Mental Health Month – Recognize Signs of Depression

Posted on by Ami Spencer

May is Mental Health Month, and there’s no better time than now to pay close attention to your mental health. With the economy in a major slump, an unemployment rate that just keeps rising, and homes going into foreclosure in almost every neighborhood, it’s no surprise that more and more people are reporting stress, anxiety and depression symptoms these days.

While everyone gets sad or “blue” sometimes, when these emotions become so intense that they rule your days and nights, last weeks or months at a time, negatively affect your ability to do day-to-day tasks, or cause serious disruptions in your routine, you may be suffering from depression or another serious mental health problem. It’s important to talk to a doctor, friend or family member if you think you or someone you know might be experiencing symptoms of depression.

As described by the May0 Clinic, depression symptoms may include:

  • Loss of interest in normal daily activities
  • Feeling sad or down
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Unintentional weight gain or loss
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Being easily annoyed
  • Feeling fatigued or weak
  • Feeling worthless
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

While the symptoms may vary depending on the person, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms it’s important to seek help. Even less severe symptoms of depression should be taken seriously and can often be treated. See your doctor, talk to a loved one, or call a hotline like 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You may not be able to convince a loved one that he or she needs help, but listening and encouraging your friend or family member to seek help may be just the support he or she needs to take that step.

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