July 19, 2023

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We all experience sadness every once in a while, especially when it comes to life changes that we can’t control. We all feel sad when we have a death in the family or lose a job. But while some cases of sadness are temporary, persistent or worsening negative emotions can be the signs of a mental health issue that needs treatment.

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental health issues in the world. But it’s not always easy to realize the mental health issues that you’re having and seek out the support you need. But we’re here to help you recognize signs that you need professional treatment.

Read on to learn about the basics of major depressive disorder and the signs that you should seek treatment. Then you’ll learn the next steps to take in your mental health journey.

What is major depressive disorder?

Major depressive disorder, commonly known as depression, is a mood disorder that affects 17.3 million adults in America. It’s characterized by overwhelming negative emotions. The excessive negativity can impact your mental, behavioral and physical health. It can interfere with your ability to maintain personal relationships, complete your daily responsibilities and manage your emotions.

It’s important to note the difference between sadness and depression to determine the potential need for treatment. Sadness is a natural and temporary emotional reaction to a difficult situation, such as a loss or disappointment. Depression is a mental health issue that causes all-encompassing feelings of hopelessness. It can cause a long-term impact on your quality of life.

In the next section, we’ll describe clear signs of depression that go further than sadness and require treatment.

7 signs that you should seek major depressive disorder treatment 

It’s not always easy to recognize when you’re exhibiting signs of major depressive disorder. But it’s important to take a deeper look into your emotions and behavior to determine if you would benefit from professional mental health treatment.

Here are seven signs that you should seek treatment for major depressive disorder:

You have persistent feelings of hopelessness for the present and future, causing you to be consistently pessimistic in every situation.

  1. You struggle to find enjoyment or pleasure in anything. This could refer to a lack of interest in activities or hobbies that you would usually find fun.

  2. You’ve experienced a change in your appetite, either an increase or a decrease. People with depression often experience noticeable weight gain or loss.

  3. You’ve experienced a shift in your sleeping patterns. Depression can result in fatigue, causing excessive sleep. It can cause you to develop insomnia and have trouble falling and/or staying asleep.

  4. You experience anxiety or excessive worry without cause. This can refer to consistently feeling endangered, nervous and restless.

  5. You’re exhibiting risky behavior that’s uncommon for your personality. This can refer to participating in activities such as substance use, gambling and unsafe sex.

  6. You’ve been having thoughts of suicide or exhibiting self-harm behaviors. If you’re experiencing suicidality, seek immediate mental health care or call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.  

Treatment when you recognize signs of major depressive disorder in yourself

If you’re exhibiting one or more signs of depression, you should seek professional treatment from a mental health provider. By reaching out for help, you can receive the support and tools you need to alleviate your major depressive disorder symptoms. Proper treatment can help you work toward having a fulfilling and healthy life.

The pillars of treatment for depression are medication and psychotherapy. Your health care provider will determine the prescribed medication that would work best for you based on the severity of your symptoms.

Through a personalized therapy treatment plan like process-based therapy, you can treat your depression by exploring your mental health from every angle. It’s important that your provider treats your entire well-being, which goes beyond your depression.

Lightfully Behavioral Health can treat your signs of major depressive disorder

If you’ve recognized signs of major depressive disorder in your emotions and behavior, then you’ve taken a huge step in your mental health journey. And we’re here to help you continue on that path with proper treatment that’s personalized to your needs.

You can find the major depressive disorder treatment you need with our process-based therapy in our four programs: Residential Treatment, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also called our Day Treatment Program.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to get treatment for major depressive disorder, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.


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