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Warning Signs of Depression

Everybody feels depressed at times. You need to be concerned when these feelings are very strong, or last for most of the day nearly every day for two weeks or longer. They may be due to a medical illness called depression. Depression affects more than 19 million Americans each year.

Depression is a treatable illness involving an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The direct causes of the illness are unclear, however it is known that body chemistry can bring on a depressive disorder, due to experiencing a traumatic event, hormonal changes, altered health habits, the presence of another illness or substance abuse. Know the warning signs.

Warning Signs of Depression:

Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Unexplained aches and pains

If you have had most of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks, you may be suffering from depression. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Depression is usually treated with counseling, medicine, or both. Medicines for depression are not addicting or habit forming. Treatment for depression works gradually, usually over several weeks.

If you do not start to feel better after this time, tell your doctor. The sooner you get treatment for depression, the sooner you will begin to feel better. There are a lot of options available for treating depression, you just need to find the one that’s right for you. You can overcome depression.

If you or someone you know has thoughts of death or suicide, contact a medical professional, clergy member, loved one, friend or hospital emergency room. Or call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or call 911 immediately to get help.

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