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Are You Depressed?

An informational piece on recognizing the symptoms of depression and how to seek treatment.

We all get sad.  It is a natural part of life to feel down sometimes, but if that mood persists for a couple of weeks or more, you could be dealing with depression.  Major Depression is a serious, disabling, medical condition that adversely affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleep and eating habits and overall health.  Depression is the most commonly diagnosed mental illness and ironically, one of the least understood conditions.

For a quick self-check, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have you been sad most of the time?

2. Have you lost interest in things that you usually enjoy?

3. Do you have persistent feelings of guilt or worthlessness?

4. Are you restless and having trouble concentrating?

5. Have you had any changes in your weight or sleep?

6. Are you fatigued or lack energy?

7. Are you irritable or anxious?

8. Are you having thoughts of death or suicide?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions and your symptoms have persisted for over 2 weeks, you should seek professional support right away.  A combination of medication and talk therapy are known to be quite effective in treating depression. Other ways you can help battle mild depression involve regular exercise, the unconditional love of pets, social support of friends and family and having a positive attitude toward your own recovery.

Depression can be a very scary situation for those who suffer from it.  Just remember, you are not alone and help is just a phone call away.  You don’t have to suffer!

If you or anyone you know is experiencing Suicidal Ideation (thinking about death, dying or killing themselves) call 911 or take them to the nearest Emergency Room.  Other resources for the prevention of suicide can be found in the National Suicide Prevention Organization 1 (800) 273- 8255 or at www.TeenCounselingOnline.com.

For further information on depression, treatment and suicide prevention please visit www.shrewsburycounseling.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sean O'Donnell July 18, 2012 at 07:06 AM
On a serious note, there was a great article in Time magazine this week about the suicide rate among soldiers. It's a very interesting read for anyone but definitely worth looking in to if you or a family member was/is in the military. Thank you for sharing these questions Sarah, I'm sure someone out there will read this and hopefully it will help them seek the help they need.
Jim Rizoli July 18, 2012 at 03:12 PM
More soldiers are committing suicide than being killed in the war. Imagine being put in a situation that you have to kill innocent women and children. That is NOT what they bargained for when they joined up. They thought they were doing something good, you know fighting to justice, liberty etc etc. So can you blame them for committing suicide? The ones that live, live the nightmare for the rest of their lives. These kids are young and perishable and to put them in this situation is a horrible miscarriage of justice. People weren't created to kill each other. Think about the depression for the families on both side of the war. The question is WHY? Jim@ccfiile.com
Dave Lenane July 18, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Sean...it is sad that the suicide rate among soldiers has increased. The strain of combat makes soldiers take drastic action. The cases of PTSD have risen dramatically in the ranks. A lot of soldiers can't find jobs when they get out or have trouble adapting to civilian life again. Soldiers do not kill innocent people, though innocents have lost their lives in tragic accidents or the enemy uses them as shields. Soldiers face difficult choices everyday. I know, because I was one. The military is susceptible to all the same ills civilians are. There are programs in the military to deal with depression.
kl bruzzi July 18, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Well I have never heard taht stat but I would not deny it. I lost my brother to suicide in 1980. He came home form Vietnam after an injury, not a major one, but enough to bring him home. He talked of these crazy undergound tunnels and bombs wired to babies and we all thought he was crazy. He could not live with what he had seen, what he had experienced.
Joe Rizoli July 19, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I read that article. Interesting fact that I was surprised at was that a THIRD of these suicides were among servicemen NON-deployed, so apparently the problem is much deeper than just being in combat. The article said also that these men, one in particular sought help SIX times "all in vain". The two men mentioned in the article were said to have cost the taxpayers near two million dollars in schooling and education and the question was asked at the end of the article why didn't they, the Government, "protect their asset (s)" Joe Rizoli

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