Below Down in the Dumps: A Few Things About Depression

effects of betrayal trauma


Are you or a loved one feeling down, depressed, and stuck despite efforts to pull yourself
together? Depression could be impacting your ability to function in the normal day-to-day and to feel like your true best self. Often, people struggling with depression feel stuck in a life made of repeated unproductive patterns and painful habits. It can be extremely confusing and frustrating without the right support and guidance.

Every individual has the potential for a peaceful, compassionate, connected self at their core.
However, depression can discourage one from seeing that potential within themselves affecting
how they think, feel, and act. Depression can have such a significant impact on someone’s
psyche in that they feel one with their depression, lose their self-identity, and no longer function
as their true self, but as a product of the depression instead.

As humans, we naturally thrive on an inner “life force” that gives direction and purpose. When
this is lost or becomes blurry, your mental health may need a checkup or some extra care. It can
serve as a wake-up call to tend to your inner self so that your outer self can continue to function.
A depressive state and how it manifests is individually unique to each person. It is critical to be
informed and aware if you or your loved ones begin to experience any depressive symptoms.
Regardless of the severity, this change in the mental state should not be taken lightly. The
overall outcome and success of a treatment plan hinge significantly on timing.

1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression with rates on the rise for teens and young adults (US
News & World Report, Sept. 19, 2022)

Depression affects a person’s mood and how they think, feel and act. Depression can be
caused by brain chemistry, genetics, or hormones. Depression looks and feels different for
everyone. Depression isn’t something you can just wish away or snap out of.
Depression can be treated with therapy, medication, or both.

General Symptoms of Depression

● Feeling sad, teary, empty, or hopeless
● Feeling irritable, agitated, frustrated, or angry
● Feeling worthless, guilty, ruminating about past failures
● Loss of interest in normal activities including work, hobbies, relationships, sex
● Irregular sleep; sleeping too much or not enough
● Appetite changes; eating too much or not enough
● Lack of motivation and energy
● Difficulty concentrating, making choices, or remembering things
● Intrusive thoughts of self-harm, death, suicidal thoughts, or attempts
● Unexplainable physical problems

Children may show depression as being irritable, sad, clingy, worried, or resistant to participate
in usual daily activities (school, play with friends, after-school activities).
Teens may show depression as being irritable, sad, moody, drop in school attendance or
performance, isolation, using addictive substances, self-harm, or loss of interest in normal

Depressive Symptoms in older adults can be less obvious. These symptoms can include
personality changes, memory issues, fatigue, changes in sleeping or eating, isolation, or suicidal
thoughts or feelings.

It is imperative for persons experiencing depression to have access to tools and support that
foster feelings of hope, to change, and to move forward and progress. Once a sense of
“possibility” is restored, people will respond differently as they learn to manage depressive
symptoms. Depression can be clinically treated with therapy, medication, or both.
In regards to mental health, it is not recommended to self-diagnose and professional help is
always advised. However, there are also lifestyle changes that support clinical treatments. Helps
for Managing Depression include self-care for your physical, social, and emotional health.

Helps for Managing Depression

Physical Health – daily routine including sleep, eating, exercise
Social Support – time with family, friends, co-workers
Emotional/Mental Support – self-care (journaling, reading, meditation, yoga)

To better understand depression, watch this 4 min video:
“I had a black dog, his name was Depression”

Professional Support

Seek professional support from a therapist or doctor when you or a loved one are experiencing
symptoms as described above.
Emergency Help
Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital if you think you or a loved one might self-harm or attempt
For suicidal thoughts
In the U.S., call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. Or use the Lifeline Chat. Free and confidential.
U.S. veterans or service members in crisis can call 988 and then press “1” for the Veterans
Crisis Line. Or text 838255. Or chat online.
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in Spanish 1-888-628-9454 (toll-free)
Contact your therapist, doctor, close friend, loved one, or faith leader (Mayo Clinic, Oct. 14,

Depression (Major Depressive Disorder),, Oct. 14, 2022,
Depression Affects Almost 1 in 10 Americans, US News & World Report, Sept. 19, 2022,,among%20Americans%2012