Depression is experienced by a lot of us. Sometimes it’s situational (job lay off), sometimes it’s related to past issues (e.g. childhood) and for others it’s hereditary.

When you have situational depression something unexpected has happened over which you feel you have no control, i.e. death of a loved one or a cancer diagnosis. Usually over a reasonable period of time these feelings become manageable as you adjust to the situation.

Past issues are more complicated and often subtle. Even though they affect your life dramatically they are often ignored. You may have disregarded them and manage, for example, through denial or by abusing substances.

Hereditary depression means you have inherited it from family members. Because depression is biochemical this can happen to some members in a family. You may have experienced feeling “blue” off and on for years without understanding why you couldn’t just “snap out of it.” Some families don’t admit to depression and some have turned to addictive behaviors, i.e. overeating, alcohol or work as coping tools.

If you’ve had a lengthy situational depression, a past issue depression where the strong emotions increase with no relief or are experiencing a depression which has interfered with your daily functioning repeatedly for years, then it’s probably time to seek outside help.

It doesn’t matter the cause as symptoms are the same. They include lack of motivation and/or energy, significant weight loss or gain, lack of interest in pleasurable activities, more or less sleep, difficulty concentrating, increased feelings of worthlessness or guilt, lowered self esteem, hopelessness, or in extreme cases, suicidal thinking.

Some people find that seeing a therapist and receiving medication relieves their distress. Others will do one or the other. When you choose to work with a therapist you can select from a variety of approaches. Working with a therapist whom you feel understands you, listens, offers a new perspective and helps you develop new skills in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect is part of what makes your outcome successful. The other part is your being honest and opening to new possibilities.

The first step in change is to act. Now may be the time.

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Author's Bio: 

Arlene M. Green, LCSW
I-25 and Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80210

303-778-8443 - Office