If this is a life-threatening emergency or you feel you are in crisis, please go immediately to your local hospital, or dial 911, or call the suicide crisis line at (800) 479-3339.
We all feel sad from time to time, but these feelings usually pass after a few days. Depression is different: depression can change the way you feel, think, and behave for weeks or months at a time in ways that negatively impact your daily life.
Depression, and the severity of it, can be influenced by one or a combination of several factors like genetic history (i.e., if other people in your family experience depression), brain chemistry, or stress (loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, etc.). Depression may show up differently depending on your gender, age, and culture.
How do I know if I’m depressed?
- persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” moods
- feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
- difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
- restlessness, irritability
- persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
Depression a serious illness that needs treatment, and the first step is visiting a doctor or mental health professional for an exam or lab tests to rule out other conditions that have the same symptoms as depression. Your doctor might also prescribe or adjust medication.
In addition, psychotherapy can help treat depression. Therapy helps by exploring thoughts and changing habits that may be keeping you stuck, and the process can help you understand and work through challenging relationships or difficult situations that may be affecting your depression or making it worse.
The Affirming Therapy Center therapists offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. Your pain is real, but with time, treatment, and care, your depression can get better.
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