Alison wasn’t sure what was wrong. Even though she was sleeping much more than usual — up to 10 or 12 hours a night — she still had to drag herself out of bed in the morning. She used to enjoy a morning yoga class or a run but now she just didn’t have the energy. She couldn’t concentrate at work, and when friends suggested getting together for lunch or dinner, Alison found excuses not to go.
Alison remembered that when she was a child, her mother had suffered on and off from depression. It made her feel low and irritable and she sometimes spent hours alone in her bedroom. Alison wondered if she might be depressed too.
She called Thriveworks and set up an appointment the next day with a licensed professional who diagnosed her with a form of depression. He helped her understand her symptoms and prescribed her medication in addition to a talk therapy regimen. Within a few weeks, Alison was already seeing signs of improvement and she looked forward to getting more and more of her normal life back.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, consider consulting a licensed mental health professional to get your life back on track. Connect with us at Thriveworks in Chicago, IL to set up an appointment.
Common Symptoms and Types of Depression
Depressive disorders are some of the most common mental health problems in the U.S. There are several forms of depression, some more serious than others, and they are often caused by a combination of biological, genetic, environmental, and psychological issues. A family history of depression can increase your risk for developing it yourself, as can trauma, major life changes, and some medications and illnesses.
Depression can happen at any age but it most often affects adults. Not everyone experiences mood disorders the same way but some of the most common symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness or irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased activity and productivity
- Sleep problems
- Overeating or lack of appetite
- Tendency to isolate or avoid social situations
- Low energy
- Suicidal thoughts
- Substance use or abuse
Some common types of depression include:
- Persistent depressive disorder (PPD): Also called dysthymia, PPD is a long-term form of depression. You may feel hopeless, distracted, and have an overall sense of inadequacy. These feelings can significantly disrupt your relationships, work, and other daily activities. Persistent depressive disorder may make it difficult for you to be upbeat, even on happy occasions, and your friends and family may characterize you as gloomy and incapable of having fun.
- Postpartum depression: While many women feel down for a few weeks after giving birth — often referred to as the “baby blues” — postpartum depression can be far more impactful. It’s a major form of major depression where feelings of extreme sadness, exhaustion, and anxiety make it hard for new mothers to take care of themselves and sometimes, their infants.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): During the winter months when there is less natural sunlight, some people experience weight gain, a tendency to sleep too much, and the avoidance of social interactions. The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder usually lesson naturally during the spring and summer but it is still a good idea to see a professional if you think you may be suffering from SAD.
- Major depressive disorder (MDD): This more severe form of depression is characterized by a persistently depressed mood and long-term loss of pleasure or interest in life, often in combination with other symptoms like feelings of hopelessness or suicidal thoughts. Symptoms of MDD tend to persist for two weeks or longer.
Can Depression Therapy Help Me?
Untreated, depression can have a negative impact on your work, relationships, and mental wellbeing. It can also lead to destructive behavior like substance abuse and self-harm. Thankfully, there are many effective treatments for this mental health condition.
Talk-based counseling — or psychotherapy — is commonly used to help address clients’ emotions and teach them coping mechanisms to manage symptoms. Cognitive behavior therapy is a specific type of talk therapy that focuses on modifying negative thoughts in order to improve one’s mood and behavioral responses. Sometimes medications are also prescribed to work in tandem with talk therapy.
If you’re feeling down or suffering from other symptoms of depression, consider contacting Thriveworks Counseling in Chicago, IL to make an appointment. Treating depression early is the most effective way to help you get back to enjoying your life.
Contact Thriveworks Counseling in Chicago, IL
You don’t have to cope with depression symptoms on your own. An experienced therapist or counselor at Thriveworks in Chicago, IL can start you on your road to a more positive, balanced life.
You can easily schedule an in-person or remote appointment and our offices open early and stay open late — even on weekends! In fact, new clients can often see a mental health expert within 24-48 hours.
If you need support between appointments, you can access your therapist via email or phone and leverage our ask-a-coach 24-hour Q&A service. Additional support is also available through our online community discussions moderated by mental health professionals.
While depression is quite common, you can break free of gloomy thoughts and feelings. Contact Thriveworks Counseling in Chicago, IL to schedule an appointment for depression counseling and get the support you need.