Depression is a painful psychological condition that most of us will experience at one time or another in our lives. The experience of depression can be understood as existing on a continuum measured by the intensity, frequency, duration, and pervasiveness of depressive symptoms, which can all range from mild, moderate, to severe.
In various degrees, depression negatively impacts our energy level, our mood, and the way we think, feel, and function from day-to-day. It can negatively affect our appetite, sleeping patterns, capacity to concentrate and work, and our relationships.
Among other things, it can make us feel hopeless, sad, overwhelmed, empty, scared, defeated, and unable to connect deeply with ourselves, with others, and with our life. Simple tasks that are usually taken care of without much effort can feel like an impossible, uphill climb. It can feel like a heavy fog that enters our life.
However, it is good to know that depression is very common, and it is a highly treatable condition. There are many reasons why we might be experiencing depression, and as such, there equally numerous ways to successfully address, heal, and resolve depression. Therapy, as well as positive and adaptive life changes, can help lift our depression. In certain cases, when depression is not responding to therapy, or if we need immediate help with our functioning, medication (and preferably short-term use of medication), in combination with psychotherapy, can give great results.
Approaching depression from an integrative perspective gives us a powerful method to understand it from many angles at once, including the physical, biological, cognitive, emotional, somatic, social, and spiritual dimensions of depression.