All of us have felt “down” or discouraged at times when things were not going well. There are normal variations in moods over time and even day-to-day. However, depression is a disturbance in mood that makes people feel particularly unhappy, discouraged, lonely, or negative toward themselves. Depression may range from mild to severe depending on the associated symptoms and the extent to which the condition interferes with everyday functioning. In milder forms, depressed moods are usually brief and may have little effect on everyday activities. Moderate to severe depression includes symptoms that are more intense, last longer, and tend to interfere more with school, work, and social functioning.
Some symptoms of depression include:
- feelings of sadness or emptiness,
- inability to experience pleasure (even from activities that you used to enjoy),
- feeling worthless, guilty, or hopeless,
- isolating self from others,
- physical ailments,
- chronic fatigue,
- lack of motivation,
- difficulty concentrating,
- changes in sleeping and/or eating habits,
- and suicidal thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.
If you or someone you know has these types of symptoms, the best course of action is to seek mental health testing for depression for a diagnosis and possible treatment options.
As with many mental illnesses, experts aren’t sure what causes depression, but there are several factors that can contribute. These include biological differences in the brain, hormonal imbalances, inherited traits, painful life events, early childhood trauma, and brain neurotransmitters.
There are numerous treatments available for depression. For most people with depression, the most effective treatments are medications and psychotherapy. As far as medications, there are a range of antidepressant medications that a counselor or doctor might prescribe. The most common is known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Finding the right medication is likely a process of trial and error. With psychotherapy, talking through the possible causes of your depression and reframing negative thoughts becomes a main goal. With North Dallas cognitive behavioral therapy at New Horizons, many of the faulty assumptions and cognitive distortions can get addressed and prevent the individual from relapsing into a depressive state.
There isn’t any surefire method for preventing depression. However, there are some steps you can take that should help, including finding ways to reduce stress and boost low-self esteem. Lean on friends and family, and at the first sign of trouble, seek guidance from a mental health professional near you. Exercise can also be an effective way to allow endorphins to release into the brain and keep it from developing negative thoughts and sad emotions. With long-term treatment, you can recover from depression and remain depression-free.
Why Choose New Horizons to Treat Depression?
Depression is a sensitive and challenging condition to address, which is where New Horizons can help. Our professional depression counselors in McKinney, Texas have the experience and expertise to tackle depression and help patients go on to live happy and productive lives. If you are concerned that you or a loved may be experiencing depression, help is just one phone call or click away.