Jan Vitek, Clinical Psychologist, Couples and Individuals Counseling

Signs of Depression

  • persistent irritability
  • lack of energy, daytime fatigue, vague physical complaints
  • feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness
  • social withdrawal and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • difficulties with concentration, decision making, attention, and memory
  • sleep problems -- sleeping too much or too little
  • poor appetite and weight loss or constantly eating and weight gain
  • prolonged sadness, crying, negativity, and pessimism
  • vague feelings of anxiety, restlessness, or feeling trapped
  • thoughts of death or feeling life is not worth living

Types of Depression

Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood: This type of depression is a reaction to an immediate stressor. Its duration is typically six months or less and involves a depressive reaction that is either in excess of what would be expected for the stressor or causes significant impairment.

Dysthymia: This is a mild to moderate chronic depression where the person has been depressed for at least two years for more days than not. Dysthymic individuals are able to function, but generally seem down, negative, pessimistic, or complain frequently.

Major Depression: This is a pronounced depression that lasts at least two weeks and that can leave the person unable to function normally. It is often precipitated by a traumatic event or loss such as the death of a spouse or child, a sudden loss of employment, divorce, or receiving news of a catastrophic illness.

Bipolar Depression: Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive illness, is a serious, often life threatening condition. A bipolar individual experiences distinct mood swings that are different from their normal mood and that last at least one week. Common symptoms range from not sleeping for several days, talking incessantly, feeling restless and impulsive, and sometimes paranoid and delusional behavior to being very sad, crying uncontrollably, and feeling suicidal.

Often, depression doesn't fall neatly into any category and is always specific to the individual and their circumstances. Genetics can play a role in depression, but usually only in the sense that an individual may have a stronger predisposition toward depressive reactions. In many cases, depression is caused by a combination of external factors (a precipitating event) and some prior life experience which has shaped our personality such that a vulnerability to depression exists.

When to consider psychotherapy for depression

You might consider psychotherapy for depression when

  • your depression becomes persistent
  • your depression begins to interfere with daily life
  • your depression becomes difficult to manage
  • you expend considerable energy avoiding depressive thoughts and feelings
  • you are unable to make sense of your depressive thoughts and feelings
  • you are having thoughts or feelings that life may not be worth living
oakland CA Psychotherapy

"I focus on creating a safe, warm, and reflective environment in which to explore thoughts and feelings and identify patterns of behavior."

Serving: Individuals & Couples

445 Bellevue Ave, Suite 203
Oakland, CA 94610

Phone: 510.381.3090

Email: Vitek-deleteme[at]-deleteme-sonic [dot] net