Depression by Cheryl GowinDepression like many conditions has a range of severity from mild to major. Depression can be caused by a specific situation, be a one-time occurrence, or it can last for months. Some of the symptoms of depression are…

You have an overall feeling of sadness

You have a lost pleasure in nearly all activities

You have a pervasive feeling of hopelessness

Your appetite has increased or decreased

Your sleep habits have changed by sleeping more or not at all

You are struggling with feelings of low self worth

You have recurring thoughts of death or suicide

You are having difficulty concentrating or making decisions

You feel numb or have no feelings

Do you recognize some of these systems?

Looking at the symptoms is the first step. Do you recognize these symptoms in yourself or loved one? If so, you should contact a professional for a complete diagnosis and a determination of the help that is needed. It’s important to look at how severely a person’s functioning is affected. Immediate professional help is needed if there is difficulty in performing daily routines.

Suicidal? A primary symptom of depression is a feeling of sadness, hopelessness. Depression can include these feelings as well as thoughts of wanting to die. However, a suicide plan or intent to harm oneself is very different from fleeting thoughts about death. If you or your loved one suggests there is a plan for suicide or strong intentions to do personal harm, you need to take immediate action! Go to the nearest hospital emergency room, call 911 or call 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Hotline website is

Can Counseling Help? If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of depression a counselor can help a person gain perspective about their depression, resolve problems that may be contributing to the depression and assist the person in developing coping skills to manage the symptoms of depression. The main reason people give for not seeking help is that they feel they just should not be depressed and are ashamed about the concept of being depressed. Avoiding seeking help may only cause the depression to continue longer. Don’t wait until your level of functioning is severely impaired.

Is medication necessary? In addition to counseling, medication may be included as a treatment option. You and your counselor should discuss the use of medication. Your counselor can refer you to a Doctor to prescribe and manage the necessary medication.

Depression is emotional pain. You may feel you have no more energy. The effort to put on the happy face for appearances is just too much. You may even be thinking, “What would people think if they knew I was depressed? What about living the victorious Christian life?” Paul asked the Corinthians this question. “So how should I prepare to come to you? As a severe disciplinarian who makes you toe the mark? Or as a good friend and counselor who wants to share heart-to-heart with you? You decide.” (The Message, I Corinthians 4:21)

The counselors at Discovery are here to help.

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Dennis Gowin, Leader

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