Depression is a curable illness. There is much hope and help out there for treatment, but sufferers cannot and should not cope alone.
Depression is one of the major reasons people turn to our therapists at Wilshire/Valley. Sometimes just having someone listen shifts a feeling of hopelessness to hopefulness.
A mental health care professional can help you address underlying issues that may be contributing to your depression, even if you’ve been unaware of them.
A good therapist can see many of the “blind spots” connected with depression.
Here are some of the classic symptoms of a major depression (taken from the DSM-4 manual of psychiatric disorders):
- Feelings of hopelessness, sadness or emptiness.
- Loss of appetite and/or insomnia.
- Diminished pleasure in previously enjoyed activities.
- Feeling tired, unmotivated and self-critical.
- Diminished ability to concentrate.
If several of these symptoms describe your current condition, there is a good chance you suffer from depression.
First, it’s important to rule out any contributing medical conditions. Get a thorough physical checkup.
The illness of depression often is associated with unresolved and unexpressed loss. For example, a child leaves for college. The loss of a job. The death of a loved one not fully grieved and accepted. When we hold on to old wounds of pain, hurt and suffering, these feelings become impacted and can lead to chronic depression.
As a child you may have had feelings of helplessness, fear and hurt that went unresolved or even unexpressed. These feelings can surface in midlife by way of a trigger, a seemingly unrelated event such as watching a mother ignore her child. Express these memories and feelings with an entrusted professional.
Chronic stress can lead to depression as well as related serious consequences such as a weakened immune system and insomnia. Quite a few of the therapists at Wilshire/Valley specialize in stress management, so consider making an appointment.
Often depressive symptoms are manifested solely due to loneliness and isolation.
Some children suffer from depression as well as adults. They should never have to cope alone.
There are many positive ways to cope with depression. The important piece is not to isolate — not to think that you have to handle everything alone.