Fathers. Sons. Mothers. Daughters. Spouses. Partners. Friends. Grandparents. Parents. Aunts. Uncles. Employees. Bosses. Co-workers. Most likely, you or someone you love has fought depression or is currently fighting it. Almost 15 million people in the United States have Major Depressive Disorder. Depression can look like a young child who has difficulty sleeping and does not want to play at recess. Depression can look like a woman at the gym, working out to shake a feeling that keeps haunting her. Depression can look like the successful man, who is going through the motions but numb on the inside. Women and men, old and young, poor and rich can suffer from depression.
How and when depression develops is a very personal experience. Challenging life events can trigger it. Genetics and family history can make it more likely to occur. The illness has common characteristics, but each person experiences it in a unique way. It can be difficult for friends and family members to recognize when their loved one is depressed, but understanding is not only possible—it is necessary. Both those who have depression and those who love them can understand how depression functions and the treatment options that are available.
Thriveworks Counseling in Wilmington, NC treats depression because we know that healing and hope are possible. Depression is a serious illness, but like many other serious illnesses, it often responds to treatment from a mental health professional. So, if you are looking for a therapist, psychologist, or another form of mental health care in the Wilmington, NC area, look no farther. We are here to help.
Not Just a Bad Day: What Is Depression?
When people break their leg and have a cast, it is easy to see that they are hurting. Depression does not display visible signs of pain, but the wounds are very real. Depression is more than a bad day or a feeling of sadness.
“Sad hurts, but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel.
Depression is very different.”
Yes, depression is very different. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines those differences and how to recognize Major Depressive Disorder. Healthy sadness comes and goes. It can be processed and resolved. Depression is very different. Here are the signs for it. Does anything on this list sound familiar to you?
- For a continuous period of two weeks, you experience at least one of the following…
- Lost interest in everyday activities.
- A depressed mood for most of the day and on more days than not (this mood will be severe enough that others notice).
- In addition, you will also experience one of the following…
- Fluctuations in appetite (either an increase or decrease) with accompanying weight gain or loss.
- Insomnia (difficulty falling sleep or staying asleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping all the time).
- Deteriorated psychomotor skills (speed, strength, coordination, dexterity, et cetera) that is observable to others.
- On more days than not, feeling lethargic.
- On more days than not, feeling guilty and worthless.
- Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
- Thoughts of death and/or suicide.
- Attempted suicide.
- The symptoms will make it difficult if not impossible for an individual to function in their daily life and fulfill their daily responsibilities.
- To be diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder, the symptoms cannot be attributable to another medical condition or the physiological effects of a substance.
- The symptoms also cannot be better explained by another psychotic disorder or schizophrenia spectrum disorder.
- If these symptoms are accompanied by a manic or hypomanic episode, they may signal Bipolar Disorder instead of Major Depressive Disorder.
Treatment Options for Depression
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Major Depressive Disorder is ruthless, but it is not invincible. There are treatment options available for fighting against it. Most serious illnesses require intervention and supervision for healing, and depression is no different. Often, people need a mental health professional to help them fight. Many people have found the support and healing they needed through therapy.
Because depression can uniquely manifest in each person, treatment often needs to be tailored to each individual. A treatment plan for one person may not be right for another. Right treatment often begins with a proper diagnosis. Holistic treatment often involves a multi-faceted approach that may utilize…
- Medication: SSRIs and SNRIs are forms of antidepressants that have a proven history of helping ease the symptoms of depression. Each individual body responds to medication differently, and only a qualified medical and mental health professional can determine if and which medicine is right for you.
- Psychotherapy: Different forms of psychotherapy may help identify the root cause of the depression. Psychotherapy can also build an individual’s coping skills that empower them with healthy emotional habits. As with medication, there are different types of psychotherapy that may be more effective for certain individuals. Working with a qualified mental health professional is important.
Scheduling Counseling for Depression at Thriveworks Counseling in Wilmington, NC
If you recognized any of the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder, consider reaching out for help. We have counselors, therapists, and psychologists on our team and want you to know that we have appointments available for depression therapy. We are ready to meet with you when you are. When you call our office, your first appointment may be the following day. Weekend and evening sessions are offered, and we accept many different insurance plans. Call today.