Recognizing Depression

Oct 3, 2018

We all have times in our lives when we feel sad, lonely, or down. 

Credit iStock

These feelings can be a normal part of living.  Most of the time, these feelings last a day or two, maybe even a week.

But how can you distinguish feeling blue from clinical depression?  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating or working.  Further, these symptoms have to be present nearly every day for at least 2 weeks. 

Depression is experienced by people differently.  Sadness, anxiety, hopelessness or feelings of worthlessness are common among people with depression.  Other symptoms can include insomnia or sleeping too much and eating too little or too much.

Thursday, October 4 is National Depression Screening Day.  If you have been struggling with such feelings for two or more weeks, I would encourage you to be screened for depression.  As someone who has lived with depression for over 25 years, I can tell you that my treatment began by simply asking my primary care provider if it was possible that I could be depressed. 

If you believe you might be experiencing depression, I hope you will talk to your medical provider.

This is Butch Odom for Church Health