If you feel like you can’t control your urge or if you’ve taken steps already to harm yourself, call 911 or go to an emergency room right away.
How is depression treated?
Once your depression is diagnosed, treatment is the next step. Your Primary Care Provider or Mental Health Professional can help guide you to treatment. Your symptoms and the severity of your depression will indicate the treatment recommended by your Provider.
Here are some of the treatments that your Provider may consider:
How to find a depression specialist?
Silver Lake Psychology has dozens of depression therapist specialists. We encourage you to begin the journey of healing and learn more about learning strategies to cope with depression. Our depression therapist specialists are trained to listen and help you understand how to live with depression. Therapy is effective and a great way to treat depression. (1,2)
We can Mindfully Match you with a depression therapist specialist that will help you learn more about depression and give you the tools needed to help improve your life. Click here to be Mindfully Matched with a depression specialist!
Silver Lake Psychology works with insurance and has affordable self pay rates. We help clients have access to affordable therapy services. We have individual, couples, and group therapy options.
Depression is a treatable disease that can benefit from therapy! Working with a depression therapist specialist is a great way to start your journey to heal!