Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up with life for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong – it is very real with painful symptoms. Depression isn't a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together." The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety. There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, poor sleep quality, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living. While the causes of depression are
unknown, a predisposition for it runs in families and it can be triggered by trauma and
adverse life circumstances. Depression can affect adults, adolescents and children.
Depression and anxiety often exacerbate each other and people with depression commonly
have difficulty concentrating on tasks and conversations. Some people abuse alcohol and
drugs or overeat as a way of coping, causing them to develop other medical problems.
Depressed people are also at increased risk for self-harm.
Depression is characterized by prolonged emotional symptoms
Treating Depression focuses on improvement of mood through thought and behavioral exercises. I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT when treating depression. CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a negative cycle. CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. You're shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind so you can once again feel like yourself again and return to living your life.