Depression is a mental health issue which affects over 20 million Americans. It is an illness which affects daily life and often affects loved ones just as much as the person suffering from the illness. Depression can be debilitating and can make everyday life difficult, but there is help.
Symptoms of Depression
There are many symptoms of depression, and every individual is different. When experiencing depression, symptoms are usually present for most of the day, every day. Some of these symptoms include:
- Extreme feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Problems sleeping or fatigue throughout the day
- Anxiety, irritability, or a quick temper
- Problems with decision making, thinking, and focusing
- Reduced or increased appetite
- Inability or extreme difficulty in completing everyday tasks
- Feeling negative, worthless, or guilty
Risk Factors of Depression
Depression has many complex causes. It's often difficult to figure out why depression has become a problem. Some of the risk factors include:
- Experiencing traumatic or stressful events
- Having blood relatives with depression, bi-polar, or other mental health issues
- Abuse of alcohol and drugs
- Experiencing serious, chronic illness
- Having low self-esteem
- Taking certain types of medications
Prevention of Depression
While there's no way to guarantee you won't experience depression, there are some preventative measures you can take. Reducing stress in your life is one of the best ways to ward off depression. Reconnecting with family and friends helps, especially if you're starting to feel isolated. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle including a healthy diet and exercise also helps.
Treatment of Depression
Depression can be life-changing. It's important to get help as soon as you notice some of the signs of depression. Early treatment often means more successful treatment.
MidValley Healthcare provides many traditional treatment options for depression including individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and medication management. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is another treatment option which may help people who have already tried other methods without getting better. There is help. There is hope. If you're experiencing depression, it's never too early or too late to get the support you need.
If you think you might be suffering from depression, be sure to take our Depression Test.