Depression is the most common mental health problem. One in four individuals experience significant depressive symptoms over the course of a lifetime. There is no single reason that fully explains why one might get depressed. Biological makeup, upbringing, reaction to life events and stressor, and relational difficulties are some issues that can contribute to depression. There are several symptoms that makeup depression, although not everyone experiences the exact same set of symptoms. Individuals who are depressed tend to tend to have persistent negative mood, and negative thoughts about oneself, the future, and the world. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, worthlessness, guilt, and irritability are some of the feelings that are associated with depression. Changes in physical sensations and other changes can also be part of depression including fatigue and tiredness, sleeping more or less, eating more or less, and difficulties concentrating or perhaps even with memory. Because of depressed mood and other difficulties, those with depression typically see change in behaviors as well. In particular, individuals with depression do less over time and engage less in activities that may otherwise have been an important part of life. Depression can get to a point where one may not be motivated to do things at home, or go to work or be fully engaged at work. Isolation from other activities and family and friends are other types of changes in behaviors that can occur with being depressed. At times, depression can also lead to suicidal thoughts or ideation. In addition to symptoms, the length of time since the start of depression also vary with individuals. In order to be properly diagnosed, one needs to see a mental health professional. Generally speaking, depressive episodes can be diagnosed once they’ve lasted for at least two weeks. Sometimes they occur in phases and can come and go, but in other instances, depression may be more chronic lasting for months or even years.
Although depression can be quite serious and difficult to cope with, and you may find it difficult to reach out for help if you’re feeling depressed, there are effective treatments particularly within the cognitive and behavioral realm, which Dr. Fiorillo has significant experience with, to help you overcome depression.