Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life. But when emptiness and despair take hold and won’t go away, it may be depression. More than just the temporary “blues,” the lows of depression make it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Hobbies and friends don’t interest you like they used to; you’re exhausted all the time; and just getting through the day can be overwhelming. When you’re depressed, things may feel hopeless, but with help and support you will feel better.
How can I help you?
In some instances, depression will be short lived and symptoms will improve with lifestyle changes, such as changing jobs or increasing your social support network.
Sometimes these kinds of changes are not enough, and professional depression help is needed. Together, you and I will work to understand how depression is affecting you and we will take steps to understand what is keeping you stuck and what we need to work on to remove the roadblocks to feeling good.
This is a unique process. Sometimes I recommend seeing a physician for a medication evaluation, but this is always your choice, and a recommendation I will not make lightly. The goal is remission; with quality intervention, that goal can be achieved.
Are you depressed?
If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression, and may require depression counseling:
- you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
- you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
- you feel hopeless and helpless
- you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
- you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
- you are much more irritable and short-tempered than usual
- you have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case)
Common signs and symptoms of depression
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Irritability or restlessness. Feeling agitated, restless, or on edge. Your tolerance level is low; everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
My depression counseling serves the greater Santa Rosa area, including Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Kenwood, Oakmont and Healdsburg.