Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 15.7 million American adults and nearly 3 million adolescents experienced a major depressive episode in the last year. Women and young adults are more likely to experience depression, but it can affect any person at any stage of life.
That means depression touches many lives, both directly and indirectly, affecting those who love and care for people struggling with the darkness of depression.
While depression may be caused by certain stressors or life events, it can also have underlying biological causes. Researchers believe genetics, body chemistry, brain structure and medical conditions can all contribute to depression.
Many people experience depressive symptoms from time to time, but a diagnosis of clinical depression is defined by a number of factors, including how long a person has been experiencing certain symptoms, and how severe and debilitating the symptoms are.
It can be tempting to think of depression as simply a bad mood that a person can overcome, but clinical depression is often a vicious cycle: As symptoms arise, the guilt and shame from having such a negative outlook feed into other symptoms, further deepening the sense of despair. A person with depression can’t simply choose to change these bad feelings. They are not spiritually or emotionally weak, they don’t have a character flaw and they don’t need to just pull themselves up by the bootstraps to feel better. Depression saps a person’s sense of motivation and energy, leaving them feeling too guilty and lost to make positive steps forward. At times, despair may be so deep that a person cannot get out of bed or engage in their normal life, and may consider harming themselves.
Some common symptoms of depression include:
Depressed mood (sadness, hopelessness, emptiness)
Lack of pleasure in once pleasurable activities
Weight loss or gain
Loss of appetite
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Preoccupation with death
How Crosswinds can help
The good news for people experiencing depression, and those who care about them, is that depression is very treatable. Medication, therapy and medical care can all help identify the cause of the depression and alleviate symptoms. Crosswinds provides counseling services for depression that focus on adjusting thoughts and creating healthier ways to manage thoughts that feed depression. By helping to uncover the causes of depression, counseling through Crosswinds can also help relieve symptoms and prevent further dips in mood. Many people with depression also benefit from taking medication. When this is advised, Crosswinds works with our clients to ensure they receive the proper medical support and stick with their prescribed treatment.
At Crosswinds, we believe that with the right support, depression can be conquered and people can return to full, whole and healthy lives.
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, please contact Crosswinds today.
If you are contemplating suicide, call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: