What is Depression?

According to the World Health Organization (2018) more than 300 million people suffer from depression. Depression is a mood disorder that affects how people, think, feel, and behave. It often disrupts sleep, eating, and daily living. Symptoms that are common in depression include:

  • Persistent sadness, anxious mood, or
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Irritability or anger
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in things you use to enjoy.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness.
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping, waking at night or sleeping excessively.
  • Appetite and/or changes in weight.
  • Feeling restless
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
  • Thoughts of suicide or death or any attempts.
  • Physical complaints with no clear cause or decrease with treatment such as headaches, cramps, digestive issues.

These signs and symptoms are experienced nearly everyday for at least two weeks. Not everyone will experience all the symptoms. Many people will only experience some of the symptoms and the severity and frequency may also vary.

Treatment may include medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. For those who do not have a reduction in symptoms may explore Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment, Electroconvulsive therapy or Vagus nerve stimulation.


Psychotherapy and medication if a common effective treatment for depression. Psychotherapy can often help to identify underlining causes of depression. Psychotherapy helps:

  • Finding healthy ways to cope with challenges of life.
  • Increase communication and increase healthier relationships.
  • Stress reduction skills.
  • Deal with emotional trauma.

If you or someone you love is experiencing some or all of the symptoms above, please seek out professional assistance to be screened for treatment. The good news is that depressive disorders have many forms of treatment and good success rates.

For a free consultation call 888-856-9138 or emailĀ rbynum@reneebynumlmft.com

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(510) 947-8041