While many people use the word “depressed” to describe normal fluctuations in their mood, energy level, and thought patterns, roughly 19 million Americans suffer from clinical depression. This condition is characterized by more intense, frequent, and long-lasting disturbances in scholastic, social, and occupational functioning. Being able to distinguish between normal variations in mood and clinical depression is important as, left untreated, depression can develop into a lethal illness.
Common signs and symptoms of depression may include:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep changes
- Anger or irritability
- Loss of energy
- Reckless behavior
- Concentration problems
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Thoughts of self-harm or self-harming behaviors
A helpful online inventory for determining your own level of these symptoms is available here; however, this should not replace an evaluation with a mental health professional.
There are many effective treatments available for depression. The skilled clinicians at Life Changes Group specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that focuses on challenging the negative thoughts, social patterns, and beliefs that intensify the sadness, irritability, and hopelessness of depression. Our goal is to give you tools that work, so that you can return to your life, relationships, and daily responsibilities as quickly as possible. We understand that depression is not something you simply “get over,” but requires discussion, planning, and skills-building.
If you would like to coordinate an evaluation with one of our caring clinicians, please call (617) 354-4450 or complete our online intake form.