Depression is not something that someone can just “snap” out of. It is not just a bad mood or a rough day. According to the Washington University School of Medicine:
Depression is a whole body illness that affects a person's physical health as well as how he or she feels, thinks, and behaves towards others. In addition, a person who suffers from this disorder may have problems eating, sleeping, working, and getting along with his/her friends.
Specifically, clinical depression is a persistent, depressed mood that is often characterized by feelings of sadness or emptiness. People who have depression, or more formally, Major Depressive Disorder, experience at least five of the following symptoms, nearly every day, for a period of at least two weeks:
- Sad, low, empty, depressed mood
- Loss of interest of pleasure in nearly all activities
- Feelings of worthlessness, or guilt
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- Decreased energy, fatigue, and feeling "slowed down"
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Oversleeping, early-morning awakening, or insomnia
- Thoughts of death, suicide, plans or attempts
These episodes are also accompanied by clinically significant distress, or impairment (interference) in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. If impairment is severe, the person might lose the ability to function socially or occupationally.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from depression, there is help available. But only if you are willing to go after it.
Action 330 – Seek Out A Professional. In times of extreme crisis, there are suicide hotlines available. Someone IS waiting to talk to you, and the calls can be completely confidential and anonymous.
Suicide Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
Depression Hotline 1-888-771-5166
Knowing you need help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength, admitting that you believe yourself worthy of help and support.
Depression is treatable and you ARE worth the effort. Don’t let a dark moment in your life take you away from those who love you.