This is something we all need to know about depression.
It’s more than being a little blue.
This may be the most important thing to know about depression: It’s not a sign of weakness or a character flaw.
It’s a serious illness — like heart disease or diabetes. Doctors can screen for it — and treat it to help people get their lives back.
You deserve better — help is out there.
Depression is more than feeling sad. It can make it hard to function day to day — and it can rob you of your ability to enjoy your life. Treatment — typically talk therapy, medication or both — may help you feel more like yourself again.*
If someone is clinically depressed, they can’t just “snap out of it.” According to the National Institute of Mental Health:
- Most people need treatment to get better.
- Generally, the earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is.
- It’s never too late to seek help.
Depression affects people in different ways.
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe. If you have any of the following signs or symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, talk with your doctor.
- Feeling sad or hopeless, or having a low mood.
- Having trouble falling or staying asleep — or sleeping too much.
- Overeating or not wanting to eat.
- Feeling worthless or guilty.
- Losing pleasure in activities once enjoyed — such as hobbies or sex.
- Being fatigued or having decreased energy.
- Having trouble concentrating, thinking or making decisions.
- Moving or speaking so slowly that other people notice — or doing purposeless physical activity, such as pacing or hand
- Having thoughts of death or suicide.
What to do next
Speak up — even if it’s difficult. Not sure how to bring it up with your doctor? You might try something like this: “I haven’t been myself lately. I think I may have depression — and I’d like some help.”
Your workplace may also provide a confidential employee assistance program that can put you in touch with professional help.
Considering or taking antidepressants? Don’t miss these 4 important pointers.
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