The symptoms of depression may include:
- Persistent sad and empty mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
- Significant change in appetite or body weight
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty sleeping or oversleeping)
- Physical slowing or agitation
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Impaired concentration and ability to think
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
In addition, depression may result in the following physical symptoms: headaches, other aches and pains, digestive problems and sexual problems.
Myth: Depression a sign of personal weakness; they should just "snap out of it."
Fact: One can not just "snap out" of having an illness. Without treatment, depression can last for several weeks to several months and can be deadly.
Myth: Depressed people are crazy.
Fact: With treatment individuals can return to their normal life. Only a small percentage of depressed people need institutional care.
Myth: Depression is normal; everyone gets the blues at times.
Fact: Clinical Depression is more than feeling "blue". It is a pervasive illness that can reduce one's ability to function.
Myth: Depression is a hopeless illness.
Fact: Individuals may have feelings of hopelessness, but treatment is effective.
Several factors can be involved in the development of Depression:
- Biochemical functioning - shortages or imbalances of mood-altering chemicals in the brain
- Genetic factors - one may have a biological vulnerability to depression
- Significant life stresses such as a serious loss, chronic illness, difficult relationship, financial problem or any unwelcome change can trigger an episode of depression
The onset of a depressive episode often results from a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors.
There are several highly effective treatments including:
- Medication - a variety of antidepressant medications are available to effectively treat chemical imbalances within the brain
- Psychotherapy - can help increase coping skills, identify/recognize warning signs, and provide individual & family education/support; you can have individual, group or family sessions
- ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) is an available and effective treatment. Talk to your physician or psychiatrist for more information on this treatment option.
A typical treatment for depression includes the combination of medication and psychotherapy.
If untreated, an individual may experience thoughts of committing suicide or even a suicide attempt.
Seek help if you are:
- Thinking about suicide
- Experiencing severe mood swings
- Having difficulty functioning at home, work, etc.
- Feeling out of control to handle yourself
Our specialists at our outpatient care programs collaborate to understand your needs and provide treatments to restore your well-being.
The HOPE Portal, powered by 211 Northeast Michigan, is a web-based resource connecting people to the help they need in a just a few clicks. Visit the HOPE Portal or call 211.
Check the Psychology/Mental Health sections of your local bookstore.