Clinical depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a “rough patch.” It can be debilitating and can affect various aspects of an individual’s functioning, including relationships, work, or school. Depression also affects the way a person thinks and feels about themselves. It can lead to one feeling less motivated and result in difficulties maintaining daily activities such as working, socializing with loved ones, and even maintaining personal hygiene. Depression can manifest as a sad or “down mood” but can also involve a lack of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities.
An estimated 16 million American adults experienced at least 1 depressive episode in 2015. People of all races, ethnicities, and social economic statuses can experience depression; however, there are some groups of people who are more affected by depression than others. Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and individuals 18-25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.
Symptoms of Depression include:
– Sad or depressed mood OR a lack of pleasure
– Changes in sleep (sleeping more or less than usual)
– Changes in appetite
– Difficulty concentration
– Fatigue or loss of energy
– Diminished or lack of interest in activities
– Thoughts of death/dying or suicide
– Low self esteem
Psychotherapy, particularly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is an evidenced-based therapeutic approach found to decrease symptoms of depression. CBT for depression helps to modify the way an individual thinks and feels about themselves and the world and targets behavioral activation to help those struggling resume previously enjoyed activities. Other things that can be done to decrease symptoms of depression include setting small, measurable goals for yourself each day, rewarding yourself when you complete your goals, and exercising on a daily basis. If you or someone you know appears to be struggling with symptoms of depression, call us at Interact (Greenridge Counseling Center) today for an intake assessment so we can assist you in getting connected to services.
Blog author: Christina Vroman