‘Why do people go to therapy’? is a question I am often asked when a person initially reaches out about therapy. I also hear this question from many other people I encounter in life. So many people have told me they have always considered therapy but felt they did not ‘actually need it’ or that their problems ‘were not big enough’. This month, our blog posts will focus on some of the primary reasons people seek therapy and what that looks like. This blog post will discuss depressive symptoms and describe what depression can look like on a day to day basis.
Depression: Did you know that 16.2 million adults in the U.S. experience depression (WHO organization) every year? Yeah, it is THAT common and, yet, less than half of these people seek help. Depression can present in different ways, but here are some of the most common:
- Very low energy: the simplest task; like responding to a text, appears daunting and requires a huge amount of energy for you to accomplish.
- No longer finding joy: the things that once brought you joy no longer do and you struggle to find moments of happiness in your day.
- Neglecting health or hygiene: this a common indicator of depression but is not always thought of. Low energy, combined with low self-esteem and decreased motivation, can result in a lack of personal care. This can include brushing teeth, showering, binge eating or avoiding doctor appointments.
- Negative self-talk: self-talk is that inner dialogue in our mind. A person with depression, will often have very negative self-talk and struggle to name any personal strengths. This includes naming: something I like about myself, what I am good at, or identifying one positive thing in their day.
- Disrupted sleep: symptoms of depression often disrupt sleep schedules and can include either sleeping too much or too little.
- Missing responsibilities: someone with depression may begin to fall short of personal obligations or responsibilities. This can include missing work, not finishing tasks or even neglecting social engagements.
- Numbness: depression can feel like a constant state of numbness. A person with depression may say things like ‘nothing matters’, ‘who cares’ or ‘nothing is worth the energy’. A person with depression can feel like they just going through the motions of their day, instead of actually living it.
- Isolation: depression can often lead to isolation and social withdrawal. Do you constantly cancel plans with people because you are just ‘too tired’? Is it hard for you to return a text or phone call? Do you struggle to find the motivation to leave the house? Do you feel like you’re constantly just ‘pretending to be happy’ around others? These are all indicators of depression.
I hope this blog post, helps you shed some light on what depression can look like. Next week, we will discuss stress.