Depression is more than short-term sadness or unhappiness. Clinical depression, known as, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia), Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder, Depressive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), to name a few, can impair an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Someone experiencing depression will typically experience symptoms on most days, persisting over a period of time.
Emotional depression symptoms can include:
- Feeling sad, empty and/or down
- A sense of hopelessness or despair
- Experiencing feelings of worthlessness and uselessness
- Excessive guilt
- Lack or loss of interest
- Feeling restless
Behavioural depression symptoms can include:
- Decreased productivity
- Withdrawal from enjoyable activities, events and people.
Cognitive depression symptoms can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Easily distracted
- Recurrent thoughts of suicide, death or self-harm
- Distorted thoughts that are not reflective of reality
- Holding extreme negative views of oneself.
Somatic depression symptoms can include:
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty sleeping or over sleeping
- Weight gain or loss
- Appearing tearful
- Experiencing unintentional and purposeless physical activities (psychomotor agitation)
Some of these experiences are a normal part of being human in appropriate amounts. Out of the normal range they can cause substantial personal suffering, significant difficulties in the areas of social and occupational effectiveness, as well as other areas of functioning (ie. self-care, health…). Depression can increase the risk of suicide. If there is an emergency situation call 9-1-1, the 24 hour Crisis Line is also available.
Please do not use the above for diagnostic purposes, as it is very general. Self-diagnosis can be harmful. Contact a health care provider to consult if you believe there is a concern.
“Depression is treatable”
If you believe that you or someone you know is struggling with Depression, connecting with a physician and/or mental health professional may be ideal. Because depression can be a combination of physiological and psychological factors, discussing symptoms and treatment options with a physician may be helpful. At Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County our clinicians can devise a short-term treatment plan and connect the client(s) with other resources in the area if necessary.