What is Depression?
Depression is a feeling that nothing matters that is so strong it interferes with one’s ability to function in the world. School? Work? Social life? Depression can make getting out of bed every morning like climbing Mt. Everest. The good news is you do not have to climb the mountain alone. Asking for help could help you unlock the tools to make the climb easier. No sweat—you’ve got this.
There are a few key symptoms that could indicate you are experiencing far more than your average bummer.
According to the American Psychological Association, symptoms of depression could include:
- Depressed mood. All-day. Every day. For days.
- Unintentional, significant weight loss
- Not having any energy even after you’ve slept well
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Having a hard time concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or ending your life
Our Crisis Counselors are here to help. Text a Crisis Counselor at 741741, or use the mobile text button below. Let’s take on depression together.
How to Deal with Depression:
Depression can likely make you feel isolated and alone. No fear—we’re here for you. Nobody should have to go through their dark times on their own. Together, we’ve got this.
Here are a few ways to start working through the sadness.
- Text us. Getting vulnerable about what is going on in your life is the ultimate sign of bravery. We’re ready to be brave with you. Connecting with a real human could help you work through the sadness in the moment and strategize ways to get out of the dark place in the long term. Text HOME to 741741 to chat with a Crisis Counselor.
- Self-care. If you’re feeling depressed, taking care of yourself can feel like a feat. Pick one thing to focus on like eating a meal, getting dressed, or taking a shower. Did you pick one? Ok, great. Let’s do this.
- Let someone in. When you’re depressed, likely the last thing you want to do is spend time with other humans. In reality, science says maintaining key aspects of your social life can be a powerful way to manage your depression. Try letting even one friend in and telling them what’s going on. Need a place to start? Try shooting them a text like this: “Hey, I’m having a hard time and could use some company. Wanna hang?”
- Talk to a pro. Mental health is health. So, sometimes it requires doctors to help you figure out the best plan for you. It’s never too early to ask for help. Getting help from a pro could help you unlock the tools to get out of the dark place.
Common types of depression include:
- Major Depression: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Major Depression is the most common type of depression. Usually, it is two or more weeks of depression symptoms like feelings of worthlessness, feelings of guilt, and a lack of interest in things you used to love.
- Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar Disorder is not the same as depression. However, it often includes symptoms of depression—one’s mood will swing from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
- Postpartum Depression: Having a baby can change the hormones in one’s body. Sometimes, this hormonal change can trigger symptoms of depression. About 16% of mothers will experience postpartum depression within a year of childbirth.
- Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder (PMDD): Hormonal changes can be a wild ride for your brain and your body. PMDD is a type of depression that affects women during their period. It includes symptoms that are more severe than your usual PMS.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Sometimes, people can experience depression around major changes in seasons. Usually, people experience SAD during the winter when the weather is cold and the days creep shorter. Often, SAD improves with the next change in seasons. That doesn’t mean you need to wait it out to get help. Reach out to your doctor. And, of course, shoot us a text, too.
Risk Factors and Causes:
Risk factors for depression include:
- Family or personal history
- Major life stressors, including trauma or life changes such as the end of a relationship, a family loss, moving, or changing careers.
- Chronic disease or certain medications
- Drug and alcohol addiction
- Women in their late teens to early 30s are at increased risk
How to Treat Depression:
Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. And, the sooner you seek help, the better. Treatment for depression typically consists of therapy and medication. Other things to consider if you are managing depression:
- Engaging in regular physical activity and exercise
- Maintaining healthy and regular sleep patterns
- Spending time with friends and loved ones and accepting help when offered
- Understanding that your mood will improve gradually, not immediately
- Continuing to learn more about your depression and maintaining awareness of what works, and what doesn’t, as you and your doctor try out different treatment options
- Talking to your doctor is a great first step to learning more about how you’re feeling and the options around managing your mental wellness that will be most effective for you.
Depressed? Text a Crisis Counselor at 741471 or use the mobile click to text button below. You’re not alone.