We all get sad. It is a natural part of life to feel down sometimes, but if that mood persists for a couple of weeks or more, you could be dealing with depression. Major Depression is a serious, disabling, medical condition that adversely affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleep and eating habits and overall health. Depression is the most commonly diagnosed mental illness and ironically, one of the least understood conditions.
For a quick self-check, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have you been sad most of the time?
2. Have you lost interest in things that you usually enjoy?
3. Do you have persistent feelings of guilt or worthlessness?
4. Are you restless and having trouble concentrating?
5. Have you had any changes in your weight or sleep?
6. Are you fatigued or lack energy?
7. Are you irritable or anxious?
8. Are you having thoughts of death or suicide?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions and your symptoms have persisted for over 2 weeks, you should seek professional support right away. A combination of medication and talk therapy are known to be quite effective in treating depression. Other ways you can help battle mild depression involve regular exercise, the unconditional love of pets, social support of friends and family and having a positive attitude toward your own recovery.
Depression can be a very scary situation for those who suffer from it. Just remember, you are not alone and help is just a phone call away. You don’t have to suffer!
If you or anyone you know is experiencing Suicidal Ideation (thinking about death, dying or killing themselves) call 911 or take them to the nearest Emergency Room. Other resources for the prevention of suicide can be found in the National Suicide Prevention Organization 1 (800) 273- 8255 or at www.TeenCounselingOnline.com.
For further information on depression, treatment and suicide prevention please visit www.shrewsburycounseling.com.