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Your Mental Health Matters

Updated: Aug 8, 2021

Today we are going to discuss depression.

Did you know that depression:

  • affects more than 264 million people around the world. More than just fluctuations in mood, moderate & severe depression can be a long-lasting illness that affects the day-to-day functions of a person.

  • "Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world and contributes greatly to the global burden of disease."

  • 12 Million American women suffer from clinical depression every year. This number is aggravated by situations that disproportionally affect women, such as gender-based violence, socio-economic factors, inequality, and emotional labor.

What is depression?

A mental health disorder is characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.


Possible causes include a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. Increasingly, research suggests these factors may cause changes in brain function, including the altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.

The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.


What are the symptoms of depression?


Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain

  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness

  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame

  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things

  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide

  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities, or relationships with others. Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.


How is depression treated? The mainstay of treatment is usually medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, research suggests these treatments may normalize brain changes associated with depression.


When to seek a doctor?

If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see a doctor or mental health professional as soon as you can. Book an appointment today! or call 443-820-5796


When to get emergency help?

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

  • Call a suicide hotline number — in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Use that same number and press "1" to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.


Sources


Axelrod, Julie. “Was Freud Right About Depression and Guilt?” Psych Central, Psych Central, 6 June 2012, psychcentral.com/news/2012/06/06/was-freud-right-about-depression-and-guilt#1.

Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. “Severe, Persistent Depression.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 May 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/clinical-depression/faq-20057770.

Gulf Bend MHMR Center, www.gulfbend.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=12995&cn=5

“National Council Shareables and Infographics.” National Council, 26 July 2019, www.thenationalcouncil.org/about/social-media/national-council-shareables/.

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