Everyone feels gloomy or dejected from time to time. But what if this feeling persists? What if you no longer know how to cheer yourself up? And this mood gets in the way of your functioning? In that case, you may be suffering from a depressive disorder. Every year, five percent of all adults experience depression. And one in five adults is depressed at some point in his or her life. So you are definitely not the only one.
What is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that affects your mood and emotions. It results in gloominess, dejection, and a loss of interest in the world around you. In severe cases, it also leads to suicidal thoughts or suicide.
Depression is often difficult to recognize, especially in yourself. It is not always clear whether you are just in a slump, or whether something serious is going on. Also, you may blame your state of mind on a recent, violent event. For example, if you just lost your job, your relationship has recently ended, or a loved one has died.
When should you seek help from a therapist? In general, we speak of depression when at least five of the following symptoms are present for longer than two weeks:
- Dejection: you feel gloomy or sad.
- Indifference: you have no interest in or enjoyment of any activity.
- Restlessness: you feel extremely restless and have trouble sitting still.
- Irritability: you are easily irritated.
- Feelings of guilt or fear of failure: you feel worthless, think you’re not good at anything, or don’t deserve anything good.
- Concentration problems: you can’t focus well, think slowly, and have trouble making decisions.
- Worrying: you worry and fret a lot.
- Suicidal thoughts: you think about death or suicide.
- Eating problems: you eat a lot or have very little appetite, so you gain or lose a lot of weight.
- Sleep problems: you suffer from insomnia or sleep more than usual.
- Fatigue: You have little energy and feel listless.
- Reduced libido: you have less or no desire to have sex.
About half of all adults with depression recover within six months. In severe cases, depression persists for two years or more. The risk of relapse is also high. If you have been depressed before, it may therefore be wise to seek preventive therapy from a therapist.
Causes of depression
Depression can be caused by a variety of things. But it usually involves a combination of psychological, physical, and social factors, such as:
- psychological factors: childhood trauma, lack of self-confidence, or negative thinking habits;
- physical factors: genetic predisposition, a deficiency of a specific type of neurotransmitters, or certain (chronic) diseases;
- social factors: drastic events or long-term, stressful situations.
Anyone can get a depression
Because depression has so many different causes, anyone can get it. However, statistics show that women between the ages of 25 and 34 are most likely to suffer from depression. This category includes many women who, after the birth of a child, suffer from postnatal depression. In addition to new mothers, young people, family caregivers and chronically ill people are also at risk. People with a stressful job can also develop depression in addition to burnout.
Choose your online therapist
Online therapist for depression
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) works effectively against depression. This form of therapy focuses on your thoughts and your behavior. A therapist helps you to gain more control over these, so you can better regulate and influence your mood. This reduces the symptoms of gloominess and you can slowly but surely start doing activities again. This brings you into a positive spiral, so you can eventually conquer the depression.
An online therapist offers a solution if you don’t have the time, energy, or opportunity to visit a therapist. Also, an online therapist is perfect for you if you are temporarily or permanently abroad, but would like therapy in your own language. From your own familiar surroundings, you can skype, facetime, WhatsApp, email, or chat with your therapist. This way you hopefully make some quick steps in the right direction, in a way you feel comfortable with.