FACT SHEET: Adult Depression

Do you feel emotionally down most of the time?  Do your thoughts tend to be primarily negative? Is it difficult to carry out even simple tasks because you feel depressed?  The fact is depression takes away the positive feelings needed to feel motivated and focused.  While everyone feels sad sometimes, depression causes a person to feel sad almost all day, most days for an extended period of time. When people are depressed, everything feels bad and it can be difficult to imagine things ever feeling better. Women experience adult depression twice as often as men.  Often male depression goes unrecognized because men tend not to talk about their sadness.

Some common signs of Adult Depression:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities.
  • Appetite change and/or eating habits
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Sleep changes such as oversleeping or insomnia
  • Increased anger or irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Reckless behavior
  • Problems Concentrating
  • Increased aches and pains such as head ache or stomach ache
  • Thoughts of suicide

There is reason to be concerned when a person is showing signs of adult depression. Depression is not something a person can easily overcome by simply changing their mindset. Depression is the result of stress and other factors that compromise a person’s neurological system. Depression is as much a physical disorder as diabetes or high blood pressure.  Adult depression is the result of a person’s brain not having enough of the right chemicals that affect healthy mood states.   In the same way that a person can get sick when their system is run down, a person can get adult depression when ongoing stress and upset wears them down.

When depressed, it is hard to feel good.  Things that use to provide pleasure like eating certain foods, engaging in particular activities or spending time with people, no long do when depressed.  Depressed individuals think negatively about themselves.  Some common negative thoughts are: “I’m ugly”, “No one likes me”, “I don’t have anything to offer”, “I’m stupid”, “Life will never get for me”, etc.  Depressed individuals also have a difficult time engaging in routine activities that use to be easy like: talking to friends, doing chores, going to work or school, carrying out work tasks or doing homework, returning calls, responding to texts, etc.  Often, people are depressed and don’t realize it.  This is because they have come to believe that feeling bad inside is how life is for them.

It is very important that an individual who is suffering symptoms of adult depression be evaluated as soon as possible.  Depression is not to be taken lightly. Depression tends to get worse if not treated effectively.  Research has revealed that if not treated depression can continue to increase in severity and can result in job loss.

Depression takes the joy out of life, and for some, it takes away the will to live.  This can have tragic consequences when a depressed person chooses to take their own life.  While females have a higher rate of suicide attempts, males are more successful in their suicide attempts because they use more lethal means.

Always seek a qualified mental health provider or medical doctor who is trained to assess and treat depression. A competent mental health professional will thoroughly gather the information necessary to provide helpful feedback and treatment recommendations. If an adult is diagnosed as depressed, treatment may include one or more of the following: individual therapy, family therapy, psychological testing, group therapy, additional psychological testing, medication and/or a referral to additional resources.  The most important thing is to get the depressed person the treatment they need so they can get back their life and function physically, emotionally and socially in healthy ways.

Michael Webb & Morag Webb are qualified licensed counselors.  Their offices are in Newport Beach. They are able to assess your situation and make treatment recommendations. If an individual is diagnosed with depression, the recommended treatment may include one or more of the following: individual counseling, couples counseling, family counseling, group therapy, medication evaluation, or a referral to an additional resource.  The most important thing is that the individual get help so they can overcome the depression that holds them back from experiencing the life they deserve. Webb Counseling would value the opportunity to be a resource to you or to a person you care about.

DISCLAIMER: When there is a mental health concern or problem, accessing information on a website should never take the place of meeting with a qualified mental health professional. The material in this fact sheet is information only and is not personal mental health advice. If you suspect you or another person is suffering from a mental health condition, get help by calling and meeting with a qualified mental health provider. In the event of a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital or urgent care center.

Contact Webb Counseling to discuss your situation.