Depression comes in shades. Depression can be overwhelming, and can feel like a downward spiral into feelings of sadness, fatigue, and apathy.
One can be successful, hardworking, and lead a productive life AND be depressed as well.
Maybe you eat healthy, exercise, and have many friends who look up to you and consider you to be a role model. Maybe people around you think you have it all, but beneath the surface, there is some sadness and a sense of emptiness. Or maybe you are experiencing significantly diminished interest or pleasure in your daily activities.
You are starting to view your own life in a pessimistic way. You might be disappointed in yourself and increasingly think about past mistakes and regrets.
You try to shake off your struggles, but it only takes one little thing to take you back to feeling sad and discouraged. Your struggles negatively affect your self-confidence, and sometimes you compare yourself to others and feel "not good enough".
One of the worst aspects of depression is that it can rob you of hope, but depression can be treated successfully.
Your therapist will work with you to help you understand the “why” behind your depression and to hear your inner voice. You will also learn new coping strategies and tools to overcome the challenges that depression has brought into your life.
You will learn specific skills to help you deal with the problems in your life and increase your self-confidence to focus on what is important to you.
You and your therapist will work together to help you feel more optimistic about the future and your life's trajectory, and together we will work on helping you feel happier and to bring joy and vitality back into your life.
The DSM-5 outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression. The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period, and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
- A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for suicide.
To receive a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must also not result from substance abuse or another medical condition.