Health Literacy—Dealing with Depression

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What is depression?

Depression is a condition in which a person faces persistent thoughts of unhappiness that interfere with daily routines. The sorrow feelings must occur for a minimum of two weeks and it is important to note that grief and depression are different. During grieving, one feels both pain and joy due to remembering happy memories, but depression is when one is consistently experiencing sadness. In addition, self-esteem is usually not affected, but in depression, self-esteem is negatively affected.

Symptoms of depression

There are noticeable symptoms when it comes to this disorder. They usually occur most of the time and others around the person will see changes in their usual behavior. The symptoms faced are both mental and physical. Mental effects include feeling hopeless, anxious, having trouble thinking/remembering and concentrating. Physical symptoms that may be faced are getting angry at minor problems, losing sleep or sleeping too much, feeling tired, having a significant lack or gain of appetite, and headaches.

How to treat depression

Although depression may feel very overbearing, there are treatments that help. In fact, 80 to 90 percent of people respond well to treatment. Treatments include medications (antidepressants) that are prescribed by doctors and therapy. According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are actions that can be taken on a personal level, such as regularly exercising, eating healthy, and avoiding alcohol.

Please consult with your healthcare provider. This article is directed toward adults and not towards children.

Source material, American Psychiatric Association.