Make an Appointment: [email protected] | (630) 995-3193

  • Depression

    Counseling for Depression, Sadness and Loss of interest in Naperville, IL and Wheaton, IL

    What is Depression?

    Depression can be a common mood disorder for some people but if persistent, could possibly become severe. Also called major depressive disorder (MDD), depression can affect how a person thinks, feels (discouragement or distress), or become an interference in daily activities such as eating, sleeping, or hobbies (e.g. swimming, reading). A person may have difficulty functioning at home, work, or school and may have feelings of hopelessness.


    It is very common for depression to affect anyone at any age. The reasons behind a person’s depression is sometimes unknown and is still a topic that many researchers are continuing to evaluate. However, there are many different causes of depression, and this hopelessness is sometimes unavoidable. Some risk factors for depression include:

    • Genetics – studies have shown that twin, adoption, and family backgrounds have been linked to depression, though many researchers are still unsure of the genetic component for the disorder. However, researchers have discovered a person having a parent/grandparent with depression can possibly double the risk for the disorder.
    • Brain chemistry – an imbalance in the neurotransmitters play a role in mood regulation for an individual
    • Poor nutrition – consuming foods that are high in sugar have been associated with depression and a variety of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also known to cause symptoms
    • Stress – the inability to cope with overwhelming stress in a person’s life, can lead to the cause of sadness and despair
    • Substance use – having a history of substance use/misuse can possibly increase the likelihood
    • Is health-related – having side effects from medication, stress from a surgical procedure or extended healing of recovery; experiencing physical health problems can also trigger a depressive episode
    • Grief/loss –grieving the loss of a loved one could potentially cause depression and can include trouble with sleeping, poor appetite or losing interest in regular hobbies and activities


    • Feelings sadness, emptiness, or anxiousness
    • Feelings of shame or worthlessness
    • Feelings of hopelessness or despair
    • Trouble with sleeping, whether falling or staying asleep
    • Change in eating patterns
    • Change in weight (losing/gaining)
    • Restlessness
    • Irritability
    • Suicidal thoughts/attempts or thoughts of death
    • Difficulty concentrating on certain tasks (memory or decision-making)
    • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
    • Decreased energy; fatigued

    Types of Depression

    • Bipolar Depression – (sometimes called manic depression) a person with this disorder typically experiences mood episodes that range from high (extreme, upbeat) moods to low (depressive) periods. Medication can help assist with changes in mood.
    • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) – characterized by having a persistent feeling of unhappiness or having a loss of interest in activities that occurs most of time and continues throughout a week’s period and/or more. Other symptoms for this disorder may include trouble with sleeping, restlessness, trouble concentrating, a change in appetite, or feelings of despair or grief. Talk therapy can possibly help with treatment for this disorder.
    • Persistent Depressive Disorder – previously known as dysthymia, (persistent mild, depression) persistent depressive disorder is typically when the depression lasts for 2 years or longer. Symptoms typically have included low self-esteem, hopelessness, lack of energy/fatigue, change in appetite, or difficulty concentrating. Talk therapy, medication, or combination of both can possibly be used to help towards treatment.
    • Postpartum Depression Disorder – a type of sadness that is often attributed to hormonal changes following childbirth. Women who experience this often struggle with despair and discouragement, and if these symptoms continue for several or more weeks, they may have postpartum depression. Symptoms can be ongoing and can severely affect a woman’s daily functioning if not treated.
    • Psychotic Depression – people with psychotic depression typically have symptoms of major depression, along with having psychotic symptoms. Those with this disorder are at a higher risk of self-harm. These symptoms can possibly include hallucinations (seeing and hearing incidents that are not really there), delusions (having false beliefs about events), and/or paranoia (mistakenly thinking that others are trying to hurt you). Medication can possibly help treat this disorder.
    • Seasonal Affective Disorder – period that typically occurs during the winter months, also when there is less sunlight but usually goes away during the spring and summer seasons. Medication can possibly help with treatment and light therapy.

    Depression in Children and Teens

    Common signs and symptoms of sadness and despair in children and teenagers are mostly similar to adults, though differences occur as well such as:

    • Symptoms of discouragement for children – irritable mood, worrying, muscle tension, refusal of attending school or a change in weight
    • Symptoms of discouragement in teenagers – irritable mood, feelings of worthlessness, anger and agitation, often sleeping more, a decline in school performance, self-harm, use of drugs and/or alcohol, change in eating habits, avoiding social gatherings, and losing interest in hobbies or activities

    When to Seek Help

    If feelings of discouragement and despair are consistent and unmanageable, please seek help from a doctor or a clinical/mental health professional as soon as possible. If there is hesitance on seeking professional assistance, please speak with a trusted friend or loved one or a local health care provider.

    If there is suicidal thoughts/feelings or behaviors, seek emergency assistance immediately.


    In most cases, depression can be treated even when severe and is recommended to begin treating for the disorder as soon as signs and symptoms are discoverable. Depression is most commonly treated with different medications, the use of talk therapy, or a mixture of both.