Depression is one of the most common problems
that lead people to seek psychological help. Symptoms of depression can be both
immobilizing and painful. Intermittent feelings of sadness are common
We are usually able to identify clearly the cause of such feelings and we
usually recover from normal feeling of sadness within a reasonable length of
time without requiring professional help.
Clinical depression is
a severe and prolonged
feeling of sadness which seriously interferes with our psychological, emotional
and social functioning. Sometimes there is an obvious cause, such as the failure
of a marriage or relationship, job loss, financial problems or health problems.
Sometimes there is no readily identifiable cause.
Common symptoms of depression include feelings
of hopelessness, worthlessness, loneliness, abandonment, pessimism, despair and
even suicidal thoughts. Low motivation, a loss of interest in most activities, a
lack of sexual desire, and social withdrawal, are other symptoms.
Depression sometimes causes disturbances of
appetite and sleep patterns. For some people appetite loss and insomnia may
accompany depression. Others may overeat and sleep excessively.
People who are
depressed may be unable to motivate themselves to complete even the
Seasonal affective disorder
is a form of
depression that is related to lack of exposure to sunlight. We are learning that
the effects of sunlight and darkness cycles has psychological effects that go
beyond the obvious sleep/wakefulness cycle. Sunlight also has more profound
effects about the quality and nature of our psychological functioning. Some
people are particularly sensitive to the effects of diminished exposure to
sunlight both due to seasonal changes and due to a work environment that does
not provide exposure to sunlight. Simply increasing the exposure to sunlight can
help to alleviate depression in these cases. There are also special light
sources that simulate natural light that have been very helpful in
alleviating depression and improving sleep patterns for many people.
There are many different possible forms of
treatment for depression.
These include various forms of psychotherapy and the use of anti-depressant medications.
The determination of the proper form of treatment
depends upon the nature and extent of the depressive feelings. If you consult an
experienced and knowledgeable psychologist, he or she can recommend a treatment
approach that best fits your needs. Most people who seek professional help from
a well-qualified psychologist respond favorably to treatment.
How can you decide who is the right professional
person to help you with this kind of problem? You may get information about
me at Marvin S. Beitner, Ph.D. You may
get information about how to evaluate the credentials of any psychologist
at Check Qualifications.