Fighting Depression

Everyone has times of feeling down and upset as life’s trials affect us. We are affected by difficulty sleeping, financial issues, legal issues, stress from both good and bad events, and even the weather. Sometimes we feel down for no specific reason. This is a normal part of life. However, when these feelings of being down persist for over two weeks and affect major areas of your life, it is time to get help.

There are many warning signs of depression:

• Feelings of sadness especially if feeling hopelessness is of major concern.

• Loss of interest or loss of pleasure in activities or groups that were previously enjoyable.

• An increase or decrease in appetite, activity or sleep.

• Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.

• Difficulty concentrating or decreased performance at work or school.

• Thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression is common in children and can be difficult to detect. Many children have fears and worries and occasionally feel sad. The warning signs in children are similar to those in adults

and include a persistent feeling of sadness, not wanting to play, difficulty with attention, injuring themselves (cutting) and changes in eating, sleeping and overall energy levels. Depression can be associated with traumatic events such as the death of a friend or family member, abuse, divorce of parents, injury or chronic illness and being bullied. Depression can lead to suicide, which is the leading cause of death for people aged 10-24.

Older adults also have increased risk of depression; however it is not a normal part of getting older. Chronic illness is more common as we age, and 80% of senior’s have at least one chronic condition. Many seniors with depression do not get help because they think it is a normal part of aging or their chronic disease.

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