Everyone feels sad occasionally, but depression is a disorder that is much more severe than the occasional blues. People who are clinically depressed suffer from a combination of symptoms that can interfere not only with normal functioning, but even with the most basic daily tasks.

A person with depression may lose the ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and perform activities that he or she used to enjoy. Some people may only experience a single episode of depression, but many people have multiple episodes throughout their life. These episodes can last for years at a time.

Symptoms of Depression

Check if the following descriptions seem familiar to you:

  • Do you feel persistent sadness and/or anxiousness?
  • Are you often hopeless about your life or the world?
  • Are you often struck by feelings of guilt or worthlessness?
  • Does it seem as though there is nothing you could or should do to change?
  • Are you easily irritable? Do you catch yourself snapping at your loved ones or ignoring them altogether?
  • Have you lost interest in the activities or hobbies that you once found pleasurable, including sex?
  • Are you constantly fatigued? Has your energy level decreased? Do you have difficulty concentraing, remembering details, and making decisions?
  • Do you suffer from insomnia or do you sleep too much? Have you been overeating or not eating enough? Have your sleeping or eating habits recently changed?
  • Have you been having thoughts of suicide or have you attempted suicide?
  • Do you feel aches or cramps that do not respond to physical treatment?

Individuals with depression do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms differ depending on the person and his or her particular depressive disorder.

Treatment of Depression

Depression is a serious illness. Most people who experience depression must receive treatment in order to get better. Unfortunately, many people with depression never look for help, although the majority, even those with the most severe symptoms, can be helped with the right treatment. Psychotherapy, medications, or both can significantly help people who suffer from depression.

In her work with patients, Dr. Elena Spector uses specific modalities and techniques to reduce symptoms of depression. She collaborates with psychiatrists when medication is required.