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Depression and Therapy
Depression is common and affects many people globally. According to the CDC, about 4.7% of adults over the age of 18 experience regular feelings of depression in the US alone. If depression is affecting your life, Dr. Lynn Winsten, therapist in Berkeley, is here to help you better understand how depression works and how therapy can help.
What Is Depression?
Depression is more than just feeling down. It’s a medical condition that negatively impacts many areas of your life, including your mood, thinking, memory, eating, and sleep. When a person has this condition, they tend to feel sad, low, anxious, worthless, and hopeless for prolonged periods of more than two weeks.
These feelings affect one’s ability to function properly by causing sleep problems, loss of interest in activities, or poor productivity. In addition, depression can also exacerbate other health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis, asthma, and cardiovascular disease. The effects of depression can continue or get worse if the person doesn’t seek professional treatment.
It’s important to note that depression is not to be confused with grief. While grief involves a mix of sadness and positive emotions from happy memories about the deceased loved one, the sadness associated with depression is constant.
Common Types of Depression
• Clinical depression. Clinical depression is also known as major depressive disorder (MDD). The effects of MDD on a person’s mood are felt strongly and usually last for longer than two weeks. Major symptoms of MDD include a depressed mood, loss of interest in favorite activities, fatigue, self-loathing, and suicidal thoughts.
• Bipolar depression. This type of depression is characterized by extreme mood changes. The person will have low periods where they feel sad, hopeless, and tired, but they can also have alternating high-energy or manic periods.
• Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a severe version of pre-menstruation disorder (PMS), and it, therefore, happens around the time a woman is expecting their menstrual period. During this time, it’s normal to feel extremely tired, sad, anxious, irritable, and have mood swings and food cravings.
• Perinatal and postpartum depression. Pregnant women and those who have given birth are also vulnerable to depression. Pregnancy triggers a change in hormone levels, and this causes a corresponding shift in mood with symptoms like sadness, difficulty bonding with the baby, and thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby.
• Atypical depression. This type of depression has atypical features, meaning the symptoms don’t always conform to the “traditional” set of symptoms associated with depression. For instance, a person with atypical depression can feel fatigued or sleep excessively, but this can quickly change if something positive happens.
• Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). As the name suggests, SAD is influenced by the seasons and typically occurs from late fall and throughout winter. However, SAD tends to go away during summer and spring.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
As mentioned, depression can have an emotional, mental, and physical negative impact. Here are some common symptoms of depression:
• Feeling sad, hopeless, anxious, empty, hopeless, and worthless
• Feeling irritated and angry or crying a lot
• Pessimistic thoughts
• Thoughts of self-harm, death, or suicide
• Suicide attempts
• Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
• Changes in eating habits, for instance, overeating or undereating
• Changes to your sleep pattern
• Chronic physical problems like headaches, digestive problems, and aches or pains
• Problems with memory and concentration
Does Everyone Experience Depression the Same Way?
According to experts, while depression is associated with some common symptoms, it can affect different people in various ways. This also matches what Dr. Lynn Winsten has found. As a reputable therapist in Berkeley, Dr. Lynn Winsten has helped hundreds of men, women, and younger people with depression, and she has discovered that treatment is not always a one-size-fits-all approach.
For instance, it’s common for males to experience depression symptoms, such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, and restlessness. Men that are experiencing depression are also more likely to drink and use drugs excessively or participate in other high-risk activities. On the other hand, women may experience extreme mood swings, sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and anxiety.
Similarly, depression in teens and children causes loss of concentration, poor performance at school, sleeping problems, appetite changes, and thoughts of self-harm, death, and suicide.
What Are the Major Causes and Risks of Depression?
• Genes. If depression is part of your family history, this increases your chances of also developing depression.
• Hormones. Depression caused by hormonal changes can happen when a woman is having her menstrual period, during pregnancy, after pregnancy, or menopause.
• Brain structure and chemistry. Chemical imbalances in the brain contribute to the development of depression, impacting mood, sleep, appetite, and other areas of everyday life. In addition, having lesions of the dominant frontal lobe increases your risk of developing depression.
