Depression is one of the most solvable diagnoses in Mental Health. Primarily, it is driven by the thought disorder of having expectations that are far too high and unreasonable for yourself or others. However, it has genetic components that can be overwhelming also.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can show itself as:
- feeling lethargic
- being irritable
- having a lack of contact with self
- simply existing
- poor self-care
- feelings of apathy
- a constant nagging feeling
- seeking comfort (through something like food or shopping)
- becoming obsessive
- being frequently moody
- experiencing chronic sleepiness
- having a lack of concentration
- . . . and so many other symptoms. In young children, depression is usually manifested in the form of regular irritability.
Preferences Versus Expectations
To get a handle on what drives depression, we need to make our expectations conscious by writing them down and challenging them. Expectations come with a lot of weighted emotions that get in our way. (For example, if I expect a kiss goodbye when my wife is preoccupied, then I will probably dwell on the hurt and qu...
Some women live their adult lives carrying deep emotional wounds inflicted by their mothers during childhood. At times, this burden can result in depression if not dealt with properly. In this article, I will share some suggestions for working through your "mother wound" as an adult daughter.
The Truth About You
You deserved to be loved.
Your mother didn’t or couldn’t give you the warmth, safety, support, or feeling of being cherished that you needed so much.
Mothers influence our beliefs about ourselves in a foundational way. Who she “says” we are becomes who we say we are. We might be amazing, stupid, special, capable, clumsy, selfish -- just because she said so.
Negative feedback creates pain in us. We may take on self-defeating false messages that seem true based on our circumstances.
“You don’t know how to be loving.”
“No one cares what you think.”
“If you were a better person, the abuse/trouble/shame never would have happened.”
“You are my whole life.”
“I love you more than your father.”
“It’s your job to take care of me.”
“You have no right to disagree.”
Lies and Truth
How do we separate them?
As you work through these exercises, be sure to have a support person w...
I was a pastor for 23 years, and during that time I often heard parishioners talking about mental health issues like depression. The view was often narrow and uninformed. I heard such statements as, “If you have enough faith, you will not be depressed,” “You just need to trust God,” and many other choice comments.
I remember while dealing with my own depression, a friend and mentor told me to “get over it and quit sinning.” He apparently believed that depression was a sin.
There are a lot of well-meaning Christians who do not understand mental health issues like depression. They do not understand that depression is an illness. Most of these people have never dealt with depression themselves. If they had, I doubt they would ever say such things.
Sadly, there is a lot of ignorance in the church about mental health issues. I took in what my friend had said to me and felt guilty for feeling the way I did. For quite a while, I believed him. When I finally went to a counselor myself, I learned that depression is an illness and not a sin. I also learned that people don’t often get over depression by themselves. Once I learned this, I was able to dismiss such unwise counsel.
Through my own struggle with bouts of depression, I have done some research in the Bible...
How do you know you are experiencing depression? What are the common symptoms of depression? As a professional counselor, when listening to clients describe their symptoms, I am looking for patterns and changes in patterns, as well as a few key words or phrases. What is normal for one person may not be normal for another, but here are few of the most common signs and symptoms of depression.
Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Change in Mood
Depression is associated with the words “sad” or “down.” While those are certainly aspects of the moods of depression, I also find that feeling “nothing” or “numbness” are just as common.
It is normal to feel different emotional responses to various events in our lives, but unfortunately we push down many negative emotions because they are hard to feel or talk about. We do our best not to dwell on them or think about them. But we can’t selectively damper certain emotions.
The more we numb our negative emotions, we also end up numbing our positive emotions, which can leave a sort of emptiness, hopelessness, and overall numbness. I frequently hear people struggling with depression describe their emotions as mostly empty with sadness mixed in; but these changes can also include mood ...
When I was in my late teens, my mom told me a story once about one of my ancestors. I told her I was feeling “blue” and she proceeded to tell me of my great-great-great-great-grandfather Charles, who reportedly once described how he would get “in his moods” and not be able to shake it. For these occasions, he kept a pile of dirt in his basement.
[caption id="attachment_6292" align="alignleft" width="300"] http://goo.gl/t5wvmX "Handsome Guy," courtesy of andy, CC0 Public Domain, ABSFreePic.com[/caption]
When the moods would hit, he would go downstairs with a shovel and move that pile of dirt from one side of the basement to the other, one shovelful at a time. After a while, he would start feeling better. I have a sneaking suspicion that Charles might have been diagnosed with depression if he had had the opportunity to see a modern mental health professional.
What is Depression?
There is a range of symptoms that fall into the general definition of depression. People often describe feeling “down” or “blue.” Other signs of depression may include having trouble getting out of bed, of finding a reason to live.
Severe depression can be life-threatening, as a person may become dissociated and unintentionally a threat to self or others through inattenti...
People often ask, “How can I know whether I have depression or not?” This is a valid question, especially considering that the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population
When you have been depressed, people may have told you, “Just get over it” or that you must be having a “blue day.” Some well meaning friends may have said, “Just have more faith.” These people may be well meaning but probably have never dealt with genuine major depression.
One thing is for sure: Depression is no respecter of persons. Christians, non-Christians, and people from all walks of life get depression. Often, depression happens in the brain and may be related to deficiencies in brain chemistry.
Not all depression appears in the same way. Some people get depressed during a certain season of the year. For some individuals, depression will lift and then return time after time. Others will complain of a constant low-grade depression that is always present.
Symptoms of Depression
While there are numerous reasons for and types of depression, this article is designed more to help identify depression when it is present. There are some common tell-ta...
In my experience, some of the most common things that bring people into my office are symptoms of depression. However, often people are not quite able to articulate them as such.
Colloquially, we use “depressed” to mean sad. While sadness is a symptom of depression – often the biggest and most salient – it is not the only one. Further, there are many different types of depression that can manifest in different ways.
My goal here is to walk you through some different types and symptoms of depression so that you might piece together a better idea of what is afflicting you. Next, I hope that I can convince you to help seek out treatment by not only giving you options but addressing how these options work towards building recovery for you.
Major Depressive Disorder
The first broad type of depression to look at is Major Depressive Disorder. Major Depressive Disorder is generally what is being referred to when people say “clinical depression.” When somebody comes into my office indicating they are feeling sad or depressed, this is what my brain is looking at.
More than just a sadness, Major Depressive Disorder indicates that something called a Major Depressive Episode has occurred. This might seem redundant, but I will explain why the distinction exists ...