Depression is a very common mental health disorder. An estimated 16 million American adults have had at least one major depressive disorder episode in the past three years. Despite this, depression is often thought to be common sadness. Depression is a very serious mental health issue that can be debilitating to the person who has it as well as their families and friends. We all experience feelings of sadness, however, people with major depression can feel so hopeless that they become at risk for suicide. While every person experiences symptoms differently, depression can change how most people live on a daily basis. Symptoms can include:
- Change in appetite that could lead to serious weight gain or loss.
- Lack of concentration that can make it hard to focus on such things as reading a book or following the plot of a movie. It can also be harder to make even the smallest decisions.
- Lack of energy which can cause slower thinking, inability to do usual tasks and major fatigue.
- Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, sleeping much longer than before and even being unable to get out of bed.
- Loss of interest in once favorited activities that used to be highly enjoyable.
- A look of being physically exhausted or depleted.
- Thoughts of failure, helplessness, and guilt, leading to low self-esteem.
- Talking about stomach aches and headaches rather than about sadness.
May is Mental Health Month! This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is – Life with a Mental Illness – and will call on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike. Share with us how #mentalillnessfeelslike for you!
If you or a loved one is living with depression you can contact Segal Institute at 1-877-SEGAL-88 to see if you may qualify for a clinical research study OR visit http://studies.segaltrials.com/request-a-prescreen/