This week I talked to a friend who confided in me that she was depressed. She told me that her feelings of depression had crept in slowly, and it took her some time to realize she needed a change. She started seeing a mental health counselor and is working on implementing some positive coping skills in her daily life as well as giving up some not so helpful habits. She is also sorting through–in her weekly counseling sessions–how she arrived at this place and what she can do to prevent this downward spiral in the future.
I realized after speaking with her that many people do not realize they are descending into depression, especially because for so many it happens gradually. Perhaps addiction is a good way to think of it. You don’t start out drinking a fifth of alcohol a day. You might drink wine every night, and then at lunch, and then you switch to liquor…you get the idea.
Sometimes depression is like that. You feel blue, so you stop doing something you love. And then you feel worse, so you stop doing more things you love. Before you know it, you are smothered in feelings of sadness and have abandoned many things you love. Moreover, you might discover you have picked up some bad habits along the way–behaviors that do nothing to promote peace, meaning or joy in your life.
Left untreated, depression will continue to rob you of the positive experiences this life offers, in big and small ways everyday. If you have been feeling down for two weeks or more, here are some signs that you might be struggling with depression and need professional help:
1) Feeling worthless, guilty, hopeless and/or helpless
2) Trouble concentrating, sleeping and/or eating (including significant weight loss or gain)
3) Loss of interest or pleasure in formerly enjoyable activities
5) Thoughts of death (Note: If you are currently experiencing thoughts where you want to die or harm yourself, call 911 immediately.)
Depression is very common in America, and the number of depressed people traditionally soars as the holidays approach. If you are feeling depressed or are struggling with any other mental health issue, one of our trained and experienced Orlando mental health counselors can help you. Our team provides counseling for individuals, couples and families. We specialize in a variety of mental health issues. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.