We've all felt sad or a bit low, but for those living with depression, it's much more than just a down day. A person who's depressed might feel hopeless, worthless, a lack of motivation, lack of enjoyment in activities they once enjoyed, changes in sleep, changes in appetite, body aches, and trouble concentrating. It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning, let alone go through an entire work day.
There are a few types of depression, and I'll go through two of the most common here and leave links for further reading at the end of the article. First, there's major depressive disorder, which can be described more as episodic depression. A person might go through one episode and then feel back to normal, or they might go through multiple episodes over the course of their life. Second, there's persistent depressive disorder, which can be described as a more chronic presentation of depression. A person with this diagnosis would feel depressed for years, but can typically fulfill at least minimum daily obligations.
Depression is treatable. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) shows great results in the treatment of depression, and is the modality I most often use in therapy with depression. I also might use EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) if appropriate to work through past experiences that influence a person's depression in the present. The goal of therapy is to see a reduction of depression symptoms so a person no longer suffers in their daily life. Activities can be enjoyed again, motivation returns, and negative feelings about self change.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
World Health Organization
What Are 3 Symptoms of Depression?
1. Feelings of sadness and/or emptiness is a sign of depression. Sometimes with so many things going on in life we don't always notice that even in between stressful moments that there is still a feeling of emptiness. Or maybe you notice you always seem to have a reason for why you're feeling down.
2. Feeling like you aren't worthy or worthless is also a sign of depression. When you aren't feeling like your best self it can have a huge affect on your thinking. You may know where these feelings are coming and some may not, either way it's important to know that it isn't true and you should seek some guidance as soon as possible.
3. A loss of interest in things you once loved can also be a sign of depression.