Symptoms- Irritability, sadness, inability to cope with life, a short fuse, tearfulness, yelling, isolating yourself from loved ones, a change from enjoying life to wanting to hide from it, no longer enjoying the things that used to bring you joy, sleeping ALL the time or not sleeping at all, eating too much or not having an appetite at all, missing work or school, canceling plans consistently because "I don't feel well", thinking about or making plans to end your life.
I have provided counseling and crisis services to Vancouver, Washington individuals with depression for over 16 years. I have learned that depression is not just extreme sadness but physical pain, hopelessness that left untreated can lead to drug and alcohol abuse or dependence, loss of a job, loss of supportive friends and family members, loss of a home and sometimes even loss of one's life to suicide.
For some, getting to the root of what may be causing the depression is not always easy. Many factors must be considered. First, one must consider if there is a medical condition which may be causing depressive symptoms. There are many times that a physical illness will create depressive symptoms. Thyroid conditions, low testosterone in men, sleeplessness due to a medical condition can all be reasons one may be feeling depressed. Beginning new medications or changing medications can have a significant affect on sleep patterns which can then make you feel slow, down in the dumps, and ill. Talk to your Dr. to see if they think there may be a medical reason to explain your depressive symptoms.
Take a step back and look at your lifestyle within the last several months and ask yourself these questions:
Have I been busier than usual?
Have my sleep patterns or number of hours I sleep been affected?
Have I been drinking more alcohol than usual?
Am I in the middle of a particularly stressful situation in my job, school, relationship, family situation?
These may simply be some lifestyle changes you need to address in order to start feeling better. Your body may be taxed with trying to deal with stress in your environment. If allowed to go on for too long without addressing how you are going to cope with this stress, you may begin to feel depressed.
A word about alcohol. Too much alcohol is a depressant and it also keeps you from getting a solid night's sleep. You may think that alcohol helps you sleep. It may help you get to sleep, but your sleep will be fitful and you will wake feeling unrested. Too many nights of this and you may begin feeling depressed.
If you have taken a good look at your life and you still can not explain why you have feelings of depression or you know why and you want to begin feeling better, let's talk. Talking to a counselor can help you get a different perspective on your life. It can help to flush out what may really be going on. Sometimes you may truly have no idea until someone unbiased comes in with a fresh perspective and can help you see more clearly. I will help you prioritize what is bothering you and begin to help you make changes that will bring you out of this depression and begin moving forward again.
I look forward to talking to you, 360-524-2045.
"Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them"