Depression Doesn't Discriminate
According to NAMI, All age groups and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups can experience major depression. Some individuals may only have one episode of depression in a lifetime, but often people have recurrent episodes. If untreated, episodes commonly last anywhere from a few months to many years. An estimated 25 million American adults are affected by major depression in a given year, but only one-half ever receive treatment.
Depression defined, is the normal human emotion and is a common response to a loss, failure or disappointment. Major depression is different. It is a serious emotional and biological disease that affects one's thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health. Depression is a life-long condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrences of illness and may require long-term treatment to keep symptoms from returning, just like any other chronic medical illness.
The following are symptoms of major depression and how is it diagnosed:
Depression can be difficult to detect from the outside, but for those who experience major depression, it is disruptive in a multitude of ways. It usually causes significant changes in how a person functions in many of the following areas:
- Changes in sleep. Some people experience difficulty in falling asleep, waking up during the night or awakening earlier than desired. Other people sleep excessively or much longer than they used to.
- Changes in appetite. Weight gain or weight loss demonstrates changes in eating habits and appetite during episodes of depression.
- Poor concentration. The inability to concentrate and/or make decisions is a serious aspect of depression. During severe depression, some people find following the thread of a simple newspaper article to be extremely difficult, or making major decisions often impossible.
- Loss of energy. The loss of energy and fatigue often affects people living with depression. Mental speed and activity are usually reduced, as is the ability to perform normal daily routines.
- Lack of interest. During depression, people feel sad and lose interest in usual activities.
- Low self-esteem. During periods of depression, people dwell on memories of losses or failures and feel excessive guilt and helplessness.
- Hopelessness or guilt. The symptoms of depression often produce a strong feeling of hopelessness, or a belief that nothing will ever improve. These feelings can lead to thoughts of suicide.
- Movement changes. People may literally look "slowed down" or overly activated and agitated
If you're experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, please seek help. Hamilton Center has trained therapists available to assist you and provide hope and relief from your symptoms or addiction challenges via group or individually. Contact us at (800) 742-0787 or (812) 231-8200 . Hamilton Center, Inc. is a regional behavioral health system serving central and west central Indiana. We are "building hope and changing lives" through a broad array of behavioral health services for adults, children, adolescents and families. Services are individualized; we work with the consumers to assess needs, and tailor a treatment plan to meet those needs. Hamilton Center also operates a rehabilitative Assisted Employment division. Employment Solutions provides training and placement services to persons with developmental/intellectual disabilities and social limitations. For more information, visit our website at http://www.hamiltoncenter.org/MHInfo/Depression/Depression.html