What is depression?
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.
Signs and Symptoms:
Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you. People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.
Symptoms of depression can include:
Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
Very difficult to concentrate
Fatigue and lack of energy
Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
Becoming withdrawn or isolated
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
Thoughts of death or suicide
Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.
If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.
There is a wealth of information about depression and suicide on the internet. Here are some sites that may be particularly useful.
The Academy of Cognitive Therapy This site provides more information on cognitive therapy. The site also maintains a listing of therapists providing cognitive therapy for a variety of psychological disorders so that you can search for a cognitive therapist near you.