If you’re thinking about suicide, get help now: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.784.2433. You can also call 911 or go to your closest hospital emergency department. If you don’t feel able to call or go to the hospital, ask a friend or family member to help you.
What Is Depression?
Everyone feels sad or “down” at times. If that sadness takes hold and never seems to let go, you may have a medical illness called depression. Those of us with depression may have feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration that interfere with our lives for weeks, months or even longer.
Depression is most likely a result of an imbalance in the brain’s chemistry, as this video explains.*
Your genetic history may also play a role in depression. Depression may be more likely if you suffer from illnesses like stroke, heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease or hormonal disorders. It may also be more likely if you’ve suffered a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problems or other stressful situation.
Depression can interfere with our work, school, family and social lives. Also, statistics show about 60% of all people who commit suicide had been diagnosed with major depression.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression are different from person to person, but usually include the following:
- Depressed mood or a loss of interest for weeks or longer
- Major weight loss or gain in a short time
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- Feeling agitated and restless
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feeling worthless or excessively guilty
- Finding it difficult to think, concentrate or make decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
There are many effective treatments to reduce depression. Here’s how to start:
- Take the depression assessment test
- Contact your primary-care physician to discuss your test score and your symptoms
- Call the Front Porch at 901.762.8558 for help with depression
- Review our Exploring 12 Pathways section for advice on dealing with depression
For more detailed information about depression, visit these reliable websites.*
What Is Chronic Depression?
Are You at Risk for Depression?
Differences Between Sadness and Depression
*These videos and links will give you access to information not produced by Methodist Healthcare.