Everyone has heard of depression. But what comes to mind for you when hearing that word? Maybe a prescription commercial image of someone lying in bed, tinted in gray blue lighting, staring listlessly out a window as a child observes sadly from the bedroom door. Or maybe a tragic and untimely death, like a crying young woman slowly wading into a deep river as she touches the heavy rocks placed in her coat pocket. Or maybe something simpler, like crying or darkness or cold winter days. While all of these examples of stereotypical images relate to certain symptoms of depression, the actual experience of the mental health condition is quite a bit more complex.
While there are several different types of depression, perhaps the most commonly known are two conditions called, Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder (formerly known as Dysthymia). Symptoms for these conditions, which can last for weeks or even months or years, include loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, weight/appetite changes, sleep changes, low energy, trouble concentrating, and feelings of worthlessness.
While not official symptoms of the condition, our Raleigh Therapists also commonly see the following associated with depression, body aches, upset stomach, and irritability. Friendships may become strained, either from a lack of energy to engage in social activities or a tendency to withdraw and turn inward. Someone with depression may miss more days at work or struggle to complete projects. They may find it challenging to engage in meaningful interactions with their children or loved ones. People with depression often feel hopeless and helpless in most aspects of their lives. Thoughts and behaviors become tinged with pessimism. People with depression often feel as though everything negative in their lives is their fault. The internal criticism can become relentless.
If you can identify with any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing depression. Or perhaps you’ve experienced these symptoms in the past and worry that it’s only a matter of time until the fog of depression slowly rolls back in.
A trained professional can evaluate you to determine a diagnosis and the experienced Raleigh Therapists at Greene Psychology Group can help you get answers. While everything may seem bleak and grim while depressed, research shows that CBT Therapy is a highly effective and recommended option for treating depression. While you may feel isolated when depressed, you don’t have to suffer through periods of depression alone, waiting and hoping the fog will lift with time. CBT Therapy can help you learn strategies to change your thoughts and behaviors that will lead to improvements in your mood. You can regain control and live the life you want, not the life that depression has created for you.