[infobox]Depression is a treatable condition. Learning healthy coping and communication skills can protect you and your loved ones from getting down. Call us for a free phone consultation and/or to schedule an appointment.[/infobox]

Depression is a condition that may start with a feeling of sadness and despair and escalate to an almost intolerable level when you find yourself unable to get a restful sleep, concentrate, or make everyday decisions. It could leave you feeling hopeless and helpless, and lead to crying spells that may not even have clear triggers.

Depression, like any other mental condition, work on a continuum, meaning that at a low manageable level it may be experienced by a majority of people. However, treatment becomes absolutely necessary if the symptoms are experienced at a higher degree when everyday functioning is difficult or impaired. Here are some 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).
Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and 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.
Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
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.

One thing for sure; depression is a treatable condition! The sooner you seek help, the better since the consequences of no treatments could be worsening of symptoms and even suicidal thoughts or attempts. The most successful treatments are usually cognitive behavioral therapy, which is one of the modalities we use in our practice.

We are also credentialed in using other effective modalities such as interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, Gestalt, drama therapy, behavioral therapy, and other well-known models, depending on the needs and the issues we are dealing with. The most important thing is to take the first step and seek treatment. Let’s get you back to your functioning, hopeful, and happy self-moving forward.