Sadness is a normal and natural part of life, usually experienced in reaction to everyday challenges or upsetting events. Sadness can be felt in different intensities, but usually resolves in a short amount of time.
Clinical Depression: When sadness persists and/or intensifies in such that it begins to affect everyday life and normal functioning, then a person may be suffering from depression. Depression is an actual disorder that one can not easily “snap out of.” This is because it is a disorder that affects both the brain and the body, as well as behavior, thoughts, the peripheral nervous system and immune system functioning.
Potential Causes of Depression- According to DSM-5
Temperament: Having an overall general negativistic outlook when approaching life obstacles can increase one’s likelihood to develop clinical depression.
Environmental: adverse childhood experiences, trauma, loss of a loved one, relationship difficulties and stressful life events.
Genetics: Those who have a first-degree relative who suffers from clinical depression may be more at risk for developing depression, however, genetic links alone does not determine the development, as environmental influences also play a role of whether the gene will be expressed.
Symptoms of Depression
Persistent Depressed Mood
Loss of interest in things you once found pleasurable
Significant weight loss/weight gain
Significant change in sleep pattern (excessive sleep, or not enough sleep and/or disrupted sleep throughout the night.
Feelings of worthlessness and/or hopelessness
Thoughts about death and dying
* Symptoms are significantly impacting your daily ability to function and have been present for a period of at least 2 weeks.
* Not all symptoms must be endorsed to have depression.
Integrative Treatment Approach
Treatment of depression will vary based on the intensity and severity of symptoms. Initial stages of therapy will focus on establishing a baseline of depressive symptoms as well incorporation of tools/techniques to relieve depressive symptoms such as mindfulness and interpersonal therapy approaches. Longer term work with involve psychodynamic therapy to explore early childhood relationship patterns and how these may be impacting the way in which one views themselves, others and the world.