A loaded word, depression.  When you hear someone is depressed or someone is suffering through depression, where does your mind go?  Is it someone in a fetal position rocking back and forth in a corner?  Perhaps someone crying tears easily, afraid to confront the world?  Those are hard stereotypes of depression but give us an idea of the framework.  

Depression creeps into our lives subtly.  The way vine can grow and suffocate a tree, so does depression do that to one’s soul.  Those who suffer from untreated depression live as if the world has grown dim.  In the space that was happiness and purpose, lies emptiness.   

Mental health is delicate and can be exacerbated by such extreme conditions, ie. pandemics.  Across the United States, the spikes in anxiety and depression is evident.  In our neighborhoods and communities, we have people living with untreated depression.  Additionally, we’ve seen further withdrawal and physical activity give way to a more technological and virtual mode of communication.  The paradox is that we are becoming a more connected society with the exponential growth of tech, however, the feelings of isolation and despair are more present now than ever before.   

Here is the latest data we have for adults (18-64):

*Reported by U.S. adults 2019: 

  • Anxiety: 7.4% – 8.6%
  • Depression: 5.9% – 7.5%

*Reported by U.S. adults 2021:

  • Anxiety:  29.2% – 37.2%
  • Depression 20.2% 31.1%

As the statistics notate, there has been a sharp increase in both anxiety and depression.  How does one differentiate between feeling sad and feeling depressed?  We all feel these emotions from time to time but when they linger and cling to us like a shadow, then we know we are dealing with symptoms of depression.  Unfortunately, reading and educating oneself cannot alleviate depression.

Below are symptoms of depression.  If you have checked a few of these boxes and these have been constant for a few days to weeks, please reach out to a professional to seek an evaluation.  Depression is a progressive disease that will not go away by itself.  

  • Feelings of hopelessness now and about the future
  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Emotional instability
  • Irrabitably 
  • Appetite changes
  • Living in a constant state of exhaustion
  • Poor hygiene 
  • General apathy and indifference 

By the time depression takes over us, it becomes even more difficult to initiate change and reach out for help.  The anxiety is unbearable and you feel as if living has become a chore. As hard as it may be, at this point we need to reach out to someone for support, if we have not already.  

Healthy adults can benefit from counseling and therapy.  It is not reserved for crisis situations only.  In most cases though, that’s where it is initiated.  Whatever can get you to seek help is the goal.  It is never too late to have an impact on your life.  I’ve seen many people from all walks of life seek support and live better lives because of it.  

How we worked evolved.  Most of us have adapted to working from home.   With that change came the abundance of time, along with isolation, which provided a canvas of which we evaluated our life.  For some people, it was a crossroads of change; either sink into stagnation or create momentum for positive growth.  Some made career changes, others devoted time to family, but some, due to no fault of their own, were rendered immobile. 

Though we are becoming more accepting as a society, it is still challenging to initiate that first step in getting treatment.  It makes sense, when you are in a state of depression, everything becomes heavy and feelings of anhedonia manifest within.  It will be challenging, especially for some who find themselves unable to do even menial tasks.  We ask you to take that first step into the space of mental health treatment. 


Have you found yourself wanting to be alone more often?  Do you live with purpose?  Perhaps in the theater of life, you showed up to play your part, but you no longer have a drive to continue.  Is that a deficiency?  A sign or a symptom?  If you have been sad, hopeless, and at a loss for any joy in life, it may benefit you to consider counseling.  When the normal emotions of sadness stay with us constantly, and our overall outlook on life has grown stale, that is an indication that something is amiss.  

It takes time and perhaps a period of trial and error to find a therapeutic relationship that works for you.  However, there is much to be gained when you have found the right one.  Together you will collaborate to address your mental health and begin the healing process.  White knuckling it through depression doesn’t work.  Having a therapeutic relationship with a counselor does.   

With the advent of technology comes advances in the format of therapy.  For example, telecounseling has been growing and reaching a larger population.  The inclusivity of having therapists and counselors being a zoom call away harkens back to the days of old, where doctors would make house calls.  People who are symptomatic of depression and anxiety, now have the convenience of virtual sessions.  This will reach certain individuals who may not be able to bring themselves to leave the safety of their home, especially when riddled with anxiety and depressive symptoms.  

Awareness as a community will only strengthen us going forward.  We build our foundation with strength, knowledge, love, and compassion.  

Need help? Know someone who does?

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