Have you been feeling low for an extended period of time and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to come out of it? Do you feel overwhelmed with sadness and just don’t feel like doing anything? Do you feel exhausted all the time and feel like you have no energy? These can be signs and symptoms of depression.

Millions of people around the world struggle with depression. While it is commonly mistaken as sadness, depression is more than just feeling low, sad, or down. Depression is a state of imbalance of your brain chemistry that can be caused by any number of things, ranging from genetics to hormones, life events, trauma, stress, grief, and more. While depression is a serious issue and can lead to a host of other problems, it is most definitely a reversible condition! There is hope! If you suspect you are dealing with depression or a mood disorder, seeing a psychologist for therapy can make a world of difference!

How Common is Depression?

Depression is more common than we think. Statistics tell us that depression will affect one out of every five women and one out of every ten men at some point throughout their lives. There is no foolproof gage indicating exactly who it will affect, but when depression strikes, it can be both devastating and debilitating! Depression occurs among individuals of every age, income, economic, social, and educational level. Signs, symptoms and severity may vary greatly from person to person, as depression affects everyone differently. Some people may find themselves able to function on their own with seemingly mild symptoms, while others find it virtually impossible to maintain their daily lives and activities. Relationships, careers, money, well being, physical and mental health can all be extremely affected by depression. Depression can return once an individual has had it, and is likely to be more difficult to effectively control when it happens in concurrence with other major life issues such as bad health, drug use, drinking, anxiety and other issues. While many people suspect that they might be dealing with depression, many have not been officially diagnosed. The reason for lack of diagnosis varies–maybe it’s due to lack of knowledge, or fear of being characterized by some sort of stigma, or possibly confusing depression with some other pre existing diagnosis or situation.  Whatever the reason is, don’t let it stop you from getting help!

If you feel you might be depressed, take a moment to go over this list of symptoms and take note of the ones you may be experiencing. Many of these symptoms occur together, and while their appearance is not a definite sign that you have depression, symptoms like these that longer than a few weeks could indicate that you possibly could be suffering from depression. This will be helpful information when you go in to talk with a psychologist.

What are Some Possible Symptoms of Depression?

– Mood swings – Feeling hopeless or sad – Feelings of guilt – Feeling angry suddenly, taking anger out on others – Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed – Avoiding going out in public or contacting family or friends you usually socialize with – Feeling a loss of energy; constant fatigue – Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, remembering things, getting tasks done – Frequent or constant thoughts of harming yourself or death – Having delusions or hallucinations – Missing commitments you have made or skipping events – Abusing alcohol or substances – Physical aches and pains – Not craving food or drink, having a change in your appetite – Gaining or losing weight – Big changes in your sleep habits (too much sleep, no sleep, not enough sleep, difficulty sleeping) – Low libido or no sexual drive, having difficulty connecting during sex Could I Have Depression? It’s difficult to know for sure whether you personally have depression or not. You may have this condition, or you may have another condition with similar symptoms. Obtaining a diagnosis is the first step to getting a clear picture of where you are, where you want to get to, and a plan of action to get you there. It’s best to consult with a licensed professional to get an accurate assessment and diagnosis.

How Do You Treat Depression?

Treatment of depression is very personal and varies from individual to individual. The best place to start is by scheduling an appointment with a reputable psychologist, such as Dr. Michael Cristiano. You and your psychologist will work together to come up with a treatment plan that best fits your needs and your comfort level. Making positive lifestyle choices such as getting plenty of exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, developing constructive ways to deal with stress, eliminating destructive habits such as drug use, etc., will help empower you to live a healthier and more balanced life. Your psychologist will work with you to combine counseling, behavioral therapy, appropriate medication, etc. to help you regain balance and peace in your life and help you live at the level you deserve! If you are suffering with depression or any other behavioral or psychological issue, help is waiting for you!

Located in Boca Raton, Dr. Michael Cristiano has an excellent reputation for connecting with his clients, addressing their needs, and helping them establish a treatment plan that puts them back on the path to living their best life! Dr. Cristiano is a leader in his field, maintaining the highest level of professionalism as indicated by his Psychology Today verification, board certification, and longstanding practice. Schedule your appointment today by calling (561) 571-2772.  Take action today and get back on the path of becoming the best you!