Everyone gets down from time to time, but sometimes it’s more than just “the blues.”
Sometimes, it can be clinical depression. Clinical depression affects more than 19 million Americans each year. It is a real illness that can be treated effectively. Unfortunately, fewer than half of the people who have this illness seek treatment. Too many people believe that it is a “normal” part of life and that they can treat it themselves. Left untreated, depression poses a huge burden on employees and employers. It causes unnecessary suffering and disruption in one’s life and work, and costs about $44 billion a year in lost workdays, decreased productivity and other losses.
The signs and symptoms of clinical depression are:
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain.
- Loss of pleasure and interest in once-enjoyable activities, including sex.
- Restlessness, irritability.
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as chronic pain or digestive disorders.
- Difficulty concentrating at work or at school, or difficulty remembering things or making decisions.
- Fatigue or loss of energy.
- Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless.
- Thoughts of suicide or death.
If you experience five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or longer, you could have clinical depression. See a doctor or qualified mental health professional for help, right away. For more information, contact your local Mental Health Association or the National Mental Health Association at (800) 969-NMHA, or visit www.nmha.org.