What is depression?

Depression is a combination of feelings, including intense, overwhelming sadness, helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness. When someone is clinically depressed these feelings keep him/her from functioning normally, and often span for days, if not weeks.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, clinical depression is the diagnosis when at least five of the following nine symptoms are present at the same time:

  • A depressed, down mood most of the day, especially in the mornings
  • Fatigue or extreme loss of energy
  • Continual feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating and marked indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • A diminished interest in activities
  • Restlessness
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Recurring thoughts that surround death or suicide

There are several different types of depression, including, but not limited to, Major Depressive Disorder, Chronic Depression, Atypical Depression, Manic Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder.  

Depression is a disease, not a mood; therefore, it is not a flaw in one’s character or a personal weakness. Depression is when neurotransmitters and chemicals in one’s brain are out of balance and do not communicate properly. Several factors can contribute to depression, including family history. Scientists have discovered that genes play a role in inheriting depression. While this does not mean someone is necessarily born with depression, it relates to how someone handles a stressful event and if depression is easily triggered. Stressful events in one’s life can cause depression, e.g., losing a loved one, postpartum depression after pregnancy, divorce or experiencing a chronic disease. Certain health problems relate to depression, including hypothyroidism and anemia. Medication can also cause be the root cause of depression, particularly with steroid and/or narcotic use.       

People suffering from depression have many options in today’s world. Therapists in Utah can help diagnosis the severity of depression and offer advice if a patient should seek medical treatment under a psychiatrist or family doctor for anti-depressant medication(s). It is important to determine the core cause of depression, whether it is genetic or triggered by a stressful event. This variable factor determines the type of treatment Therapists in Provo, Utah recommend, based on each individual’s needs and requirements. Utah Counselors receive special training, helping them understand the effects of depression, how to counteract these effects with open communication and extensive therapy.

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