Depression or a Blue Mood?
While neither depression nor feeling blue is a sign of weakness, the two are dramatically different and at times confusing. Moving through a blue mood or having a rough patch can be as simple as making a decision to change your thinking, your plans or the people you spend a great deal of time with. Identifying and accepting what is going on with you is often a more challenging process. Attempts to eliminate depressed feelings from your life cannot occur because you have decided you have had enough. While your level of determination is important, this alone is insufficient. The symptoms of depression can persist for weeks, months, or years. However, under the care of a professionally trained therapist you can be helped and learn over time how to help yourself. While you may feel hopeless, the situation is not, it just feels that way!
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that depression is a common condition affecting 25-30 million Americans. Those who experience depression generally report feelings of worthlessness, malaise, hopelessness and body aches and pains. Abrupt changes in your life circumstances can result in depression. Divorce, death of a loved one, expected or unexpected career changes or financial difficulties can leave you feeling immobilized and helpless. Chronic illnesses across diagnoses often lead to depression as they effect ones sense of self, of independence and of future plans. While the similarities exist, no two people have the exact same experience of depression.
Have you found yourself or a loved one:
- No longer interested in activities that were once enjoyable including sex?
- Socially withdrawn?
- Without an appetite and losing weight or overeating with weight gain?
- Atypically fatigued with low energy levels and a feeling of being in slow motion?
- Devoid of emotional expression?
- Continually feeling sad, anxious, or empty?
- Suffering from pervasive feelings of hopeless and helpless, pessimism, guilt, or worthlessness?
- Drained from interrupted sleep and insomnia with difficulty arising or awakening very early in morning?
- Unable to concentrate, remembering, or make decisions?
- Experiencing restlessness or irritability?
- Concerned about persistent physical problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain that are unresponsive to treatment?
- Haunted by thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts?
If you have identified with any of the above questions it is time to learn how to take better care of yourself, even if you do not necessarily want to. I will keep my sights on the light at the end of the tunnel for the two of us until you can see it also! Within the therapeutic relationship you will experience emotional relearning, cognitive reframing and behavioral modifications. You will learn how to experience your feelings, while moving beyond the undertow of depression and toward a healthier place in your life. While the challenges are real, the potential for growth and a healthy future are significant!