Depression is a treatable illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical health. The most common symptoms of depression are:
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Changes in appetite or unintended weight loss or gain
- Changes in sleep (either too much or too little)
- Feeling either slowed down or more restless
- Poor concentration
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
- Recurrent thoughts of about or wishes for death
Most of us experience these symptoms at some point in life, but usually they pass within a day or two. We often refer to these periods as “the blues.” However, when these symptoms affect more days than not for two weeks or longer, and they affect our ability to function at home, work, or school, then “the blues” is considered a major depressive episode and requires a visit at your local mental health center.
The most effective depression treatment is a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Self-care involves a well-balanced diet, exercise, regular sleep, limited use of caffeine and alcohol, and no street drugs.
If you are currently experiencing a major depressive episode and have suicidal thoughts, call 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Depression counseling is extremely supportive in getting a correct diagnosis and planning and monitoring treatment. Connect with the mental health counselors at The Calli Institute for individualized help.