Have frequent bouts of low mood made you feel as if you may be struggling with depression? Perhaps your depressive symptoms have lasted for longer than a few weeks and interfere with your ability to function. It’s possible that you may be dealing with some form of severe depression, also called major depressive disorder. Depression is a spectrum, ranging from mild to severe. Research suggests that approximately 280 million people in the world have depression. In the U.S., it’s estimated that about 6% have experienced at least one major depressive episode that impaired functioning. About 60% of that number have received professional treatment for a depressive episode. Depression is a condition that should always be taken seriously no matter the severity. Failing to receive treatment for depression can lead to exacerbated symptoms and could increase the risk of suicidality.
What are the signs of severe depression?
Severe depression can take different forms. Depending on the person, it may negatively impact a person’s ability to perform daily functions in one person more than the other. It’s important to learn to recognize the most common signs of this type of depression, including those listed here:
- Extreme sadness — The most commonly known sign of depression is extreme sadness or melancholy. Someone with severe depression may experience such intense levels of sadness that they find it hard to function and lose interest in their regular activities.
- Suicidality — Thoughts or feelings of wanting to end one’s own life is a warning sign of depression. If you feel like you may want to end your own life, please call or text 988, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, for immediate support.
What are some of the major warning signs of severe depression?
Although depression should always be taken seriously, there are some instances when immediate mental health treatment should be pursued. One such instance is in cases of suicidality. Here are some of the major warning signs of suicidality and severe depression that warrant immediate professional help:
- Previous attempts at ending your own life
- Making attempts to harm yourself or others
- Talking openly about wanting to end your own life
- Talking about feelings of hopelessness
- Researching methods to end your own life
- Increasingly agitated behavior or recklessness
- Removing yourself from social interactions and social support
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Increasing substance use
What are the causes of severe depression?
Experts aren’t sure exactly what causes severe depression, but they believe that there are several factors that can contribute to this condition and its signs. These top factors include:
- Genetic history — One of the common factors that could be a sign of potential for severe depression is genetic history. Having a family member or multiple family members who have struggled with depression increases your risk of developing this condition.
- Stressful or traumatic life events — Certain stressful or traumatic life events, like divorce and death, can be a sign of the beginning of severe depression for some people.
- Chronic pain or chronic medical conditions — Chronic medical conditions that cause pain or detract from a person’s quality of life can lead to severe depression.
Think you may have some of the signs of severe depression? Talk with Lightfully’s licensed clinical therapists
Our mission at Lightfully is to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients. We believe in using a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. We have experience working with various mental health disorders. That’s why we’re confident that we can help you manage your severe depression symptoms with time.
Lightfully offers multiple levels of care to both adults and teens: Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We also offer a Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP) for adults. If you’re looking for high-quality care from a licensed clinical therapist in California, you need to look no further for help with your depression. We meet each client where they are to help them improve the state of their mental health, and we create individualized treatment plans designed to help people struggling to manage their severe depression symptoms on their own.
Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.