• Michael Finnegan, LMHC

The Cloud

Updated: Mar 7, 2020

I recently heard a famous comedian discussing on a podcast how their depression was like a “cloud” that followed closely behind them and that unless they were distracted by their comedic craft, the “cloud” historically had the ability to catch up with and immobilize them.

According to the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, clinical depression consists of an individual struggling with 5 of the following symptoms over a 2-week period, with these symptoms causing clinically significant life impairment:

· Depressed mood on most days, almost all day

· Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities most of the day almost every day

· Significant weight loss or gain, or decrease or increase in appetite most or all days

· Others noticing a significant slowing down of your own physical movement and thought

· Loss of energy almost every day

· Difficulty with thinking or concentration almost every day

· Recurring thoughts of death or suicide or suicidal behaviors

If you find that you’ve been running from your own cloud, fearing its ability to emotionally and mentally bind you, what could it hurt to ask for help?

Finding a good mental health clinician (e.g. Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Clinical Psychologist) trained in evidence-based practices like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be a good place to start.

If you are new to counseling and psychotherapy or have questions about its benefits, I encourage you to read the following article found on the American Psychiatric Association’s website: What Is Psychotherapy?

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