Depression Symptoms, Treatments, And Self-Tests

    August 16, 2014
    Chris Tepedino
    Comments are off for this post.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, depression is a mood state that “goes beyond temporarily feeling sad or blue. It is a serious medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health.”

Depression affects 5-8 percent of adults in any given year, for a total of about 25 million Americans, though only half that experience a depressive episode will seek out treatment.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the signs and symptoms of depression include:

1. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
2. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
4. Irritability, restlessness
5. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
6. Fatigue and decreased energy
7. Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
8. Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
9. Overeating, or appetite loss
10. Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States and the average age of onset is 32 years old. A little more than three percent of those aged 13-18 have experienced a serious, debilitating major depressive episode as well. All age groups and all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups can experience depression.

Treatments for depression include antidepressants, such as Prozac or Effexor; psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or psychoanalysis; and brain stimulation therapies, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other methods of stimulating the brain.

For the loved ones of someone who is depressed, the most important thing according to the National Institute of Mental Health is to “help your friend or relative get a diagnosis and treatment.” Additionally, the organization adds, “Encourage your loved one to stay in treatment, or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs after 6 to 8 weeks.”

Also, many organizations and websites offer free self-assessment questionnaires if you think you are suffering from depression. These include The Health Center, Psychology Today, and Mental Health America.

Finally, if you are having thoughts of harming yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number at 1-800-273-8255.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • none

    1. yes
    2. yes
    3. yes
    4. yes
    5. kept one hobby alive, but for the most part. yes
    6. yes
    7. yes
    8. on occasion
    9. no
    10. yes

    hospitalized at 16, medicated til 18, gave up at 19, am still taking life day by day. now 24 am more anxious, non sociable, terrified of change, but surprisingly still alive. “depression hurts but you don’t have to.” fuck whoever came up with that bullshit.

    • annabelle

      Have you tried God? He’s the only one who can transform our hearts and minds. Just try Him.

    • Ritz1954

      I never thought I would make it to 16. I was hospitalized, pill-ed up, told I had one diagnosis because they didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was finally diagnosed correctly and treated. I lived successfully until the insurance made me see a so called “doctor” who changed my medication and totally destabalized me from Oct, 2013 to April, 2014. I called another doctor and another. I kept on seeing the therapist one on one. Don’t give up. Don’t let them win. Prove them wrong. Keep on seeking a doctor, a real doctor who is compassionate, kind, understands, and LISTENS. I am now 60 years old. KEEP ON keeping on. Insist and keep on insisting! I WAS hopeless.

    • just me

      Ask God to cure you. Ask for a miracle and for the grace to really believe he will heal you. If you ask Him and believe He loves you and wants the best for you, your life will completely change. Good luck!

  • Elizabeth Padersky

    This is a post I left on Facebook yesterday. What is on my mind? That is a loaded question isn’t it.? What is on my mind today just like any other day is my son Dillon Dewan. Dillon Duke Dewan was born on 9/1/1993.
    The reason I am posting today is that basically I am coming out!!!! Not that way though. People that are close to me know that I am not that much in Social media but well I am on here. I am coming out about Dillon today.This post is not really about me. I am looking for help for my son Dillon Dewan so why not use the media that seems to tell it like is. Dillon is sweet, super intelligent, a great natural raw music talent inherited from his grandmother. My son’s smile can make you feel like you have just been given a birthday cake although that smile is rarely seen. Dillon can be sooo kind. He is tall, thin and has that ohhh so handsome dark brooding thing going on.
    What is on my mind is that Dillon has a mental illness called severe depression. He has been diagnosed, he also has crippling anxiety. Dillon absolutely refuses to get help therapy or medication and has continually refused since he was about 16. Refusing professional opinions not just mine. He will not work. The only jobs that he has had was a very solitary job delivery newspapers for about 10 months then a short stint at Powder Ridge ski area where he was doing well but he kept being late then just left and never went back when supervisor asked him to go home and think about it. He has authority issues also. Dillon’s father passed away on April 22 2002. His heart stopped due to the fact he had too many pain killers in his system. I was not with his father at the time I was married to Bruce Padersky who was Dillon’s stepfather very very kind loving wonderful man and great stepfather Bruce Padersky passed away from acute heart attack on July 19th 2004. Due to natural causes. Soooooo yeah Dillon had so much grief just dropped on him all before the age of 12. Really really sucks. Dillon has two surviving uncles. One lives in Danbury ct. The other lives in California the first uncle was extremely kind and generous and caring towards Dillon after his father died. along with his wife and Dillons grandmother. The other uncle Darryll Dewan I found out got what should have been Dillon’s life insurance money of 250k. I have court documents saying that insurance policy was in Dillon’s name but Duke, Dillon’s father at some point assigned the entire 250k policy to Darryll Dewan and not his only son. At this point I just want to say I know this story gets confusing with all the DD names but that was a Dewan tradition so I followed suit with Dillon’s name as a matter of fact he was nicknamed DD or triple D sometimes. Darryll Dewan is a former Notre Dame football star.
    Darryll Dewan is a Jenna Dewan Tatum’s dad who is married to Channing Tatum. Yep that Channing Tatum. So if you google Darryll Dewan you will come up with a lot of stuff about his daughter and Channing they have a little girl now and seem very happy I do love his work and have really liked a lot of her work. Anyway back to what I term as the bad Uncle Darryll. In my mind he his a thief and con man of the highest order but maintains to the public he is the perfect human being. He has never done my son Dillon justice with his support I am not talking about money but emotional support. Whenever I have reached out with my many emails to him I was just given the run around. There is the matter of a trust of 113k which he promised to Dillon back around 2005. That never materialized. I was just given the run around about that also. Anyway for an uncle to take that much money from his dead brother and not even bother very much with that brothers son really sucks. The reason I am doing all the name dropping is because I would like this cry out for help for my son to be heard a little louder maybe. There is so much recently about taking a better look at mental health. Peter Rodger spoke out about his son Elliot the mass murder shooter in Santa Barbara recently. His story touched me. How can you help someone who refuses mental help? I think that should be a huge question now. There seems to be a sort of epidemic of the young white boys just losing it. Adam Lanza right here in CT. Now Dillon does not have a gun and neither do I, but Dillon has knocked many holes in the walls out of anger the cops have been called by me to this house because I was frightened or he had knocked a hole or kept screaming at me that I should kill myself or once he said he was going to kill himself. I love my son very much and really want to help him. I have googled and googled the supject. Dillon has spent time at Middlesex Hosp phyc ward. One time a week at Silver Hosp in CT. Again if someone refuses help refuses meds what is to be done. I have thrown Dillon out of the house twice one time for a few months the other for 6 months. I agreed to take him back under conditions. I have not even spoken about what I feel are my mistakes in the raising of Dillon but believe me the guilt is huge. so thanks Facebook this was very cathartic

  • rubyangel

    With all due respect to those who advise depressed people to seek God: God helps those who help themselves. Seek medical help, like I did. Sometimes prayer just isn’t enough.

  • Pete Gerlach, MSW

    I’m a veteran family therapist. My obsqervation is that a significant percentage of “depresswion” is really incomplete grief – which medication cannot help See http://sfhelp.org/grief/depression.htm .