For those who do not know the signs and symptoms of depression, it can be difficult to understand what it means to be depressed. Occasionally having the “blues” or feeling moments of sadness, loneliness and grief are a normal part of life’s journey. However, if these feelings last for more than two weeks, it can be an indication that you may be suffering from depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression include:
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions.
- Fatigue and decreased energy.
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness.
- Irritability and restlessness.
- Change in sleep patterns.
- Change in eating habits.
- Persistent aches and pains or digestive problems.
- Thoughts of suicide.
Depression is a debilitating disease affecting individuals from all social, economic and ethnic groups. Unfortunately, there is the misperception that if someone has a good job and a supportive family, what they’re feeling cannot be depression. The fact is; depression does not discriminate.
Members of the public need to be able to recognize if the feelings they are having are associated with depression and seek treatment if necessary. Depressions is treatable, more than 80 percent of people with depression can be effectively treated with medication, the help of a trained professional or a combination of both.
National Depression Screening Day is October 10th and serves as a supportive community initiative to connect the public with online depression screenings. Recognizing and treating depression while still in its early stages is the most effective way to address the illness. If you think you might be struggling with depression, visit HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org and take an online mental health screening. Online screenings are free, anonymous and available 24/7.
Although the screenings are not diagnostic, they do provide valuable insight in helping to identify if you are exhibiting symptoms associated with depression and connecting you with appropriate treatment resources.
Note: If you or someone you know is in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, call 911 immediately. If there is no immediate danger but rather a need to talk to someone, call the national suicide prevention line at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).