Most people feel sad from time to time. Individuals who are depressed experience prolonged periods of hopelessness.
Depression symptoms can include:
- Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all activities such as hobbies, sports, sex, or spending time with family and friends
- Feeling tired and having little to no energy
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or oversleeping
- Reduced or increased appetite
- Feeling anxious, agitated, or restless
- Unexplained physical discomforts such as back pain, headaches, or migraines
- Slowed thinking, body movements, or speaking
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Trouble retaining memories
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Self-blame or fixating on past failures
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts
There are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, and stressful life events. It's believed that several of these forces interact to bring on depression
One of the primary distinctions between temporarily feeling down and depression is the effect each depressive experience has on the brain. Continued or repeated depression can physically change the brain, the body’s command center.
Research shows that clinical depression can in fact:
- Shrink the brain
- Cause brain inflammation
- Reduce oxygen levels in the brain
Because of the complex and prolonged effects that depression can have on the brain, it should be treated as soon as possible.
I offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT promotes neuroplasticity and improves the brain’s flexibility and ability to create new pathways. It helps with changing thought patterns and alter some of the negative behaviors, resulting in a reduction in depressive symptoms overall.