As we enter into fall and then winter, the days stay darker longer and the holidays approach, more and more people suffer from depression. However, for some, it’s not just seasonal, but a major disorder that affects every aspect of a person’s life.
Many people think that they are not suffering from depression because they are functioning “normally” every day. They wrongly assume that if they can get out of bed and are not suicidal, then they probably aren’t depressed. However, according to PubMed Health, depression can be described as “feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration [that] interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.”
A recent Centers for Disease Control study showed that people—especially women—in the age range of 45 to 64 were at the highest risk for major depression. The CDC characterized “major depression” as someone meeting at least five of the eight criteria for major depression on at least half of their day each day including little-to-no interest in things, feeling hopeless, change in sleeping patterns, little energy, change in eating patterns, feeling like a failure, trouble concentrating, being restless or, conversely, slow.
1. Talk to your doctor immediately. Your family physician will be able to diagnose you properly and discuss the full spectrum of treatment options.
2. Explore antidepressant options with your physician. Don’t be afraid of discussing medicinal options with your physician that may help correct chemical imbalances causing your depression.
3. Seek out online counseling. With the advancements in technology, you can now correspond with counselors online. The benefits of online counseling are many, including the ability to fit the counseling into your schedule and accessibility during what is normally considered “off hours” for doctors’ offices.
4. Join a local depression support group. Search online for support groups in your area, or ask your online counselor or physician for recommendations. Having a sense that you are not alone can be a huge help in dealing with depression.
If you are feeling suicidal, please talk to someone about it immediately. You can call the suicide hotline from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-999-9999).