Dealing with Depression
Depression is Real
Depression is more than just feeling sad or a little under the weather. Depression is an illness caused by problems with the chemicals in your brain. This chemical imbalance affects how you feel, think and act. Research has shown that it's a medical illness just like diabetes or high blood pressure.
If you're depressed, don't be ashamed.
One in six people will suffer from a depressive illness at least once in their lifetime. However, nearly two-thirds of depressed people do not get appropriate treatment. They do not recognize the symptoms, the symptoms are blamed on personal weakness or the illness is so severe the person cannot reach out for help.
Recognize the symptoms.
If you have depression, you'll probably experience several of the following symptoms for several weeks:
- Feeling down, hopeless, irritable or out of sorts.
- Taking little interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy.
- Trouble falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much.
- Feeling tired or having little energy.
- A poor appetite or overeating.
- Wanting to be alone more.
- Moving or speaking so slowly that other people may notice, or feeling so restless that you move around a lot more usual.
- Feeling bad about yourself-thinking that you're a failure or that you've let yourself or others down.
Depression is Treatable
Depression can be treated. Most people CAN recover and lead full, productive lives. Treatment can include counseling, medication, care management or a combination of the three. Self-care is central to feeling better. It can take some time to find the right treatment for your situation and symptoms, but it's worth the effort to feel better. Stick with it even when it gets hard.
If I'm depressed, what should I do?
- Make an appointment with your primary care physician.
- Your physician may prescribe an antidepressant medication that helps balance the chemicals in the brain.
- Make an appointment with a counselor. "Talk therapy" can help you understand your depression and work through issues.
- Get support around you. This may come from your family, friends and treatment providers.
- NAMI of UTAH (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers free information, education and support:
Thoughts of Suicide
Depression symptoms can lead a person to think of ending their life. These thoughts are dangerous and can put you at risk. Suicide is a permanent solution to a short-term problem. If you have thoughts like these, be sure to contact your doctor right away. Effective treatment can help you see the value of life clearly again.
Where can I learn more?