April Showers Bring… -The Practical Side
By the year 2020, the World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the second leading cause of reduced life expectancy due to suicide and to other related medical conditions, like heart disease (Preston, 2011). Depression can occur any time of year, including the spring. As the air turns warmer and flowers bloom, people may look around and realize that the beauty surrounding them is incongruent with how they feel emotionally. Some of these people are suffering with what we call clinical depression and do not even know it. They may just think they are tired, overwhelmed or burned out. But, depression is a real disorder with well-defined symptomatology.
Some of the symptoms of depression include: 1) depressed mood, 2) diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities, 3) weight loss or weight gain, 4) sleeping too little (insomnia) or too much (hypersomnia), 4) feeling worthless or guilty, 5) trouble thinking, concentrating or making decisions and, 6) recurrent thoughts of death. Speaking with a licensed mental health counselor will help determine whether or not you are clinically depressed. If you are experiencing several of these symptoms more days than not, or if your emotions are interfering with your ability to fulfill the functions and roles of your daily life, you should seek help. More importantly, if you are thinking of taking your life you should immediately dial 9-1-1.
The good news is that depression is treatable. A therapist can help you learn and implement self-care techniques and positive coping skills. You can even learn how to change your negative thought patterns into positive ones. Counseling can reduce the negative energy in your life and help you discover peace, hope and even joy in daily life.
As a side note, some people may also struggle with feelings of depression when dealing with major life stressors such as marriage, divorce, childbirth, death, starting a new job, moving, facing financial challenges, etc. These people may be clinically depressed, but could also just be having difficulty adjusting to new life circumstances.
Speaking with a therapist can help reduce feelings like depression and anxiety while dealing with life stressors. If you are feeling depressed, having trouble adjusting, or need help facing a major life stressor at this time, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services of Orlando today at (407) 620-7855 to make an appointment to speak with a therapist.