Lately, you haven’t been feeling like yourself. You feel tired all the time, and what were once simple decisions now feel impossible to make. You find it difficult to be interested in pretty much anything, even things you once loved to do. You feel worthless, and you find yourself getting annoyed or extra negative about things that never bothered you before. You often feel empty and sad and helpless. You may have even considered suicide.

If you can relate to some or all of the paragraph above, you may have depression. Depression is a highly prevalent mental disorder. It is one of the most common in the United States; it is estimated that 16.1 million adults in the U.S. have had a depressive episode in the last year. If you feel depressed, there is hope. Depression is a very treatable mental health disorder, but unfortunately, it is estimated that half of all people who experience depression are never diagnosed or get the help that they need. If you suspect that you have depression, read on.

What is Depression?

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a common mental illness that impacts the way you feel, think, and act. It is characterized by feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in things you used to love, and ranges from mild to severe. Depression impacts your emotional, physical, and mental health, as well as your work and home life. While everyone feels lonely, sad, or moody from time to time, depression never goes away; in order to be diagnosed, you must manifest symptoms for at least two weeks.

Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of depression include:

Persistent sad and anxious feelings
Trouble concentrating, remembering things, and/or making decisions
Loss of interest in hobbies and interests
Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
Overeating or loss of appetite
Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behaviors

Risk Factors

Depression can affect anyone, but there are people who are more likely to become depressed than others. There are four factors that play a role in the development of depression:

Biochemistry: Certain chemicals in the brain may be different in people with depression than people without it.
Genetics: Depression runs in families. If one twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of also becoming depressed.
Personality: certain personality types are more prone to depression, including people who are easily overwhelmed by stress, people who are pessimistic, and people who have low self-esteem.
Environment: There is evidence to suggest that being exposed to abuse, violence, poverty, and neglect makes certain people more likely to become depressed.

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, there is hope. With the aid of a mental health counsellor, millions of people have experienced relief from their depressive symptoms. At Wisdom from Within Counselling, we can provide you with compassionate care for your mental health. We view you as a whole, complex person, and will never judge you or dismiss your feelings. For a mental health counsellor in South Surrey, contact us.