The word depression can be used to describe a range of feelings from “feeling a little down” or sad to being overwhelmed, incapacitated and possibly suicidal. Depression is often called the “common cold” of mental/emotional issues because so many people suffer with it. Depression is also one of the most treatable health issues.
What Can Depression Do?
- Cause feelings of hopelessness, despair, sadness and apathy.
- Cause a loss of perspective. Depression distorts life and how we see ourselves. Depression perpetuates a negative pattern of thinking.
- Change the person’s physical activities and social involvement. Constant fatigue plagues the victim of depression.
- Cause a loss of self-esteem. The depressed person develops and nurtures a negative self-image.
- Cause its victims to withdraw from others at a time when support and encouragement are important.
- Produce a need in people to escape problems, social situations and life as normal.
- Cause people to be over-sensitive to what others say and do.
- Affect the person’s thinking and decision making. Depressed people can’t focus and can become forgetful. They feel as if gloom and doom hang over them all the time.
- Cause a person to have difficulties in handling emotions and everyday situations. Depressed people are almost always frustrated and angry.
- Cause the person to feel guilt….either real or imagined.
- Foster a sense of dependency upon others.
- Destroy your life, your family, your relationships, your career and your spiritual perspective.
Symptoms of Depression:
- Changes in appetite (eating too much or too little)
- Sleeping problems (sleeping too much or too little)
- Fatigue (lack of energy)
- Lack of interest in activities that were once pleasurable experiences
- Restlessness and irritability
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Inappropriate guilt
- Difficulty in thinking, making decisions and concentration. Poor memory.
- Obsessive thoughts of death and suicide. Sometimes attempted suicide can be the first symptom displayed.
- Excessive crying
- An apathetic outlook. Who cares? Whatever!
- Avoidance of old friends and social gatherings
- An inability to get along with people
- Poor performance at work, school or home
- Unexplained pains and illnesses (psychosomatic ailments)
Depression can negatively impact your life, your relationships, your family, and your spiritual life. It is too complicated to solve with a single pat answer or without the help of others.
Written by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT
If depression is affecting the quality of your life, now is the time to ask for professional help. To talk with a Christian counselor about how depression is affecting you or someone you care about, please call CounselingWorks at 972-960-9981 or fill out our contact form.