National Public Health Week Day 5 – Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Signs of Depression

Depression is a common emotional disorder affecting about 7% (13-14 million people) in any given year.  Sixteen percent of adults will experience depression.  Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common symptoms.  It’s important to remember these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows.  But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they have lasted – the more likely it is that you are dealing with depression.  When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that is when it is time to seek help.


Common symptoms:

  1. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  2. Loss of interest in daily activities
  3. Appetite or weight changes
  4. Sleep changes
  5. Anger or irritability
  6. Loss of energy
  7. Self-loathing
  8. Reckless behavior
  9. Concentration problems
  10. Unexplained aches and pains


Understanding the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the problem.  For example, if you are depressed because of a dead end job, the best treatment might be finding a more satisfying career, not taking an antidepressant.


If you recognize the signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, take some time to explore the many treatment options.  In most cases, the best approach involves a combination of social support, lifestyle changes, emotional skills building, and professional help.


Mary Barrett, RN


National Public Health Week Website

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