Episodic (comes and goes) and persistent (chronic) depression are common medical conditions. People living with depression often feel trapped in negative cycles that make it difficult to function on a daily basis. Energy levels are often experienced as depleted and exhausted. People often describe feeling like they have to go through the motions to hide their true feelings from others. A negative or pessimistic view of the future is usually present, as well as a belief that there is not a reasonable answer to problems.
A person struggling with clinical depression is likely to believe they have a clearer view of reality and others are living a false version of reality. This belief stems from a release of attachment to relationships and the daily world. People often struggle to clearly identify and shift unhelpful thinking and coping patterns.
A Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) episode must last for longer than two weeks and include the following symptoms:
• Persistent sad or apathetic mood
• Feelings of pessimism or low levels of hope for improvement
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
• Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
• Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling slower than usual
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
• Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or the desire to oversleep
• Low appetite or overeating and weight gain
• Thoughts of death or suicide
• Restlessness and/or irritability with others
• Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed
What’s It Like to Live with Major Depressive Disorder?
People suffering from depression often feel torn between two states. With depression, people often create safety bubbles where they feel some relief from depression symptoms. This may be in bed, reading, watching tv or movies, being with beloved animals, certain areas of their home or other avoidant coping strategies. This creates a dualistic pull between two worlds. Unfortunately, this results in the worsening of depression symptoms. Much of life requires attachment to relationships, work, self-care, and duties. It is not uncommon for people to make poor decisions guided by major depressive thinking patterns, such as leaving a relationship or job to avoid attachment.
Situational sadness (often referred to as “depression” by many people) is not Major Depressive Disorder. It often is triggered by a situational stressor that requires a call to action. A person will not meet the criteria for MDD and/or symptoms may only last a few days, episodically. Medication treatment is not recommended for situational sadness or mild MDD.
Please request either provider, Kama Jensen or Erin Hagen, when calling to schedule an appointment to discuss counseling for depression.