Depression is more than just sadness; it is a mental illness that interferes with a person’s day-to-day functioning. Most everyone experiences depressive feelings at different times in their life, but depression involves physiological, psychological and behavioral symptoms that negatively impact one’s life. Depression impacts one’s ability to sleep, to eat, to socialize with others as well as one’s energy level, thoughts and feelings. Depression is a mood disorder, and symptoms can last for weeks, months or even years.
Depression is NOT a sign of weakness; it is an illness that needs treatment. There are different types of depressive disorders, ranging from dysthymia to bipolar disorder. More information about depressive disorders can be found at:
- Depression (NC State University)
- Depression (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Understanding and Treating Depression (University of Illinois)
- Suicide on College Campuses
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you think you may be suffering from depression, seek help from a mental health professional. Counseling is needed to overcome this illness, and medication may be needed as well. Therefore, it is important to get an evaluation by a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. Keep in mind that depression affects a lot of people – over 18 million Americans a year. Depression is a serious illness, but one can deal with it effectively when treatment is sought.