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Learn About the Symptoms of Depression

Our mental health may be more fragile than we realize. We all have a certain amount of resilience, but when events begin to spiral our mental health can really suffer. This is when depression can set in.

Depression is a very common mental health issue. More than 17 million adults struggle with this mental health problem every year. Depression takes a toll on many aspects of daily life. It hurts our relationships, our careers, and our health.

When depression becomes so severe that you can’t get out of bed anymore it is time to get some help. There are treatment methods that can help manage the symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

The Signs of Severe Depression

It is hard to describe severe depression to someone who has never felt its affects. Loved ones may wonder why you can’t just snap out of it. It helps for these folks to have a better sense of what depression looks like. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad. Feeling hopeless and sad is a main symptom of depression. The person sees him or herself in a bad light. He or she might even blame themselves for what they see as their faults and flaws.
  • Changes in Eating Habits. There may be a sudden change in weight. Some may have an increased appetite and eat more as a way to cope. This results in weight gain. Others may become so depressed that they have no desire to feed themselves. This can lead to weight loss.
  • Loss of Interest.  One of the most common signs of severe depression is the sudden loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. When so depressed, they have no desire to attend social events or to even see friends.
  • Sleep Disturbances. Feeling depressed can cause changes in sleep habits. In some cases the person will wants to sleep much more than normal. It can also cause problems falling asleep or staying asleep.

Additional Symptoms include:

  • Anger or Feeling Irritable. Anger symptoms are more common in depressed men, although depressed women can also exhibit mood swings. The source of the anger may be due to frustration or a sense of feeling out of control. Depression can make someone feel annoyed and even prone to angry outbursts.
  • Fatigue.  A pronounced loss of energy is one of the common signs of severe depression. The person feels so tired they can barely function. Even daily hygiene habits or fixing meals requires too much effort.
  • Increased Substance Use.  Some who feels very depressed may begin to self-medicate through the use of a substance. Substance abuse is a reaction to feelings of despair. The person may drink or use drugs to numb the emotional pain.
  • Suicidal Ideation. People who are depressed often obsess about dying or even taking their own life. In fact, 90% of the individuals who commit suicide had an underlying mental health disorder like depression.

Suicide Warning Signs

Recent statistics show that more people in the United States now die by suicide than in car accidents. About 44,000 adults choose to end their lives each year. In many cases, there may have been red flags that were missed. These warning signs and symptoms might include:

  • Symptoms of depression
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Feeling guilt or shame
  • Anger
  • Substance abuse
  • Avoid family and friends
  • Aggression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Over sleeping
  • Saying they are a burden to others
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Saying they have no reason to live
  • Sharing that they are in pain
  • Gives away prized things
  • Talks of killing self

In the event a loved one is showing signs of a mental health crisis or suicide warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Treatment for Depression

When someone is in the grip of depression they may not be aware of how serious the problem has become. Often it is a loved one who becomes alarmed at the rising signs of depression in their family member. They will then reach out to a mental health worker to get the person help.

Depression treatment consists of a blend of antidepressants and therapy. Other actions, such as yoga and mindfulness training can increase the effects of the treatment. Changes in diet and getting daily exercise can also improve mood.

Medication

Medication is the first-line treatment for people with depression. Antidepressants are drugs, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, or tricyclics that help adjust brain chemistry. Over time these drugs can reduce the symptoms of depression.

Therapy sessions

One-on-one talk therapy sessions can help to guide the person toward new thinking patterns. Changing thought patterns also changes the attitude. Also, any past trauma, childhood abuse, grief and loss, divorce, or other painful life events can be worked through.

Support groups

Small groups discuss topics introduced by the therapist. This helps the group members to engage in sharing their feelings and life stories. This provides a sense of peer support with others who are also struggling with depression.

Holistic therapies

There is a growing trend in mental health treatment to include holistic therapies as part of the treatment of depression. These can help reduce stress and help create feelings of inner peace and calm. These include massage, yoga, art therapy, and mindfulness.

If there is a mental health crisis, like a suicide attempt, a higher level of care is proper. A treatment program that offers acute stabilization and extended care for severe depression would be needed. The residential rehab setting can provide a more focused treatment plan for a loved one with depression.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a full-spectrum mental health center that provides mental health treatment in a private home setting. We also offer transitional housing and outpatient services. Elevation Behavioral Health believes in a combined approach to treating depression. This involves evidence-based therapies and holistic activities for a well-rounded program. For more details about our program, please reach out to us today at (888) 561-0868.

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