Depression, the psychological “common cold”

Depression is sometimes called the “common cold” of psychological distress because of how common it is. For United States adults, for example, the probability of experiencing depression in any given year is up to 5% in men and 10% in women.

The main features of depression are feeling sad or low most of the day and/or not enjoying activities you previously took pleasure in. Other common symptoms include lack of energy and appetite, too much or too little sleep, and feeling hopeless about the future.

The good news is many cases of depression, even severe cases, can be successfully treated with the right kind of help. Different types of psychotherapy can help alleviate depression, and treatment can include focus on unhelpful thought processes, transforming stuck emotions, and increasing time spent doing enjoyable/meaningful activities. Generally speaking, the more severe the depression, the more likely that antidepressant medications can also play an important role in treatment.

If you have concerns about depression, please consider calling the Center and talking with our intake counselor, who can help you understand your options. The counselors at the Center have extensive experience working with depression, and we can also facilitate referrals to English-speaking psychiatrists around Taiwan.