Depression is an increasingly prevalent and serious mood disorder that causes a number of severe symptoms and can significantly impact your life if not diagnosed and treated properly. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that one in 15 adults is affected by depression in any given year and one in six people will experience depression at some point in their lifetime. It’s important to notice the signs of depression for yourself and for your loved ones.
Depression symptoms are different for each individual and can vary from mild to severe. Presentation of some symptoms of depression does not guarantee a diagnosis; however, they may be indicators to you or your loved ones that help is needed. Symptoms can include:
• Lack of energy or motivation
• General malaise
• Sadness that does not end
• Apathy (especially from traditionally fulfilling activities)
• Uncomfortable intrusive thoughts
• Sleep issues
• Changes in appetite
• Unjustified worry
• Difficulty with concentration
• Moving or speaking very slowly or very fast
• Fidgeting and restlessness
• Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
Family members might also recognize the signs of depression in a loved one. Many factors can contribute to depression. One of the most commonly overlooked factors is one’s environment. Other factors include a history of trauma or abuse, substance use, major life events like the loss of a loved one or divorce, advanced age, and internal or external conflict. No matter the cause, early intervention is key when addressing affective disorders like depression. As soon as someone develops the signs of depression, they should look for ways to seek treatment.
“Often we find ourselves caught up in daily routines and systems that unknowingly affect us to our benefit or detriment,” said licensed clinical social worker, Sherrard Marrow of TPMG Behavioral Health in Newport News, Virginia. “With increased insight to self, we equip ourselves with the ability to address depression preemptively.”
Depression can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe and can often be accompanied by mania (a mental illness categorized by periods of great excitement or euphoria, delusions or overactivity) or psychosis (a mental illness characterized by thought or emotion impairment to the point of disconnection from reality). Those with depression run the risk of hospitalization, self-harm, and suicide, which makes early treatment extremely important.
Treatment for depression can differ from person to person, depending on their needs. Each individual is unique and brings with them their own specific concerns. Common treatment of depression can include psychotherapy (talk therapy) and with pharmacotherapy (medication management) or just one of the two. Those with depression often wonder if things will ever get better and the good news is that depression does not have to last forever. With treatment, people can get back to feeling better.
Depression isn’t something you need to suffer through alone. If you or a loved one notice the signs of depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to TPMG Behavioral Health to see what they can do to help get you back to a better level of function and improved mental health.
About Sherrard Marrow, LCSW, CCTP
Sherrard Marrow, LCSW, CCTP is a licensed clinical social worker with experience in mental health illnesses, substance abuse, and emotional disorders. As a behavioral therapist, Sherrard uses his varied experience to provide inpatient interdisciplinary treatment, crisis counseling, substance abuse counseling, and treat individuals suffering from trauma, anxiety, and depression. Through his knowledge of psychosocial functioning, he integrates therapeutic interventions using evidence-based practices. Sherrard primarily works with adolescents and adults and has a special interest in treating trauma and substance abuse cases.
Sherrard joined TPMG Behavioral Health in Newport News in 2021.