Understanding Depression

By PCS - 02/19/2016


Depression is a group of enduring symptoms that last anywhere from a few weeks to many years. Symptoms are broken down into 4 clusters:

  1. How you think (e.g. self-criticism, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, concentration difficulties, overall negativity)
  2. How you act (e.g. isolating, low motivation)How you feel emotionally (e.g. sad, guilty, irritable, angry, anxious) How you feel physically (e.g. appetite or sleep changes)
  3. A negative state of mind that colors all of your experiences is the chief feature of depression. You may cry a great deal, or you may want to cry, but can’t. Simple chores require great effort and everyday problems seem overwhelming.
  4. You become your own worst critic and believe that you’re being punished for something you did wrong.

Causes of Depression

The most likely explanation of depression is that it is a built-in, natural response to feeling defeated. From an evolutionary perspective, depression allows you to shut down until the dire conditions improve. Every human, if they feel defeated enough, will become depressed.

When you become depressed, your mind and body are operating exactly as they were designed to do when faced with insurmountable obstacles. The problem is that you are reacting to an imagined total defeat, rather than a real one. In other words, the obstacles are actually NOT insurmountable – you just perceive them that way. (Source: Overcoming Depression Client Manual by Gary Elmberg, Ph.D.)

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