Evening and weekend appointments available!Evenings & Weekends Available

Ten Signs Of Depression & Effective Steps to Take

Depression can seem to sneak up on you.  Others might start asking you what is wrong, as it seems your attitude and interactions with those around you have changed.  Things you enjoy are no longer giving you the joy and pleasure it used to. There are signs you can look for when dealing with depression.

Living within the world of depression can become a vicious cycle. You can get enmeshed in the world of “what ifs”, or “what’s the next terrible thing that will happen”? That is not the way to move forward, it is a way of staying stuck in your existing situation.

Counseling can be a crucial component in treating depression effectively.  It offers both immediate relief through support and long-term benefits from skill development and emotional insight.

Let’s look at ten signs you are dealing with depression.  We will then discuss ways to positively impact this and how counseling can be beneficial.

Ten Signs You are Dealing with Depression

    1.   Persistent Sadness: Feeling down or hopeless on most days. You can’t seem to shake the feeling, no matter what you do. It’s always at the front of your thoughts.

    2.   Loss of Interest: Not enjoying activities once loved. Spending time with your family used to give you joy, now it seems like you can’t just connect with them.

    3.   Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired almost every day. You can’t seem to do the things you used to without feeling drained.

    4.   Sleep Issues: Experiencing insomnia or sleeping too much. You feel there is no restful sleep pattern for you.

    5.   Appetite Changes: Significant weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting. You don’t know why either one is happening, it’s a complex interaction between food, your mood and your response to it.

    6.   Anxiety: Feeling agitated or unable to relax. Do you feel like there is always an uneasy feeling going on, and it never seems to go away?

    7.   Concentration Problems: Difficulty focusing, making decisions, or remembering things. Have you tried to read and comprehend something and it feels like you just can’t understand it?

    8.   Feelings of Worthlessness: Harsh criticism of oneself, feeling unworthy. Do you mentally beat yourself up? Are you harder on yourself than on anyone around you?

    9.   Physical Symptoms: Frequent headaches, body pains, or digestive problems without a clear cause. You just feel like your body is always out of sorts.

  10.   Suicidal Thoughts: Thinking about death or suicide. They may be fleeting thoughts that start to take over more of your thoughts.

As you consider these signs, let’s look at what you can do and the support you are given by a trained professional counselor.

Working with a Mental Health Professional

Even when we identify the ten signs of depression, sometimes we are unable to clearly see what is going on and how to change it. We need a fresh perspective. Someone who can be objective and offer the kinds of support and tools to move forward in a positive and healthy way.

•  Professional Insight: Therapists can identify the root causes of your depression and help you understand your emotions and thoughts.

•   Coping Strategies: They provide tailored coping mechanisms that are more effective than general advice.

•   Support System: Having a reliable therapist can make you feel less isolated and more understood.

•   Behavioral Modification: Therapists can help you change behavioral patterns that contribute to your depression.

Your counselor may choose to use Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) or Mindfulness methods. A study, conducted by The National Library of Medicine shows the outcome of the use of CBT with patients.

Positive Changes You can Incorporate Into Your LIfe

In conjunction with counseling, here are some other ways to combat the impact of depression. We will discuss how your trained counselor can support you as you are on this journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Exercise Regularly – When you are able to engage in physical activity, it boosts your endorphins.  This helps improve your mood and reduce signs of depression.  Your counselor will encourage you to start and continue the process. 

Maintain a Routine – Your counselor will work with you to establish a routine and put structure back into your life.  Setting up and maintaining a gentle daily schedule can help you get back on track. Your depression will no longer control your life.

Set Goals – You and your counselor will set realistic, achievable goals.  You will learn to make set goals that can be met. Don’t let depression run your life.

Eat Healthy – Minimize your junk food and add in more omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats in your diet.  You and your counselor can set up a journal to track when the junk food cravings hit and if they are related to your depression.

Schedule Online—easy & secure!

Get Enough Sleep – learn how to use treatments, such as mindfulness, to allow your brain to take a break and get restful sleep.  Learn how to turn off the negative busy brain process.

Challenge Negative Thoughts – Your counselor will help you stop the leap to the worst possible conclusions. You might learn behavior activation to engage in more positive activities.  They have the potential to improve your mood and make you feel more energetic.

Take on Responsibilities – If you have given up on the responsibilities at home and work.  Your counselor can work with you to start to be more involved and add back in the daily responsibilities. You’ll develop a lifestyle to help counter the depression.

Try to Have Fun – Depression can make you feel like you aren’t worthy of having fun.  Counseling can support your efforts to have fun again. You are taught to see the joy and fun again.

Limit Alcohol and Avoid Drugs – Alcohol is a depressant and if you are already feeling that way, why add to it?  Many of the drugs (non-prescription) can have the same effect. Once the initial high wears off, you can feel more depressed. Find other ways to beat the depression, without alcohol.

Pathways Counseling Services is the top-rated therapy and counseling service in Scottsdale, Arizona, year after year. We can help you change the impact of depression on your life. Find a happier and healthier life through effective mental health care. Remember, there is help and support available to you. We are here for you. You can reach us by phone at 480-235-1682or send us a message.