I have been feeling sad. How do I know if itís depression?
Everyone feels sad at some point in their lives. Itís a normal part of being human. Depression goes beyond normal sadness. You may be depressed if:
What causes depression?
- you find you have a depressed mood most of the day and nearly every day;
- you donít take pleasure in your usual activities;
- you have changes in your sleeping and/or eating habits;
- you feel worthless or hopeless;
- you have difficulty concentrating or accomplishing things;
- you lack energy and this fatigue seems unrelated to your activity level;
- you have repeated thoughts about death.
There are a number of things that can trigger symptoms of depression. You may be susceptible through your family history. There are many situations in life that can contribute to depression, such as the loss of something important to you. Sometimes we donít really know what triggers it, we just know that profound sadness is there and it is not going away.
Is there help for depression?
Yes. Itís important to know that depression is a common and treatable illness. In most cases, people with depression respond positively to treatments that include such things as psychotherapy (counseling), antidepressant medication or a combination of both. There are things you can do on your own to help with depression, including physical exercise, changes in diet, staying connected with people, even getting some sunshine.
Where can I get help for my depression?
You can contact Family Alliance at 815-338-3590. We have a staff of psychotherapists trained in helping people with depression. They can provide you with a free depression screening and can help you plan for how to get relief for your symptoms. You should also know that if you ever find yourself severely depressed and thinking about suicide, there is help available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in McHenry County by calling the Crisis Line at 1-800-892-8900.