What is Depression?
Depression is a common and serious mental health issue that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It’s also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, and sometimes isolation. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can occur at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. There is a high degree of heritability (approximately 40%) when first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) have depression.”
Symptoms of Depression
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
Depression can affect individuals differently and the number of symptoms present for an individual can vary.
What causes Depression?
The causes of depression are complex. Depression can develop from a variety of social, psychological and biological factors. Genes, chemical reactions and imbalances, medical problems, substance use, life events, severe stress, loss, trauma, both current and/or childhood family dynamics, poor nutrition, and unemployment may all contribute to the development of depression.
How is Depression Treated?
While depression can cause severe impairment of an individual’s functioning, it is a treatable mental disorder. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. Medication and therapy are the most common ways to treat an individual’s depression.
Therapy for depression depends on your needs and your triggers. In general, therapy for depression can include changing negative thought patterns, improving self-care and coping skills, re-evaluating your values, healing from past trauma, developing boundaries, and identifying any potentially helpful lifestyle changes.
Get Help for Depression In the Nashville Area
If you are feeling depressed, consider getting treatment at the earliest sign of a problem to help gain the skills needed to stop it from worsening. Here at Willow Counseling, our goal is to walk with you on your journey and help identify skills unique to you that would be helpful to combat depression.
Individual therapy sessions for depression are held weekly or biweekly and last 45 or 60 minutes. If you live in the Nashville area and are ready to get help for your depression, we are here to help. To begin individual counseling for depression, follow these three steps:
- Contact our counseling office or call 615-235-3508 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation
- Speak to one of our depression therapists about what type of therapy is best for you
- Begin therapy for depression and move forward with your life!
Tips to Manage Depression at Home
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent depression, taking steps to control stress, increase your resilience, boost your self-esteem can be beneficial. Not ready to begin counseling for depression? Try these seven tips to manage anxiety on your own.
Move your body regularly. Even just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost your mood.
Eat nutritious meals.
Get enough sleep. As much as possible, try to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.
Avoid using alcohol, drugs, medications not prescribed for you, and nicotine.
Cut yourself some slack. Figure out what must get done and what can wait, and then do what you can as you are able.
Have face-to-face conversations. Try connecting with others and sharing how you are feeling with those you trust.
Wait to make major life decisions until you feel better.
Other Services Offered at Willow Counseling
Counseling for depression often involves multiple approaches towards healing. Willow Counseling in Nashville offers therapy for anxiety and therapy for compassion fatigue. We also offer group therapy services. Contact our office to learn more. You don't have to stay stuck. Willow Counseling can help you find healing and be rooted, be strong and be free from the things that have held you back.