Depression’s symptoms can vary greatly from person to person and can vary depending on a person’s gender, culture, and age. Adolescents experiencing depression might appear agitated and irritable, while women may be more likely to admit depression then men, and certain cultures might display them differently, or mask them completely. Common symptoms of depression include:
• Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness
• Diminished interest in activities once enjoyed
• Significant weight loss or weight gain
• Changes in sleep such as excessive sleeping or inability to sleep
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
• Difficulty thinking or concentrating
• Thoughts of death or suicide
A person experiencing depression is likely to encounter difficulty coping with daily life and may feel helpless and alone. In fact, sometimes the most basic of activities like getting out of bed, bathing, and dressing—can be overwhelming. Depression is one of the most common reasons people seek therapy, and it is highly treatable.
If you feel that you may have symptoms of depression, therapy can help. Therapy can help you identify the factors that contribute to your depression and identify which aspects you may be able to solve or improve. Therapy can also help you identify negative or distorted thinking patterns that contribute to your feelings or hopelessness and helplessness. It can also help you explore learned thoughts and behaviors that have contributed to your depression, and improve patterns of relating to other people. Finally, therapy can help you regain a sense of control and pleasure in your life.