Depressed people live with feelings of sadness and anxiety a lot of the time. They may even feel hopeless or think a lot about suicide. They may lose interest in things they used to enjoy doing. Depression is more than just the normal, temporary sadness or moodiness that can come with everyday life.
Here’s a checklist of things to watch out for:
- You change eating habits and lose or gain weight for no special reason
- You have a low energy level and are always very tired
- You often can’t concentrate, remember things or make decisions
- You have feelings that you are worthless
- You feel guilty for no special reason
- You can’t get to sleep or you are always sleepy
- You are always irritable
- You often think about suicide or death
If you have several of these feelings every day for two weeks or more you may need to talk to a health professional. Help is available by talking to your health care professional or your Health Centre.
Depression can be caused by:
- Going through big life changes like losing your job.
- Getting divorced or retiring.
- Having a baby is also something that can cause depression. When this happens it is called post-partum depression.
- The amount of light every day can also cause depression. Less daylight in the winter can cause a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder or “SAD” for short.
Many people, and sometimes their families, feel embarrassed or ashamed about having depression. Don't let these feelings stand in the way of getting help. Remember that depression is a common illness. Depression affects the young and old, men and women, all races and all professions.
If you think you may be depressed, tell your doctor or health care professional. Treatment can help you enjoy life again. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you will feel better.