Many of the 17 million adult Americans suffering from depression during any one-year period do not recognize that they have a condition that can be treated effectively.

Everyone feels sad at times or grieves over upsetting life experiences such as loss of employment, death of a loved one, or divorce. Most of these feelings of grief tend to become less intense on their own as time goes by.

Depression occurs when feelings of extreme sadness or despair last for at least two weeks or longer and when they interfere with daily living. Depression tends to make people feel helpless, hopeless, and blame themselves for having these feelings. People with depression may feel overwhelmed, exhausted, have difficulty sleeping, stop participating in certain everyday activities, and lose interest in activities they have enjoyed in the past. Depression can seriously impair a person’s ability to perform the functions of daily living. When depression is severe or long lasting, individuals may consider or
attempt suicide.

Suicide generally occurs from an extreme feeling of hopelessness and unwillingness to live with their level of depression or as an expression of anger and helplessness to resolve their issues.

Changes in body chemistry influence mood and thought processes, which can contribute to some cases of depression. However, many times, depression indicates that the mental and emotional aspects of an individual’s life are out of balance. Depression can be caused by significant transitions and major life stressors as well as by more subtle factors that lead to a loss of identity or self-esteem. The causes of depression are varied and not always immediately apparent. The disorder often requires careful evaluation and diagnosis by a trained mental health care professional.

Depression is highly treatable when an individual receives competent care. People with depression who do not seek help suffer needlessly. The importance of getting treatment cannot be overemphasized. Health and Wellness Group can help.