Depression

Clinical depression is a real and serious,  though treatable,  mental health condition.  It is not a personal weakness and is not something that someone simply "gets over".  Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses,  affecting more than 19 million Americans each year.  It can cause people to lose pleasure from daily life,  complicate other medical conditions,  and can even be serious enough to lead to suicide.

Depression is never a "normal" part of life,  no matter what your age,  gender,  health situation or life circumstance.  Although it may be understandable that some of these situations can lead to depression,  it does not mean that depression is normal or not serious.

Types of depression

  • Major depressive disorder,  with or without psychotic features
  • Dysthymia
  • Minor depressive episode

Symptoms of clinical depression

  • Persistent sad,  anxious or "empty" mood
  • Sleeping too much or too little,  waking up in the middle of the night or early waking
  • reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Loss of pleasure in activities once enjoyed,  including sex
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do no respond to treatment such as chronic pain or digestive disorders
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty,  hopeless or worthless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death,  including suicide attempts

If you think you may have depression,  take our depression screening and then contact a mental health professional in your area to begin getting help for your depression.

So you have depression,  now what?

There is good news.  Depression is very treatable with more than 80% of those seeking treatment showing improvement or complete recovery.  A combination of psychotherapy and medication can help one to recover from depression.  Early treatment shows the most effective for recovering from depression,  but anyone can recover from depression,  no matter how long the symptoms have persisted without treatment.

Note:  The information on this page,  including the depression screening,  is not intended to diagnose depression. Only a mental health professional can diagnose.  If you believe that you or someone you know may have depression,  contact a mental health professional in your area.  If you need help finding someone,  contact Jamie Brecht at  jbrecht@mhand.org  to help you find a professional in your area.