Am I Depressed or Just Sad? How to know when to seek treatment
Rachel Dubrow, LCSW is featured in the following article from NBC News's Better column on October 31, 2018.
The full article can be found here. Excepts of Rachel's feature are below:
Disturbances in Sleep:
Sleep disturbances are a near guarantee with depression — and they can run the gamut from sleeping too much, too little or in unusual patterns.
“Many clients I see struggle with insomnia. Either they can't fall asleep at night or have trouble staying asleep. We know that many people with depression also struggle with anxiety, which impacts quality of sleep as well, and the symptom of insomnia crosses over between the two,” says Rachel Dubrow, a therapist who specializes in treating anxiety and depression.
“One of the best ways to do this is through a sleep journal or using a smart device, such as a tracker, phone, or watch, where it either automatically records the quality of your sleep and how many times you wake up,” says Dubrow. “To do this with a journal, write the date, rate the quality of sleep from 0 (didn't sleep) to 10 (slept through the night restfully) and then write out when you woke up and when you fell back asleep.”
Changes in Appetite or Weight:
“Another symptom of depression is gaining or losing weight with or without a known reason,” says Dubrow. “Some clients I see gain weight because they are ‘emotional eaters’, and others don't seem to have an appetite at all and end up losing weight. This is very different from intentionally restricting or overeating.”
“I recommend a medical workup first to rule out any other reasons for these symptoms,” Dubrow says, adding that you should also keep a food diary or food log to track appetite.
“One way is to use a food tracking app where you can scan or type in the names of the foods or input a recipe to track overall calorie count,” she says. “Another way is to keep a journal on paper or on a phone/tablet where you list the date, rate your appetite before eating, and then list out the food and drink consumed.”