Depression: When Should You Get Help?
Depression affects as many as 1 in 10 adults in the U.S., reports the Centers on Disease Control and Prevention. You may be depressed if you have these symptoms:
- Have little interest or pleasure in doing things,
- Can’t work or have trouble with doing routine activities
- Feel down, very sad, or hopeless
- Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or find you are sleeping too much
- Feel tired or have little energy
- Can’t eat or are overeating
- Feel bad about yourself or that you are a failure or that you let yourself or your family down
- Have trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
- Find that you are moving or speaking so slowly that other people have noticed…or the opposite: you are so fidgety or restless that you can’t be still
Some people fear seeking mental health care. But seeking professional help is often the best way to get well. Mental health is just like physical health, sometimes we need to get treatment and care to get better.
Depression is often associated with other chronic diseases, like arthritis or heart disease, and can make managing those conditions more difficult. For many people, physical conditions can contribute to problems with their mental health—problems that are often ignored and untreated.
Who Do You Call if You Are Feeling Depressed?
If you feel you are depressed, it may make sense to start with your primary care physician (PCP). Your primary care physician can usually rule out physical causes for the problem and prescribe medications for treating depression - and may be able to refer you to a good therapist. If you have a chronic illness, they can also monitor your medications for adverse mental health effects.
What Treatments Are There for Depression?
Research shows that medication and certain talk therapies are about equally effective - and using both together is better for some (but not all) people. If you’ve had depression for a long time or multiple times, a combination of therapy and medication is usually recommended.
Online Resources about Depression
- Depression information from the Cleveland Clinic
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance aims to improve the life of people with mood disorders. Call (800) 826-3632 or visit dbsalliance.org
- Medline Plus (a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health) offers this comprehensive list of resources on mental health.
- “Staying Well When You Have a Mental Illness” (PDF) from Mental Health America
- Depression information from the National Institute of Mental Health
Resources reviewed June 2013
|Tips for Workplace Health|
Quick tips for integrating healthy habits into your work day
|Living a Healthy Lifestyle|
Here are some helpful web resources for advice on living healthy every day.
|Improving Your Health Behaviors|
Online tools to help you improve your health and health behavior and advice for getting started.
|Getting Support for Healthy Living|
Sometimes it can be easier to live well with help from others. Here are some helpful sites to connect with organizations and people who understand what you’re going through.
|Depression: When Should You Get Help?|
Depression is a common condition, especially in people with chronic illnesses. Here’s advice on recognizing the symptoms of depression and resources for finding help for you or a loved one.
|Living With Pain|
Learn about pain, both temporary and chronic, ways to treat pain at home, when to go to the doctor and more about palliative care.
|Facts About Vitamins and Supplements|
Learn the facts from trusted experts about vitamins and supplements along with tips for safe use.
Some Psychiatric Patients Are More Frequent Users of Hospital ERs
Mental Health Screening in Primary Care Helps Veterans
Simple Waiting Room Test Can Help Diagnose Depression and Anxiety