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 New Millennium Ministries
Consulting & Biblical Counseling Center


Symptoms of Depression

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood

Sleeping too little or too much

Changes in weight or appetite

Loss of pleasure or interest in activities

Feeling restless or irritable

Persistent physical symptoms that donít respond to treatment

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

Fatigue or loss of energy

Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless

Thoughts of suicide or death

How does depression differ from occasional sadness?

Everyone feels sad or "blue" on occasion. Most people grieve over upsetting life experiences. These feelings of grief tend to become less intense on their own as time goes on. Depression occurs when feelings of extreme sadness or despair last for at least two weeks or longer and when they interfere with activities of daily living -- such as working, or even eating and sleeping. Depressed individuals tend to feel helpless and hopeless, and to blame themselves for having these feelings. Some may have thoughts of death or suicide. People who are depressed may become overwhelmed and exhausted

Can depression be treated successfully?

Absolutely. Depression is highly treatable. Unfortunately, feelings of depression often are viewed as a sign of weakness rather than as a signal that something is out of balance. The fact is that people with depression cannot simply "snap out of it" and feel better spontaneously. Persons with depression who do not seek help suffer needlessly. Unexpressed feelings and concerns accompanied by a sense of isolation can worsen a depression. The importance of seeking professional help, including medical testing for chemical imbalances, cannot be overemphasized.

Are their different types of depression?

Yes. Initial symptoms of Major Depression may not always seem significant, (see the list on the front of this handout). Yet without relief, the individual will eventually experience emotional pain and misery, and impairment in productivity at work and home and in relationships with family and friends.

Sometimes the episodes appear seasonally ó typically with depression occurring in fall and winter and diminishing in the spring. Women seem to be especially prone to this kind of depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Manic-Depressive Illness, also called bipolar disorder, involves cycles similar to major depression alternating with inappropriate "highs." Unlike other depressions, women and men are equally vulnerable. During manic episodes, people become overly active, euphoric, irritable, talkative and may spend money irresponsibly and get involved in sexual misadventures.

Dysthymia involves symptoms similar to those of major depression. They are milder but longer lasting, with a minimum duration of two years. People with dysthymia are frequently lacking in zest and enthusiasm for life, living a joyless and fatigued existence that seems an almost natural outgrowth of their personalities. If, in addition, they have a major depressive episode, as often happens, they are sometimes referred to as having "double depression."

Development of depression

The higher incidence of depression in females begins in adolescence. The added stresses of adolescence include forming an identity, confronting sexuality, separating from parents, and making decisions for the first time. These significant issues are generally different for boys and girls. Studies show that female high school students have significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and adjustment disorders than male students, who have higher rates of disruptive behavior disorders.

For both adult men and women, rates of major depression are highest among the separated and divorced, and lowest among the married, while remaining always higher for women than men. The quality of a marriage, however, may contribute significantly to depression. Lack of an intimate, confiding relationship, as well as marital disputes, have been shown to be related to depression in married women.

How do we help people recover from depression?

Biblical counselors offer people the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to their depression and to deal with the attitudes, actions, and internal and external causal attributions that contribute to their situation. Having one episode of depression greatly increases the risk of having another episode. Biblical counselors help you obtain skills that will enable you to develop a mindset that realizes what happens around you is far less significant than the thoughts and attitudes within. While the cause of depression may be the result of disease or other physical problems, internal attitude is vital. Because psychological or emotional problems are not readily measurable, a distorted belief about the nature and function of depression can produce consequences which lead to incapacitation and ineffectiveness.

The support and involvement of family and friends can play a crucial role in helping someone who is depressed. Living with a depressed person can be very difficult and stressful on family members and friends. Counseling can provide a good opportunity for individuals to learn more about depression and to identify constructive ways of supporting a loved one who is suffering from depression.

Depression can seriously impair a personís ability to function in everyday situations. The prospects for recovery for depressed individuals who seek appropriate professional care are very good. By working with a qualified and experienced mental care professional, those suffering from depression can regain control of their lives.


Excerpted from just the facts, How Psychotherapy Helps People Recover From Depression, A Publication of the American Psychological Association Practice Directorate




Anger Management
Emergency Numbers
Overcoming Harmful Habits
Distinctives of Biblical Counseling
Sexual Relationships
Stress & Anxiety

Cyril G. Page, Director
New Millennium Consulting & Biblical Counseling Center.
4 Universal Way, Suite 104
Jackson, Michigan 49202
(517) 740-4966



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