by Shane Fookes, MA LPC Associate
Depression is a dark, confusing, and confounding experience. It’s like a hidden virus that saps all the life out of you. Sometimes when it strikes, it seems to have a clear connection to difficult life events. Whereas, sometimes it seems to occur out of the blue. On the other hand, sometimes your depressive symptoms will be clear to see and understand. You experience persistent feelings of sadness and tearfulness. Accompanied by a sense of worthlessness and hopelessness. Your mind endlessly ruminates on past failures or future impossibilities. Often leaving you laden with self-blame and doubt. These symptoms sometimes bring suicidal thoughts.
Often, depression takes on forms that defy these stereotypes. The reality is, depression has no “one-size-fits-all” set of symptoms, experiences, or solutions. Effectively recognizing depression when it comes in non-stereotypical forms can be challenging. However, the following three signs, especially when they co-exist, indicate you may be experiencing depression.
Loss of interest and motivation
People experiencing depression often lose interest in the people, activities, and possessions previously important to them. Obviously, it’s normal to have your interests change over time. With depression, though, the loss of interest is pervasive across wide swaths of life. You experience little motivation or pleasure in relationships, work, exercise, hobbies, food, and creative activities. Though you may still participate in these activities to some extent, it feels like you’re just going through the motions, numb to any sense of joy or pleasure. This loss of interest is often accompanied by a general feeling of tiredness and lack of energy so that even small tasks seem to take extra effort.
Changes in sleep pattern due to depression
Depression’s effect on sleep contributes to confusion. Sometimes you struggle getting out of bed and you want to sleep all the time. Conversely, depression can make sleep more difficult. You may experience long stretches of insomnia and fitful, restless sleep. Depressed people often experience persistent and ruminating thoughts late at night. This is especially true when no other distractions exist. Over time, these sleep problems contribute to several issues including:
- physical exhaustion
- difficulty thinking
- joint pain
Near constant irritability and/or anxiety
Anger and anxiety often accompany depression. The anger may come in the form of yelling, screaming, and fits of rage, or as a slow burning frustration over even the most trivial matters. Similarly, you may experience intense panic attacks or a persistent, nagging worry. Unacknowledged and unexpressed anger or anxiety can cause your depression. When this happens, the anger or anxiety finds its way out because your physical and mental defenses have been reduced. Depression may also provoke anger or anxiety because it depletes your physical and mental bandwidth and brings a sense of helplessness to deal with life challenges.
Recovery can be challenging. The accurate and helpful thinking you need to understand depression is taken out by depression! As are the motivation and personal resources you need to combat depression. In addition, depression naturally turns a person inward. This can isolate the person and keep them from the loving relationships so necessary to recover from depression.
Recovery from depression is possible! A combination of medication, therapy, and relational support from loved ones are effective in providing a way out of the dark hole. And more than simply returning to health, you can discover a life on the other side of depression that’s even more meaningful because you went through the depression.
Consider Christian Depression Treatment in Hillsboro, OR
Our Clackamas and Hillsboro-based counselors are excited to work with you, wherever you are in Oregon. Your relationships can thrive again. We can help you get back on track in a way that aligns with your faith and values. When you are ready to start depression treatment, follow these simple steps:
- Learn about our therapy team in Hillsboro and our caring counselors in Clackamas
- Schedule an appointment with your preferred therapist, or contact us with questions
- Feel more connected to the important people in your life
Other Mental Health Services at Life Discovery Counseling in Oregon
If you are in Clackamas, Happy Valley, Damascus, or Hillsboro, we can help you in person at one of our comfortable therapy clinics. Christian counseling is the cornerstone of our approach to therapy. Not only do we see adults, but children in counseling too. We also work with depression treatment, anxiety therapy, trauma therapy and PTSD treatment, relationship issues, marriage problems, and postpartum counseling. No matter where you are in the state, we can provide the support you need with online therapy in Oregon. Once you’re ready to start, we’re ready to meet you. Let’s connect!