Depression is one of the most common mental health concerns in our North American society. Research suggests that in the next few years, depression will be the 2nd leading cause of premature death and disability. Clearly the toll it can take is serious.
But what is depression? What makes it different than being sad or down? There are actually a number of distinguishing features that determine if a person is struggling with clinical depression rather than just in a depressed mood. For instance, the person has to have felt sad / depressed or lost pleasure / interest in virtualy all activities for at least 2 weeks straight. Other symptoms can include feeling worthless, fatigued, trouble focusing, changes in appetite and sleep, and thoughts of suicide.
One way to remember the difference between real depression and feeling down is to think of weather patterns – if you’re depressed feelings are like the weather, which changes quite frequently, then you’re probably not clinically depressed. If, however, your feelings are more like the climate, that stays consistent, then you could be depressed and needing help.
Thankfully, there are a number of effective treatments for depression, including different therapies and maybe medication. So, you don’t have to deal with this on your own, if you’re struggling with it.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about depression or how I can help.