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Crying -- Guilt -- Grief -- Insomnia (or can't get out of bed) --
Suicidal thoughts -- Difficulty concentrating -- Compulsive behaviors --
Loss of sexual desire -- Physical complaints -- Paranoid thoughts --
Memory problems -- Increased anxiety --
Weight gain or Weight loss -- Fatigue

Do you experience five or more of these symptoms? Have they lasted more than two weeks? If so, you should seek professional help for depression.

Depression is a comon problem, one that affects about 3 to 4 percent of the adult population at any given time. In fact, about twenty percent of Americans experience clinical depression at some point in their lives.

Depression can run in families, or it can be temporary, associated with a specific situation or major event (perhaps the death of a family member, the loss of a job, a divorce, etc.). It may begin as a   reasonable response to a life stressor .. but sometimes the condition can worsen and become overwhelming,

In some cases, depression can even be accompanied by other conditions, such as anxiety and panic disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.

But the positive news is that depression CAN be helped.  In fact, there are a variety of treatments available, including medication (which you should discuss with your doctor) and talk therapy. Sometimes the first treatment (or medication) tried isn't successful. Perhaps not even the second.  But there are many treatments, and the odds are very, very good that one will work.

My job is to help identify a treatment plan that will work for you. I know it can feel very overwhelming and even the effort to talk about it can seem too much. But depression is treatable, and I can help steer you toward the type of medical professional you should consult, and the questions to ask.

As I mention under Services Provided, using various CBT or DBT skills can be very useful.  Fighting depression is literally a fight -- you have to make yourself try these techniques and suggestions.  And something as simple as walking can be a good start.

By the way, if grief over the death of a loved one is part of the depression, I highly recommend looking into Hospice. In Stockton, they have excellent groups for adults, teens, and children (1-209-957-3888). Another good support group is for families/friends of suicides (www.survivorsofsuicide.com). There is a group that meets in Pleasanton.

Other resources are www.apa.org/topics/depress/recover.aspx, www.depression-screening.org/depression_screen.cfm, and www.realage.com/soothe-stress/mind-and-mood/depression-symptoms-sign

No one can make you feel inferior
without your consent.  (Eleanor Roosevelt)