Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
Counseling & Psychotherapy - Southampton, NJ 08088
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Treatment of Depression

It is a rare person who would say that he or she has never felt "depressed." Simple fluctuations in mood are normal, however, and differ from clinical depression, which varies from mild to severe.

Clinical depression is not the same as grieving after the loss of a loved one through death, separation, or divorce. Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and low energy are normal during grief; anxiety and anger can also be part of the grieving process. In addition, depression may last longer than grief and includes feelings of self-criticism, hopelessness, and despair.

Depression has a variety of symptoms, such as fatigue, low motivation, crying spells, increase or decrease in sleep and appetite, weight loss or gain, withdrawal from others, irritability, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness, and suicidal thoughts. Although adults may present in therapy with many of these symptoms, adolescents often present with flat or sad affect, irritability, or an attitude of indifference. Depressed elderly people often present primarily with psychomotor retardation, memory impairment and mild disorientation (pseudodementia). Many people with depression also have anxiety, and they may feel worried, tense, light-headed, nauseous, frightened, have blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, hot or cold flashes, and sweating.

Depression is not something that happens to people because they are "weak," "stupid," or "crazy." Together with anxiety (which occurs more frequently than depression), depression is widespread. During any given year, it is estimated that approximately 40% of the general population will suffer a major depressive episode.

There is no one cause for depression--a number of different factors can cause it. These factors can be biological, interpersonal, behavioral, and cognitive. Depression may be caused in some people by factors in one of these areas, but it is most likely to be caused by a combination of these factors. Biological factors can include your family's predisposition, and your current brain chemistry. Personal and/or interpersonal conflicts and losses can be factors causing depression, as can cognitive factors, such as increases in stress and decreases in positive, enjoyable experiences. Cognitive factors include various distorted and maladaptive ways of thinking.