• Medical conditions. Some medical conditions like insomnia and chronic pain are associated with a higher risk of depression.
• Circumstantial factors. The onset of depressive symptoms can be triggered by circumstantial life factors, such as stressful situations and negative childhood events.
7 Important Facts to Know About Depression
As common as depression is, Dr. Lynn Winsten, therapist in Berkeley, notes that there are some important things about depression that most people are not aware of. As such, Dr. Lynn Winsten strives to help people better understand this medical condition. Given how common depression is, having a deeper awareness of it can help many people lead healthier and happier lives.
Feeling Blue Isn’t The Same as Depression
When a person is experiencing depressive symptoms, they can’t just shrug off the feelings of sadness. In fact, depression is more than just sadness. It can impact people negatively on a deeper level by affecting concentration and the ability to sleep.
Usually, the symptoms of depression last longer than two weeks and require professional treatment. Otherwise, they will likely get worse. For most people, sadness is not a constant feeling, and it doesn’t diminish their productivity or interest in life’s activities.
Depression Can Affect Anyone
Depression doesn’t discriminate based on race, sex, or social class. It can affect anyone, although some factors can put you at increased risk of developing depression. For instance, depression can be triggered by trauma or caused by genetic factors. It’s a myth that some people are too strong to be affected by depression. Depression can affect anyone and sometimes happen for no obvious reason.
Depression Doesn’t Make You Weak
This is always something that Dr. Lynn Winsten never fails to emphasize to her patience. Many people suffer in silence because of the stigma surrounding depression. Common symptoms of depression include loss of energy, lack of interest in activities, poor performance at school or work, eating too much, and excessive sleeping.
For those who don’t understand how depression works, it’s all too easy to assume that someone dealing with depression is lazy or weak.
It’s Not Always Easy Seeking Help When You Have Depression
As stated, depression is sometimes associated with stigma, making it difficult for others to get the help they need. If you’re in such a situation, Dr. Lynn Winsten has words of hope and encouragement for you.
You deserve professional support to help you achieve more positive experiences. Once you summon the courage to confront and deal with the issue, things will get better for you. Dr. Lynn Winsten has many years of experience as a therapist in Berkeley, and she has seen first-hand how getting therapy for depression can make a world of difference.
Depression Isn’t Always Obvious
People experiencing depressive symptoms don’t always show it. They may force themselves to maintain a cheerful, optimistic, and positive mood that doesn’t match the sadness and emptiness they feel inside. At times one may not even be aware they are depressed. This is why you should always follow your gut feeling and seek professional help if you feel something is wrong.
Therapy Is Usually Needed for Depression
Therapy is one of the most recommended treatment options for depression. Whether you’re dealing with mild, moderate, or severe depression, therapy is one of the requirements for effective treatment.
There Are Different Treatment Methods for Depression
Besides therapy, Dr. Lynn Winsten also recommends additional treatment options. For instance, treating severe symptoms of depression might require making lifestyle changes or take prescribed medication. Once your diagnosis has been made, it’s essential to seek professional help, so you can lead a more normal life. Although depressive symptoms can be intense and long-lasting, the good news is they can be treated.
Need a Depression Therapist? Dr. Lynn Winsten, Therapist In Berkeley, Can Help
If you’re dealing with depression, the experience can take you to a dark place where it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. The experience is made worse if you’re isolated and don’t have the support of family and friends. Talking about your experience with loved ones helps, but unfortunately, they may not have the resources or understanding to provide you with the help you need.
Dr. Lynn Winsten, therapist in Berkeley, is here to help you begin your recovery journey. It doesn’t matter if your symptoms are mild, severe, brief, or prolonged – the benefits of therapy can help turn your life around.
Dr. Lynn Winstein is a highly trained mental health professional that has helped many individuals recover from depression. She will work with you closely to develop a tailored approach to help you manage events that trigger depression and teach you ways to cope with and prevent symptoms.