Clinical Depression Is Much More than a Down Day

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Living with clinical depression is not the same as having a down day. Someone living with clinical depression has a persistent mood disorder. It disrupts feelings, thoughts, and the activities of daily living such as working, studying, and eating. True depression does not go away with the dawn of a new day. A person who is clinically depressed experiences some combination of the condition's symptoms every day for most of the day over the course of at least two weeks. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step toward recovery.

Recognizing Depression

Each individual living with depression has a unique experience. However, depression includes a low mood and some of the following common symptoms.

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, anxiety, or pessimism

  • Fatigue

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Change in appetite

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Loss of interest in preferred activities

  • Difficulty with concentration, memory, or decision making

  • Irritability or anger

  • Weight loss or gain

  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts about death

  • Unexplained physical pain or digestive problems

Recovering from Depression

While a down day goes away on its own, depression does not. Usually, it takes a combination of medication and counseling to bring relief from the suffering. Several antidepressants are available. Sometimes it takes a period of trial and error to find the right antidepressant. An antidepressant needs to be taken daily for about four weeks to see if it is effective.

The goal of individual counseling, also called talk therapy, is to improve the emotional state of the person living with depression. A licensed counselor uses evidence-based techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Through CBT, the person living depression learns to replace negative or erroneous thoughts with healthy ones. Someone who has received CBT may stay healthy longer than someone who only took an antidepressant. Patients frequently continue to use the strategies they learned during CBT when they are no longer seeing a counselor.

Remember, if you need any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.