It’s a normal part of life to occasionally feel blue, sad, or “down,” but those feelings normally pass within a few days. But sometimes those feelings last longer and start to have a significant impact on your life. Today is National Depression Screening Day, and there’s no time like the present to take stock of your mental health.
Depression is a real illness that can have a major impact on your life and the lives of those that care about you. It’s most likely caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors. For some people, a specific situation — a trauma, the loss of a loved one, a stressful situation, or even childbirth — can trigger a depressive episode. It’s not something to be ashamed of — many people have felt depressed at some point in their lives.
The good news? It’s treatable. Even some of the most severe cases of depression can get better with treatment. Therapy and counseling, medication, and other methods can help. The sooner you start treatment, the more effective it will be. Don’t wait for your symptoms to just go away on their own. Talk to your doctor today if you notice signs or symptoms of depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty feelings
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Irritability or restlessness
- No longer caring about or being interested in things you used to enjoy (activities, hobbies, sex)
- Fatigue or decrease in energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
- Insomnia, waking up early without meaning to, or sleeping more than usual
- Appetite changes — overeating or loss of appetite
- Pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that are not relieved by treatments
- Thoughts of hurting yourself
If you or a loved one is suffering from severe psychiatric problems or substance abuse, contact our Behavioral Medicine Center at Maryview to learn more about inpatient and outpatient treatment options.