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Depression is one of the leading mental health disorders plaguing both young and older Americans today. According to the National Institute of Mental Health approximately 20.9 million American adults (9.5 % of the U.S. population) age 18 and older are diagnosed with a mood disorder.
TYPES OF DEPRESSION
∑ Seasonal Affective Depression
∑ Dysthymic Disorder
WHAT IS MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER?
Major Depressive Disorder is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's day-to-day functioning. This may include an inability to work, sleep problems, appetite changes, and not finding enjoyment in once-pleasurable activities. A major depressive episode may occur only once in a person's lifetime or (more commonly) recurs throughout a person's life.
WHAT IS SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DEPRESSION?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a seasonal depression that occurs around the same time each year. For most people, it begins in the Fall or Winter months and ends in Spring or early Summer.
WHAT IS DYSTHMIA?
Dysthymia (or Chronic Depression) is characterized by a long-term (two years or more) depressed mood. Dysthymia is often described as a "functioning depression" as it typically is not a disabling condition. A person afflicted with Dysthymia may experience one or more major depressive episodes during a lifetime.
Symptoms of Depression
∑ Persistent sad, anxious, or "feelings of emptiness"
∑ Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
∑ Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
∑ Fatigue and loss of energy
∑ Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
∑ Insomnia or excessive sleeping
∑ Overeating or appetite loss
∑ Irritability, restlessness
∑ Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
∑ Physical symptoms including headaches, gastrointestinal upset, or other persistent aches or pains
∑ Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?
There are a number of factors that may increase the chance for developing depression, which including the following:
∑ Genetics: A family history of depression may increase a person's risk for developing the disorder.
∑ Abuse: Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can cause depression later in life.
∑ Certain Medications: For example, some drugs used to treat high blood pressure can increase the risk of depression.
∑ Conflict: Depression may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.
∑ Death or a Loss: Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one can increase the risk of depression.
∑ Major Events: Major life events such as moving, job loss, getting divorced, or retiring can be contributing factors to depression.
∑ Substance Abuse: Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have Major or Clinical Depression.
∑ Serious Illnesses: Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or is a reaction to the illness.
TREATING DEPRESSION AT COUNSELING CONNECTIONS & ASSOCIATES
Research has found that mental health counseling can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. A licensed mental health counselor can provide education on the symptoms and causes of depression. Learning how to recognize specific triggers for depression, will allow a person to seek help before the condition spirals out of control. Furthermore, through the counseling process, a person can learn how to identify unhealthy thoughts and behaviors which can exacerbate depressive symptoms.
Counseling provides a safe atmosphere to explore relationships and past experiences, identify faulty thinking errors, find better ways to cope with and solve problems, help ease feelings of hopelessness and anger, and increase a person's overall sense of happiness.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, contact Counseling Connections & Associates today to learn about counseling and treatment options.