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  • Writer's pictureDayna Sharp, LCSW

Is it Depression?

I often hear people say "I'm depressed". Sometimes people who are feeling a bit more down than usual will describe themselves as depressed, and sometimes people who are overwhelmed with despair will use the same "depressed" word to describe their experience. When I hear someone say that they are depressed, I believe what they are saying that they are suffering with some form of sadness, but I really want to understand what it is that they're really feeling--what does "depressed" mean to them?

Depression, sadness, trauma, grief
What does depression look like for you?

What it is, according to the DSM V

Depression as a clinical diagnosis is a mood disorder that is characterized by:

  • feeling sad or empty

  • hopelessness

  • irritability

  • guilt

  • decreased energy/fatigue

  • lost of interest in activities and hobbies

  • difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions

  • appetite/weight changes

  • thoughts of self harm

Typically, depression is treated with a combination of medication and talk therapy.

Digging Deeper: Depression, Sadness, Grief, Trauma

When people come to therapy for depression, they want to feel better. As soon as possible. Sometimes people say they really don't know why they are depressed, they but they are experiencing symptoms like those above, and want to be able to move forward with their lives without this kind of distress. Sometimes, the depression is related to hormonal imbalance, an effect of medications, or another kind of chemical imbalance in the brain. But other times, the intense experience of depression may hide something that is actually causing the symptoms.

Sometimes we discover that the person is actually deeply sad due to events in their lives. Maybe they are actually grieving the loss of a loved one. Maybe they are in an abusive relationship. Perhaps they are struggling with parenting a child with invisible special needs. Maybe they don't find satisfaction with their job. Maybe they are survivors of child abuse and have grown up with distorted, negative beliefs about themselves. Sometimes its a combination of all of these things.

In each of these situations, it still may be that the person is experiencing a clinical depression and medications may help. However, it may also be that the "depression" is trying to send a message that something isn't right.


Creating Space Counseling and Wellness invites you to get to know your Depression better. What does this part of you feel like? What kinds of statements does it whisper in your ear? How did it grow to be so strong? Is there anything that you can do that will allow the Depression to resign from its powerful position? The first step in recovering from any kind of imbalance is to listen to what our bodies, our minds, the parts of ourselves are telling us. To understand them better. To respond with compassion. To start with where we are at.


If you are experiencing Depression...

It's critically important to take care of yourself! If you are having suicidal thoughts or ideas of harming yourself, call 911 or talk to a mental health professional immediately! Have a plan in place to protect yourself. Work with someone to get to know your Depression better. Realize that Depression will often tell you negative things about yourself and the world around you, that will only feed the Depression, making your symptoms worse. Talk to someone that understands the experience that Depression brings, someone who can help you to uncover your self from the dark cloud of Depression. Call Creating Space Counseling and Wellness today for an appointment!

Take the first step...Call today to make an appointment! 856-281-1664

With support, you can break through the grasp of Depression.


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