Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.
Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.
Are you feeling sad? Do you think you may be depressed?
What is depression?
I diagnose people who feel a low-grade sadness for one to two years with Dysthymia. Through talk therapy many individuals begin to feel better.
If you are feeling really down and depressed then you may be suffering from major depression. You might have difficulty getting out of bed, taking care of your children, doing even simple tasks or going to work or school. Other symptoms usually include difficulty eating, sleeping, concentrating and not enjoying simple pleasures that you usually enjoy. Individuals with depression tend to isolate themselves from friends and family and that’s probably the worst thing you can do!
There are two other types of depression. One is situational which is normal and expected. In therapy you can safely and confidentially share your feelings about what has happened. This type of depression will lessen as the person grieves or begins to adapt to their situation.
The other type is called Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). It occurs when you live in an area that does not get a lot of sun. Have you ever noticed how your mood changes when we get several days of rain? We can treat that with psychotherapy and light therapy.
Individuals with any kind of depression need to “TALK” to someone they trust. You need to get it out. If you don’t have anyone that you can talk to then you can talk to a professional. Also, journaling is an excellent technique for giving your feelings away to the paper.
One of the first things I direct people to do when they are depressed is to increase their activity just a little. If you can’t get out of bed then I doubt you feel like exercising! You need to push yourself. If you could at least take a walk around the block every day for a week that would be an awesome start. You will find that exercise releases endorphins, which will elevate your mood and give you more energy.
I use CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), which focuses on your thinking. Did you know that we feel what we think? If you’re depressed you’re probably stuck in a negative pattern of thinking. You may even feel hopeless or suicidal. Some people find antidepressants and psychotherapy work hand in hand. Others are uncomfortable taking medicine and that’s okay too. If you feel suicidal tell someone right away!
In therapy, together we will take each thought and look for evidence to support what you’re thinking. If there is no evidence to support the thought, I can teach you how to use positive self-talk to rationally respond to these distorted thoughts and you may begin to feel better. You’ll feel like you have taken your power back and you realize that you have choices.
Every parent needs to continually observe and interact with his or her child so they know how they are doing. If you notice your child seems sad, unhappy, tired, irritable, sensitive, angry, acting out, has unexplained aches and pains, runs away, is isolating from friends, doing poorly academically, not eating or over eating, sleeping and staying in their room most of the time then your child may be suffering with depression.
Your child’s depression must be taken seriously.
Try to talk with them and/or get professional help. If your child talks about suicide, take it seriously. Have someone stay with your child at all times until you can get him or her in for professional counseling. Do it immediately.
Feeling depressed is no way to live. You’re missing out on enjoying your life and life is short. Depression can be treated. You just need to reach out and tell someone.
If you’d like to tell me that you’re feeling depressed you can reach me at (626) 335-0903.
Don’t go another day feeling lost and depressed. You deserve so much more!
— Ilissa Banhazl, MFT