Depression can be a debilitating, painful, and isolating experience. It can be difficult to believe you will ever feel better or that change is possible.
If you’ve been feeling down, suffering from negative beliefs, or feeling a sense of hopelessness, it could be a sign of depression. You are not alone. Depression is a common yet complex mental health condition that affects people of all ages.
If you or someone you know is currently in crisis or imminent danger, call 9-1-1. If you, a loved one, or a friend is in crisis, speak with someone immediately by dialing 9-8-8. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available in English and Spanish. Hours are 24/7 daily.
Experiencing a depressive episode or managing longer term depression is not something anyone should try to manage or work through alone. There are research-based, effective treatments for depression — which means hope, change, and healing can happen for you. If you are experiencing depression, please get in touch.
People who experience depression usually have persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and apathy that can last for weeks, months, or even years. It can leave you feeling helpless and alone, making it hard to do even the most basic daily activities.
Depression is treatable, and it is possible to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Recognizing the signs of depression and seeking treatment through therapy are the first steps toward feeling better.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression
As an emotional and mental health disorder, depression can can affect how we think, act, and feel in our day-to-day lives.
Depression manifests in many different ways for each individual and age group. The most common symptom of depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or hopelessness. However, there are emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical symptoms of depression. Not everyone with depression will experience the same symptoms or severity of symptoms.
Irritability and thoughts of self criticism
Thoughts of death and suicide
Lack of energy
Sleeping too much or too little
Weight gain or weight loss
Loss of motivation
Changes in sleep patterns
Changes in appetite
Withdrawl from others
Neglect of responsibilities
Changes in appearances
Negative thought patterns
Depression in Children
Depression in children can be difficult to detect. It is important to watch for signs that may indicate a child is suffering from depression.
Somatic complaints such as headaches or stomach aches
Emotionally intense responses to situations
Irritability or sadness
Marked changes in behavior
Struggling with concentration
Difficulty completing daily activities
Significant fatigue and lack of energy
Changes in eating habits
Seeming withdrawn or self-isolating
Frequently being negative
Expressing an out-of-character interest in death or destruction
Depression in Teenagers
People can experience depression at any age, but teenagers are particularly vulnerable.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, an “estimated 2.9 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States (12.0% of the U.S. population in that age group) had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment in the past year. However, less than half of those teens received some type of mental health counseling or therapy treatment.”
Depression in teens is often complex and can be mistaken for normal mood swings or adolescent behavior. This can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. Parents and other adults need to know the signs to intervene and facilitate their teen receiving help.
Symptoms of Depression in Pre-teens and Teenagers
Depression can make it difficult for teens to regulate their energy or moods or to perform in school or other activities.
Sleeping too much or too little
Gaining or losing weight
Significant appetite changes
Speaking differently than normal with a more sullen tone and/or volume
Expressing feelings of hopelessness
Irritability and anger outbursts
Loss of interest in hobbies
Ceasing participation in activities they used to enjoy
Withdrawing from people
Physical aches and pains
Having trouble with decision-making
Triggers for depression in teens can include a combination of factors, such as:
The pressure of fitting into peer groups and societal expectations
Difficult family dynamics or disruptions
Trauma or challenging personal experiences
Mental health issues that run in the family
The impact of social media
Hormonal and physical changes during puberty
Depression in Adults
In adults, depression is often characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and/or helplessness as well as difficulty with concentration and decision-making. Additionally, adult depression can manifest in the form of irritability, negative thinking, and consistently expressed anger. Depression in adults may be more likely to occur in tandem with other medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or chronic pain.
External stressors and life changes, such as work-related stress, financial difficulties, or relationship problems can also contribute to depression.
Symptoms of Depression in Adults
Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
Changes in appetite and eating habits
Feelings of overwhelm or powerlessness
Extreme mood swings
Fatigue and exhaustion
Constantly focusing on worst-case scenarios
Dwelling on past mistakes
Low frustration tolerance and irritability
Body aches or pains not caused by an underlying medical condition
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Drastic changes in social behavior
Self-isolation from friends and family
Benefits to Counseling for Depression
Counseling that focuses on treatment for depression will provide you an opportunity to learn coping skills and gain a better understanding of your emotions. Therapy for depression is designed to help you identify and address the personal issues that concern you and provide you with insight on them. It is an opportunity to learn coping skills for your challenging feelings and behaviors while helping you align with your values.
At Health and Healing Therapy we utilize several different types of therapy that can help if you are struggling with depression.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be highly effective in treating depression. CBT focuses on identifying and changing the way you think about and interpret situations, focusing on your negative thought patterns and behaviors. By reframing negative thinking patterns, you can teach, train, and rewire your brain to have more positive thoughts.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and supporting long-term recovery. DBT takes a holistic approach, teaching skills in mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness — all valuable skills for addressing the negative thought and behavior patterns that can consume you. If you are struggling with depression, DBT can be an incredibly valuable tool in your recovery and healing process.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an impactful, evidenced-based therapy that can effectively decrease your depression. ACT can help you develop skills to cope with your difficult and negative thoughts and feelings rather than trying to eliminate them. ACT will teach you how to accept your thoughts and emotions and decrease your struggle to change the things you cannot change while learning how to more strongly commit to actions that align with your personal values.
Meet our Therapists
At Health and Healing Therapy, our qualified therapists welcome the opportunity to work with you to help you begin to feel better. We can meet you wherever you are at. You owe it to yourself to seek help and work on creating positive change for yourself.