October is Depression Awareness Month

October is Depression Awareness Month

10/18/18 Laura Gibbons

Depression is more than a day of feeling sad or “down.” It can last a long time, and symptoms can make it difficult to maintain relationships, feel productive at work or at home, and enjoy life. For those who seek help early, depression is treatable. If not treated, depression can be as disabling as heart disease or arthritis. Depression is a very common illness and affects almost 7 percent of adults in the U.S.

Symptoms of Depression
Depression is different for each person. But if you have been experiencing four or more of the symptoms below for more than two weeks, think about talking to your doctor or a behavioral health professional. Most people with depression can feel better—often within three to six weeks.

• Feeling sad, anxious, hopeless, or emptiness that won’t go away
• Restlessness, feeling “stirred up,” or irritable
• Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness
• Lack of energy, fatigue
• Isolating from family and friends
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

Take a depression screen.
Depression Fact Sheet.

• Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, including sex
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Appetite and or weight changes
• Moving or talking more slowly
• Headaches, stomach problems, nausea, pain with no medical reason
• Tearfulness, excessive crying
• Thoughts of death or suicide

Treatment for Depression
Most experts agree that a combination of talk therapy and medication work best for the treatment of depression. Those with milder depression can be helped with talk therapy and developing effective copings skills. Making positive lifestyle changes is also helpful by focusing on healthy nutrition, exercise, getting adequate sleep, practicing mindfulness, and spending time with supportive friends and family.

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