Depression is more than a day of feeling low. It is a long-lasting, often recurring illness as real and disabling as heart disease or arthritis. People with depression feel increasingly isolated from family and colleagues.
If you experience four or more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, consider professional help.
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Eating too much or too little
- Inability to function at work or school
- Headaches, digestive disorders, nausea, pain with no medical basis
- Tearfulness; excessive crying
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Lack of energy, constant fatigue
- Slowed thinking
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Loss of sex drive
- Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness
- Restlessness, agitation, irritability
- Feelings of inappropriate worthlessness
Depression is a very common emotional illness. It affects about 10 percent of the U.S. population (more than 17.6 million people) every year. One in four women and one in ten men will experience a depressive episode in their lifetime.
Today, there are extremely effective treatments to shorten the length and reduce the severity of a depressive episode.
Between 80 and 90 percent of those with depression can experience relief from symptoms – often within three to six weeks.
Most experts agree that a combination of talk therapy and medication work best for the treatment of depression, particularly if treatment is administered by an experienced therapist.