DEPRESSION IS: also known as major depressive disorder is a common and serious medical illness that affects you negatively in aspects of your life that could cause long term suffering. It affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act in you day to day living. Fortunately, this like most illnesses, it can be treated.
Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home. Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Feeling sad low for long periods of time
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide
SELF HELP AND COPING
There are several things people can do to help reduce the symptoms of depression. For many people, regular exercise helps create positive feeling and improves mood. Getting sleep regularly (6-8 hours), eating a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol (a depressant) can also help reduce symptoms of depression.
Depression is a real illness and help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people with depression will overcome it. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, a first step is to see your family physician or psychiatrist. Talk about your concerns and request a thorough evaluation. This is a start to addressing your mental health needs.
CHI OFFERS: Group events and weekly engagements to learn to cope with stress and depression