What is Depression?
Depression is a mental health disorder, in which individuals experience more bad days than good. It is more than just feeling sad or overwhelmed – bouts of depression can last for weeks, months, or even years. It’s estimated that up to 10 percent of adults in the United States suffer from depression, leading to a decrease in overall quality of life.
Symptoms of Depression
The primary symptom of depression is a sustained, deep feeling of sadness which disrupts everyday life. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of interest in activities that used to provide joy
- Inability to concentrate or make decisions
- Changes in sleep or appetite
- Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Treatment for Depression
Depression is treatable, and there are a number of options available to individuals struggling with it.
- Medication: Anti-depressants can help to regulate the chemical imbalances that contribute to depression.
- Psychotherapy: Talking to a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy can help individuals better understand their depression and take steps to manage the disorder.
- Lifestyle Changes: Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of sleep can all help to improve mood and combat depression.
At its most severe, depression can seem like a life-long battle with no end. But with the right care and support, anyone can learn to manage the disorder and improve their day-to-day outlook on life. You are not alone, and there are many people out there who are willing to help.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, reach out and talk to a professional. It is the first steps towards ending the pain and reclaiming control of your life.