Am I Depressed?

 

Many people when they see me ask me if they are depressed.

Depression is categorized by feelings of sadness and worthlessness. Individuals may also experience a change in appetite. Some people may eat more food to help them feel better. Others may experience a loss of appetite. Fatigue is a common trait and many sufferers have trouble getting up to start their day. Individuals with depression may have trouble with concentration and memory. Many people who have this issue do not seek help, because they feel it is a weakness.

Anybody can get depressed.

Depression can be caused by stressful life events, heredity, illness, and addiction. Women can suffer from depression because of menstruation and pregnancy. Men are less likely to get help for their condition. As a result they are more likely to use drugs and alcohol as a form of self medication.

How Do You Treat Depression?

Treatment options include over the counter remedies(which you need to be very careful with), antidepressant medication, and of course therapy. The type of treatment that you decide on will depend on the severity of your depression.

In therapy, sufferers of depression may feel better by getting their feelings out. Other ways therapy can help is exploring triggers and developing action plans. Therapists can also evaluate if a consultation by a psychiatrist is needed. I also find that when I have someone on medication I can monitor side effects and see how effective the medication is. This is because I see the person weekly and your psychiatrist will see you 30-90 days. There are several antidepressant medications on the market. It may take time to find the drug that is right for you. Some medications can take a few weeks to improve mood. Some medications have negative side effects as well. Lowering your dose will usually help diminish side effects of the medication.

Benefits of depression treatment include :

-improvement of sleep disturbances
-improvement in self image
-more success at work
-clearer thinking and improved memory
-better family life
-healthier eating
-more energy to exercise
-better coping skills
-more organization
-an improved social life


People with depression think they can get better on their own but often miss the benefits of treatment. It is important to seek help if needed. From my experience this is caused by the belief depression is a weakness. It is important to understand this is not true and their is no shame in asking for help.

 

Barry Herbach, LCSW

212-229-7451

 

Copyright 2010 Barry Herbach, LCSW