Depression is a mental health illness that affects at least 10% of Americans. More than just “feeling down”, clinical depression is a serious medical problem in which there are constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own. While feeling down on occasion is a normal – and important – part of life, feeling miserable consistently and without any sense of hope is not normal.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
There are many treatments that can help with depression, including talk therapy and medication, but it is important to get treatment as soon as possible before the disease gets worse. If left untreated, symptoms of clinical or major depression may worsen and last for years. Not getting treatment can be life threatening, can cause untold suffering and possibly lead to suicide (more than one out of every 10 people battling depression commits suicide).
Recognizing the symptoms of depression is often the biggest hurdle to the diagnosis and treatment of clinical or major depression. Unfortunately, approximately half the people who experience symptoms never do get diagnosed or treated for their illness.
At CHD our clinicians are trained to diagnose and treat depression so that you can feel better and begin to live a happier and healthier life. Call us at 1-844-CHD-HELP for more information.