Depression is a Real Disease

If you have signs of it, seek treatment.

Depression is more than just having a bad day. It’s a constant feeling of sadness or anger, inability to concentrate, and lack of interest in anything. Unlike diabetes, a blood test may not be able to detect depression, but it is a medical illness, just the same. It should be diagnosed and treated by a health professional. Over 80 percent of people with depression can be treated with success. Treatment includes medication, counseling, and self-care measures.

The exact cause of depression is not known. Most likely, it is caused and triggered by a combination of factors.

•  Brain chemicals are not in balance.

•  Having a family history of the illness

•  Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss

•  Physical or mental abuse or neglect

•  Alcohol or drug abuse

•  Medical conditions, such as cancer or chronic pain

•  A side effect or withdrawal of some medications, such as steroids

•  Sleeping problems

•  Hormone changes, such as after having a baby or with menopause

Signs & Symptoms:

•  Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, or angry

•  Fatigue. Loss of interest in life.

•  Having a hard time concentrating or making decisions

•  Feeling worried or anxious

•  Changes in eating and sleeping habits

•  Headaches, stomachaches or other aches and pains

•  Thoughts of suicide or death

To a depressed person, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Action Step

See your doctor if you have had a lot less interest or pleasure in almost all activities most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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