Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that affects the whole person;body and mind. It can lead to: Withdrawal; loss of pleasure and enjoyment of life; feelings of sadness, disappointment or loneliness; physical discomfort, aches, pains, fatigue, poor digestion, sleep disturbance, etc.

Most people feel down or “blue” now and then; it is a natural reaction to stress and tension. When these feelings are severe or prolonged, the person may be experiencing depression. This is a disorder that calls for professional help. Depression is a common problem. Millions of people are affected by depression each year; however, depression is widely misunderstood and often ignored or untreated. People don’t recognize their symptoms, are afraid to seem “weak”, or too depressed to take action. Untreated, depression can disrupt work, family relations and social life; however depression can be treated successfully.

The causes of depression are varied. One or several of these factors may be involved: Biochemical functions, Genetic patterns, personality type or environmental influences. Depression can affect anyone, at any time. The symptoms of depression are as follows:

A. Changes in behavior and attitude

  • general slowing down
  • neglect of responsibilities and appearance
  • loss of appetite or wight gain
  • poor memory
  • inability to concentrate
  • irritability

B. Different feelings or perceptions

  • emotional flatness or emptiness
  • inability to find pleasure in anything
  • hopelessness
  • loss of sexual drive
  • loss of warm feelings for family and friends
  • exaggerated self-blame or guilt
  • loss of self-esteem
  • suicidal thoughts or actions

C. Physical complaints (with no apparent physical cause)

  • sleep disturbances, such as early-morning awakening, sleeping too much, insomnia
  • chronic fatigue, lack of energy
  • unexplained headaches, backaches
  • digestive upsets: stomach pain, nausea, indigestion, changes in bowel habits

There are 3 common types of depression: Major depression, dysthymic disorder and bi-polar disorder. Professional treatment is necessary for each of these types of depression. Treatments range from Psychotherapy alone, Medication in combination with psychotherapy and possibly electroconvulsive therapy. Your psychotherapist is well trained to prescribe the proper treatment. The clinicians at The Port Jefferson Psychological & Vocational Associates have many years of experience in diagnosing and treating depression. Most people can start feeling well again in a few weeks. For more information regarding depression or its treatment, contact us.