Depression and Symptoms- Melissa Cook, Lakeland Mental Health

Depression is a major medical illness. It’s different than regular sadness. What depression is it’s a more physical manifestation of regular mood fluctuation that we would see. It goes beyond the regular everyday ups and downs of life and it starts to regularly affect the way that we behave on a regular basis. So a person that’s depressed would be more likely to isolate at home, distance themselves from things that they normally are interested in doing. They may have difficulty sleeping, getting to work, interacting with family and friends becomes more challenging for them. Appetites change, sometimes people that are depressed want to eat. Sometimes they are not hungry at all and they start losing weight and it starts to affect their physical health as well then, because they’re not sleeping and eating like they should. And so it kind of cascades downward and that’s where we see reduced functioning with depression. I think the biggest thing with depression is that people feel like it’s just a normal thing, you should just be able to get over it. You know, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, but that’s not how it works. Once you’re depressed a lot of times you don’t recognize that depression right away and it gets so far into it that it just feels like normal life to you, that that’s how life should feel. Your thought process follows right along with that too and so the negative thoughts start coming in and that’s where we enter into anxiety. And you don’t realize that you’re there until you’re so far in it’s hard to climb back out on your own.

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