Depression

Overview

Depression is a mood disorder. In its more severe form, it can be referred to as Clinical Depression and/or Major Depressive Disorder.

What You Should Know

No two people experience depression the same. Even people with a few symptoms that cause distress in their lives may benefit from treatment.

Anyone, no matter how low or how severe the symptoms, can get treatment & support at any time.

Symptoms

People who experience some of these symptoms most of the day, nearly everyday, for at least two weeks, may be experiencing depression.

  • Persistent, sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or changes in weight
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

*A diagnosis of depression does not require meeting every symptom. People will differ in the amount of symptoms they experience. The severity and frequency will vary person to person depending on the level/stage of depression.

 

Myth Buster

Debunking myths & replacing with facts

  • Sadness is not the same as depression
  • Medication is not the only form of treatment for depression
  • There are varying levels of severity for depression
  • Depression is not a sign of weakness
  • The onset of depression does not require a “bad” or traumatic event to take place
  • Talking about what is making you feel depressed will not make the depression worse

 

Support and Treatments

Other treatments may be available in the community

  • Peer Support Services
  • Chaplain Services
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychoeducation
  • Medication management (may be offered in the community)

 

Self Care

Practicing self-care can significantly improve your symptoms & treatment outcomes.

  • Get education about exercise & physical wellness & apply learned tools (exercise has antidepressant effects- click here to learn more about physical fitness)
  • Improve sleep hygiene when off duty
  • Positive self-talk and affirmations
  • Improve diet
  • Remain connected with others
  • Decrease alcohol use and/or avoid alcohol to cope as alcohol can increase symptom severity
  • Avoid drugs to cope
  • Spend time volunteering

 

References: 

National Institute of Mental Health. (February, 2016).  Depression. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml