Depression is not easy to define, because not everyone experiences it in the same way. Some people get irritable, while others become gloomy and withdrawn. Some people cry a lot, often at unexpected times. Still others trudge through life, stoic and emotionless. Depression can bring physical aches and pains for some people, and a sense of meaningless living (and even suicide) for others.
Depression is a normal and adaptive response to feeling overwhelmed by difficult events or circumstances in life. Losing a loved one, for example, or failing to get an important promotion. This kind of depression is a natural and temporary adjustment, a kind of “whoa-a-a” suspension of life that slows us down and gives us pause to incorporate new circumstances and directions.
When this condition of depression becomes too severe (acute depression) or too prolonged (chronic depression), professional help is appropriate and advised. This kind of depression is believed to involve an imbalance in normal brain chemistry, regardless of what triggered it. It’s the most common mental health problem today. The good news is, depression is highly treatable. It responds well to psychotherapy, medication, or better yet (research tells us) a combination of both.
If you’re stuck in a depressive pattern, give me a call. There is no reason to tough it out, when help is so available. Most people report some relief from the first counseling session, with increased improvement as we apply new ways of thinking and understanding life and events.
Although they differ considerably from Major Depression (described above), there are other mental health diagnoses that involve depression as the main symptom. See also: