Are you feeling sad, lethargic, hopeless, or depressed? It’s normal to experience these feelings from time to time, especially when something bad happens in life. But if you can’t seem to rid yourself of these persistent unpleasant feelings, you might be suffering from something more serious: depression. Depression is a common mood disorder that affects the way you think and feel in almost every situation. After time, this can begin to take a negative toll on your life. If you are experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or have lost interest in life, you might be suffering from depression. Learn what you can do to take your life back.
So, what’s the difference between feeling sad and suffering from clinical depression? Clinical depression often lasts for a significant amount of time – weeks, months, or even years – and comes with a whole host of symptoms. The most common is feeling sad or like you have lost interest in things and activities you used to enjoy. You may also experience irritable outbursts, a lack of energy, slowed thinking and talking, anxiety, reduced appetite, and even thoughts of death or suicide. These symptoms can be severe, so it’s important to see your doctor if you think you may be suffering from this condition.
Causes of Depression
Of course, a multitude of factors can cause depression. Many of these factors are not yet well understood. For example, it seems like some people who suffer from persistent depression have biological similarities that others don’t have. A change in brain chemistry or hormones can also cause depression. Some researchers also think that depression might be inherited, as it seems to run in biological families.
Risk Factors to Consider
Some people are at more risk of depression than others. If you recently experienced a traumatic event, such as a death of a loved one, any kind of abuse, financial issues, or an extremely stressful situation, you are at increased risk for depression. Using alcohol and drugs is also a huge risk factor. Having other mental health disorders is also a common risk factor, as are chronic illnesses, like cancer, HIV, and heart disease. You should also look into any medications you’re taking, as they might also be having an effect on your mood.
If you are suffering from depression, you’ll be happy to know that there are treatments out there that can offer you the relief you deserve. The most common treatments include psychotherapy and medication. Ask your doctor about the right options for your needs and lifestyle. With the right changes to your life, you can finally get relief from your feelings of sadness and loneliness and start enjoying life again.
At Prime Medical Associates in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, we take depression very seriously, so we can help you feel better as soon as possible. Our caring and understanding mental health counselors would love to help you make an appointment so you can take the first step toward getting back to your old self. You deserve it.