How Bad Are Your Blues?

If you think your depression is severe and you have thoughts of hurting yourself, you should talk with a mental health professional right away.
There are times when all of us feel blue, sorrowful, or kind of down. True depression is more than this. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about the world around you. Depression is not something that is imagined or”all in your head”. It is a common illness and treatment can help.

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Signs of Depression

Depression manifests through specific signs and symptoms. Reflect on the following indicators and discuss them with your medical provider or clinic counselor:

  • Feeling sad and/or irritable
  • Loss of enjoyment in previously enjoyable activities (being with friends, sports, hobbies, sex)
  • Unexpected changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Changes in sleep patterns (oversleeping or insomnia)
  • Persistent fatigue or low energy levels
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness
  • Issues with concentration, memory, and decision-making
  • Thoughts of death, not caring about life, or contemplating suicide

Understanding the Causes

Depression can be triggered by long-term illnesses, relationship problems, financial difficulties, or it may run in families. Sometimes, depression occurs seemingly without a specific reason, influencing how individuals perceive themselves and the world negatively.

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Treatment

1. A good support system (don’t be afraid to ask for help)
2. Learning new ways to handle your stress
3. Regular exercise and getting daily sunlight whenever possible
You may need some medical attention along with professional counseling or “talk”therapy.
For more information, call Postpartum Support International at 800-844-4PPD
(773), the National Institute of Mental Health at 1-866-615-6464 or your local crisis
line, or go to www.postpartum.net.

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