Depression: When Feelings go beyond “Normal” Sadness
Sadness is a normal emotion that can be caused by negative or painful circumstances. Occasional periods of unhappiness are a part of life, and most people are able to eventually process their feelings of melancholy and forge ahead. But when sadness lingers or becomes a state in which there seems to be no escape, it is very likely that some type of depression exists.
The Symptoms of Depression
Depression can come in many forms, from relatively mild to severe. Some of the causes can be biological, environmental or genetic in nature. Grief, illness and addictions can be other factors.
On the mild side, symptoms can range from irritability, a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed, disrupted sleep patterns and difficulty focusing and concentrating. More severe symptoms include hopelessness, despair, extreme fatigue and suicidal thoughts. Some depression symptoms are rather complex and can be a part of other mood disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse problems or some other mental health issue.
Everyone responds differently to various treatment methods. But treatment for clinical depression usually begins with some form of “talk therapy” with a mental health professional. From there, the best course of action may involve medications and additional levels of therapy such as cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic therapies.
In some cases of major depression, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT therapy) or transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (TMS therapy) are used where all other approaches to treatment have failed. Although depression treatment techniques continue to evolve, many of the methods in place today have proven to be successful in helping those suffering with this illness get back on their feet and live productive and satisfying lives.
This blog is written and published by Lindner Center of HOPE.