Sadness is a normal human emotion, however when sadness lasts, it might be a sign of something more serious. While it is common for people to move in and out of feelings of depression, sometimes these feelings overwhelm every aspect of a person’s day. What happens when you just can’t snap out of it? When has it been “too long” to continue feeling down? How do you know when it’s depression? Here we will discuss the signs and symptoms of depression and when it should be treated.
What is Depression? Depression (also referred to as clinical depression) is defined as a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, and frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or even months. One out of ten Americans report being depressed and it is most common among people ages 45-64. Signs and symptoms to watch for include the following:
- Agitation or irritability
- Changes in appetite including weight loss or gain
- Difficulty in concentrating on tasks
- A loss of energy or fatigue
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Loss of enjoyment in hobbies
- Feeling of helplessness and/or worthlessness
- Withdrawing or social isolation
- Contemplating death or suicide
Sometimes depression can appear as anger or frustration as opposed to sadness. Severe depression can be accompanied by hallucinations or delusions.
Who is Affected? Some people are at a higher risk for depression, such as women, minorities and those with a previous marriage. Other factors might include unemployment, lack of health insurance and medical conditions. Some predisposing factors to the development of depression include: alcohol and drug abuse, medications (i.e., steroids), sleeping problems, or a stressful life event (e.g., death of a loved one, divorce, frequent moves, loss of job, or social isolation).
What Can I Do? If you or a loved one is depressed, it is critical that you seek help. A great place to start is by visiting your primary care physician. She can do an initial screening for depression and help determine the next steps of your care. This might include a referral to a behavioral health center for treatment. Typically, treatment for depression can involve medications and therapy. Medications work to help balance the chemicals in your brain that create the depressed feelings. Therapy helps people learn skills to manage stress and counter negative thoughts in a positive way. Therapy can also provide an outlet for someone to express their emotions in a safe, confidential environment free from judgment.
At Brandon Regional, we offer safe, confidential treatment at our Behavioral Health Center, the only inpatient treatment center in Eastern Hillsborough County. At the Center, patients have access to comprehensive treatment in a comforting and discreet environment. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, please call (813) 653-1065. We are available 24/7 to help provide assistance. For more health information or for a physician referral call our Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-888-327-2636.
Brandon Regional’s Behavioral Health Center