Depression in Adults
Most people experience times of sadness which can come and go over a lifetime without need for intervention. However, some people experience more significant episodes of clinical depression which is characterized by low mood most days and loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities. Many people struggling with depression have a negative view of themselves, their world, and their future. They may feel hopeless or worthless at times, even thinking about death more often. These episodes may start during times of increased stress, life transitions, health problems, loss of a loved one, or loss of a job. However, depression may also develop seemingly out of nowhere, like a dark cloud drifting into a person’s life.
Many people try to manage their depressive feelings by making unhealthy choices such as increased alcohol or drug use, isolation, gambling, over-eating, excessive sleeping. These choices often only compound the problem and lead to more suffering.
Each person’s experience of depression will be personal and unique, but common symptoms of depression include the following.
- Depressed mood most of the day nearly every day (feeling sad or empty)
- Little or no interest or pleasure in activities
- Weight loss or gain
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping much of the time
- Fatigue or low energy
- Low motivation
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Excessive guilt or feeling worthless
- Thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts
When low mood develops into a depressive episode, it becomes difficult to carry out everyday activities. Functioning at work, home, with friends, and in the community suffers. This drop in functioning often worsens the experience of worthlessness and guilt.
Depression can be a serious condition with significant impact on the sufferer as well as the family. Engaging in evidence-based treatment is an essential first step to healing and wellness. The following treatment approaches are recommended as part of a comprehensive plan to treat depression.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal psychotherapy
- Mindfulness meditation
- Medication management
If you are concerned you or a loved one is experiencing depression, please contact Linden BP to schedule an appointment.