Understanding Depression

Most of us have had short period of time where weʼve felt depressed. Weʼve felt sad for no particular reason, lost our motivation for doing things we generally enjoy, or just felt persistently tired. For most of us, this feeling will last just a few hours or maybe for a few days. But for some, depression is something that can interfere with daily functioning.
From a diagnostic perspective, major depression consists of several symptoms which have been present for a period of at least two weeks.
Those symptoms must include at least five of the following:

  • depressed and/or irritable mood most of the day, nearly every day;
  • loss of interests in activities that would usually be pleasurable;
  • disrupted sleep including insomnia or excessive sleep or sleepiness;
  • change in body movements (slowed or restless/agitated);
  • fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day;
  • changes in appetite, including significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain;
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt nearly every day;
  • decreased ability to concentrate, or indecisiveness;
  • recurrent thoughts of death, or suicidal ideation, with or without plan.

Within the context of major depression, these symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, and other important areas of functioning. Most experts agree that a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for moderate to severe clinical depression. With intervention and support, symptoms can be alleviated. If you are experiencing depression, please contact me at (952)484-3509 to schedule an assessment. You deserve to be free from depression–help is available!
Lisa Knudson, LICSW
Chaska Counseling and Guidance, LLC
562 Bavaria Lane
Chaska, MN 55318