We’ve all had one of those days … the kind of day when pulling the covers over your head and staying in bed sounds like a welcome alternative to putting both feet on the ground. It’s like a dark cloud is hovering over you.
What happens when that “dark cloud” lasts several days, weeks, or even months?
Your sadness could be a symptom of depression.
If your sadness feels like more than just an off day or a passing case of the blues, it’s important to seek help determining if your sadness is actually a case of depression. If it is, you’re not alone. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 16.2 million U.S. adults have had at least one major depressive episode in a given year.
Try as You Might, You Can’t “Snap Out of It.”
When you experience depression, well-meaning friends and family may tell you to “hang in there” or “keep your chin up.” They may even try to reassure you that “this, too, shall pass.” Often, though, your feelings of sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness persist — despite your best efforts to make them stop.
Learn How to Recognize the Symptoms of Depression.
We know it can be difficult to explain to others how depression feels – and people experience it in different ways, so your symptoms may be very different than someone else who is also experiencing depression. A good therapist will listen and tune into your symptoms and help you understand how they interfere with your ability to work, sleep, eat, and function in your day-to-day life.
Symptoms of Depression May Include:
- Ongoing feelings of sadness or excessive guilt for most of the day.
- Inability to sleep, or excessive time spent sleeping.
- Loss of appetite and weight, or overeating and weight gain.
- Loss of interest in things that usually bring pleasure.
- Self-critical thoughts.
- Social isolation.
- Fatigue and loss of energy, or restlessness.
- Difficulty concentrating and indecisiveness.
- Chronic suicide ideation (recurrent thoughts of suicide and death).
Untreated, depression symptoms can get worse over time and/or new symptoms can emerge, so it’s important to address them as early as possible by reaching out to an experienced professional who can help you put together a path forward.
If you’re regularly experiencing any possible symptoms of depression, please seek professional help immediately. If you’re not yet working with a therapist, please reach out to us and we will match you with a qualified professional – often with a same day and/or telehealth appointment.
There are many options available to help treat depression.
With so many affected by depression, many prescription medications exist that help treat symptoms to varying degrees. For many people, though, medications only go so far in mitigating symptoms, and they don’t help mend what caused the depression in the first place. That’s why most doctors and other mental and emotional health professionals encourage adding a form of therapy in addition to medications.
Seeking individual therapy can help you identify the root cause(s) of your depression and provide you with the coping skills you need to gain a new sense of hope, happiness and control.
Depression is a complex disorder and should be taken seriously.
As professional therapists, we understand that depression is much more than a short-lived case of “the blues.” It’s a complex disorder affecting people in different ways for different reasons. Your depression may stem from trying to manage anger toward yourself or others in unhealthy ways. It could develop after a painful event or be traced back to childhood trauma.
Whatever the causes and triggers unique to your depression, individual therapy sessions can help you get to the root of the problem and allow you to share what’s on your mind in a safe and comforting environment.
Getting the support to manage your depression
We understand you may wish to withdraw from others when you’re feeling empty, unmotivated and worthless. The very nature of depression can make it difficult to ask for help. However, pulling your support system close to you — even if it’s just one person — and working with a caring therapist can alleviate the pain of depression.
You can rely on your individual therapy sessions to help you work through the moment when things changed for you — the moment that triggered your depression. You can discuss whatever is on your mind and weighing on your heart. And, you can tell your therapist about suicidal thoughts, whether active or passive, and know that you’ll be provided with a safe space to share those thoughts in confidence.
If you or someone you know are having active thoughts about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline now at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Depression is highly individual — and help is always available.
You don’t have to go through a major crisis to ask for a therapist’s help. Perhaps you’ve been feeling down for multiple days and you don’t know why. Maybe simple things like running errands, spending time with friends, and taking care of yourself or your family have started feeling like daunting tasks. Your therapist can assess these situations and determine how to best help you move forward.
Managing symptoms with medication can certainly help, as can various self-help methods and positive lifestyle changes. However, don’t hesitate to seek additional help when it’s needed. Ignoring lingering problems can just lead to worsening symptoms of depression over time. Getting support from a skilled therapist can fill in the gaps in helping you overcome and move past depression.
Lasting healing for your depression can begin today.
At Therapy Today, the safe and gentle counseling offered by our therapists helps identify the unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, as well as past experiences, that contribute to your depression. Using proven therapeutic approaches, we foster lasting change to prevent depression from returning. Plus, we offer same-day and telehealth appointments to support you whenever and wherever you’re ready.
With each session, the benefits of individual therapy can lift the heavy fog of depression, leaving you happier, more hopeful, and ready for brighter days ahead.