Sometimes sadness may be something more

It’s natural to feel sadness at certain points of our lives as we experience transitions and changes. But when sadness lingers, interferes with our day-to-day activities or prevents us from doing the things we enjoy, it may be something more.

Monday marked the beginning of National Mental Illness Awareness Week, which includes National Depression Screening Day on October 10. This week of awareness provides an opportunity to learn more about depression, the most common of mood disorders, and how it can affect our loved ones and ourselves.

It is estimated that more than 15 million American adults suffer from some form of depression and that one in five youth experience depression at some point during adolescence. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), people with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and/or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Additionally, children and teens with depression may be more irritable or cranky, show changes in school work or a drop in grades, seem less interested in being with friends or doing their usual activities and may be at risk for suicidal thoughts or actions.

Dr. Jordan Golin, director of JF&CS’s Squirrel Hill Psychological Services (SHPS), and the experienced therapists at SHPS work with individuals who are experiencing depression or other mood disorders. Dr. Golin encourages those who are affected by depression or mood disorders to consider psychotherapy, which can help provide long-term relief.

“Depression is one of the most common mood disorders and at the same time perhaps one of the most misunderstood,” Dr. Golin says. “Sometimes family members or friends will wonder why their loved one cannot move past their sadness. It’s important to realize that depression is not something a person can simply ‘get over.’ Today though, there are very effective therapeutic interventions that can help individuals manage their depression and feel better.”

In addition to individual psychotherapy, SHPS provides relationship counseling, family therapy and specialized services for children and adolescents. The licensed, experienced professionals at SHPS offer compassionate, individualized care with particular attention to your personal needs, values and expectations.

We’re here to help. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or actions, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1-800-273-8255. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, mood disorders or emotional distress, SHPS can provide a confidential consultation and connect you to the resources and support you need. Call us at 412-521-3800 or visit www.squirrelhillpsych.org for more information.

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