October is National Depression Awareness Month. Depression has been a problem for the population at large for a long period of time. One of the earliest accounts of depression is found in the book of Job in the bible! The first diagnosable term for depression was melancholia and it was one of four diagnoses put forth by the ancient doctor Hippocrates. His diagnoses were based on the levels four different humors or body fluids in the body. Melancholia, what we would recognize as depression, was associated with high levels of black bile in the body. These ideas were wrong, but ultimately helped us to move toward the approach we have towards modern medicine and diagnosis of physical and mental ailments.
It can often be difficult to tell if you have “clinical” depression by solely comparing yourself to someone else who may have this diagnosis. There are many different symptoms that can come together to impact a person enough to meet criterion of clinical depression. Some of these symptoms may be, but are not limited to troubles sleeping, gaining or losing a lot of weight without dieting, feeling numb or losing interest in activities in life, to the common symptoms of low motivation, anhedonia, sadness, and/or recurrent thoughts of death or harming oneself.
Now it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of these symptoms have to be present, but if some of them have been present and impacting your life for about 2 weeks or more, it may be a good idea to talk to someone who can help you. There are many places to seek help. Some people feel most comfortable only seeking medical help through the use of medications, others only talk therapy, research shows that most often both of these two things combined can give many people the most help; it is important to note the impact that good old fashioned exercise has on a person’s mood and outlook on life as well. Seeking referrals from your doctor, school counselors, or mental health center can often help with these issues or help to point you in the direction of someone who can.
To make an appointment with CrossWinds, call at 620-343-2211 or request an appointment online.
Eric Sears, T-LMLP