Depression is one of the most widespread symptoms of distress. In a lifetime, almost everyone will experience it to one degree or another. It is caused by many things including loss, trauma, childhood emotional injuries and low self esteem. No ones knows to what extent, but it is thought that biology is factor that may potentiate a person in this direction. Regardless of its cause, the result of depression can range can range from a decreased sense of well being to an inability to function in daily life.

Due to the stress of being in a minority group gay, lesbian, queer and trangender people can suffer from depression. Being closeted, lacking support, internalized homophobia or homophobia from family, friends and the work place, are some factors that can influence whether a GLBTQ person experiences depression.

Some of the symptoms of depression include lethargy and fatigue, apathy, hopelessness, despair, loss of appetite, limited or no sex drive, inability to sleep regularly or achieve regular sleep patterns, a tendency to isolate from others, loss of pleasure for activities and relationships and thoughts of suicide or desire not to be alive. When a person is depressed, there is a slowing down and lack of life energy. Emotions are often stifled; they can not be experienced and often therefore unexpressed. People who can not feel or express emotion may experience feeling all “bottled up” or numb. Depression shows that something/s require attention; there may be losses not grieved, angers not expressed, dreams or goals thwarted, hurts and/or traumas not yet processed or potential not lived.

While depression is very distressing to the person experiencing it, if attended to, it offers an avenue for healing. With the help of a professional therapist, understanding where and how ones life energy is stuck, attending to the situation/s that have gone badly, learning new ways to cope and engage with life can make a dramatic difference. In some cases, someone make seek additional assistance of anti-depressant medications. Medications however, will not by themselves resolve an individual’s issues. Medications can help someone feel better and “take the edge off.” Medication and counseling often can be excellent partners. Therapy can help chose which path/s is right.

Tetty Gorfine, LMHC