Do you feel sad, tired, irritable, lonely, or down more often than not? Are you starting to lose interest in things that once brought you joy? If any of this sounds familiar, you might be suffering from depression. Depression is common in the United States and around the world. Globally, depression affects more than 300 million people (see World Health Organization, 2018). In the United States, more than 16 million people are estimated to be struggling with depression (National Institute of Mental Health). Whether you think you may be experiencing depression for the first time or if you feel depressive states continually reoccur in your life, it is important to understand you can get help for depression, as it is one of the most treatable disorders.
What does depression look like?
Depression affects us psychologically, emotionally, behaviorally, and physically. The full list of possible symptoms is beyond the scope of this article, however, people who are depressed often experience some form of the following:
- Unreasonable fatigue, tiredness or listless
- Feeling hopeless about your life and the future
- Having difficulty making decisions
- Episodes of crying
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feeling worthless
- Lack of enthusiasm for the things that once brought you joy
- Feel like you don’t have the energy to take care of yourself
- Getting irritable or over-reacting to minor stressors
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation
Is it Seasonal?
Researchers have estimated in the United States, about 10 to 20 percent of recurrent depression follows a seasonal pattern. In the United States, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) seems to be influenced by geography, for example, in New Hampshire the prevalence of SAD has been measured at 9.7% while in Florida, the estimate of SAD is only 1.4%.
Seasonal Affective Disorder follows the pattern where symptoms of depression begin in the fall season and continue through the winter months. Symptoms usually get better in the spring and summer months. However, just because you can expect the depression to get better in the spring and summer, this doesn’t mean you should suffer every fall and winter. Like all forms of depression, SAD is treatable. In addition to working with a therapist, there are other natural remedies that have been shown to help SAD such as implementing a regular exercise routine and light therapy.
Help for depression
There are many therapies that are effective for depression and SAD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one one the most widely trusted methods for treating depression due to it’s quick and lasting positive effects on depression and anxiety.
If you are suffering from depression due to past trauma or growing up in a dysfunctional home, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also effective and can bring about a substantial turn around in how you feel and how you live your life.
Whatever may be the cause of your depression, there is no need to suffer alone, reach out and get help for depression so you can begin to create a happy and healthy future.
Therapy in Statesville and Cornelius
Dr. Gerald Brown is a therapist and life coach practicing in Statesville and Cornelius, North Carolina. He is within a short travel distance from Davidson, Mooresville, Huntersville, and North Charlotte. If you cannot travel to see Dr. Brown, he also provides therapy online.
You are welcome to call and book your first appointment or fill out my contact form and click Send.