Depression is a treatable illness. You are not alone!
Most people have felt sad or depressed at some point in their lives. These are normal feelings that are often in response to a life stressor. However, clinical depression is characterized by an inability to escape feelings of sadness that persist for at least two weeks with little to no relief. According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression affects 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the United States population ages 18 and older in any given year. Depression can be triggered by a stressful or traumatic event, physical illness, and often has a genetic component.
Below are some warning signs that you may be depressed:
- An inability to enjoy activities that were once pleasurable.
- Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or someone else.
- Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or guilt.
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Difficulty eating or eating too much.
- Sadness much or all of the day.
- Poor motivation or focus.
- Low self esteem.
If you are having thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself or someone else, get help now. Choose from the options below:
- Tell a trusted friend, relative, or colleague you are in distress.
- Call 911 or go to your closest emergency room.
- Call a crisis hotline such as 1 800 237 TALK
- Call your primary care doctor.
Depression can also lead to further anxiety in individuals. Tap the link to find out if this is what you suffer from.
Following the delivery of a baby, moms often feel a host of emotions including joy and excitement, as well as some anxiety and fear about bringing a new life into this world. New mothers may have expectations that they will continue to experience mostly positive emotions once their baby has arrived, and are often surprised to learn that they may feel depressed at times.
Having the “baby blues” is common after delivery due to a drastic shift in hormonal levels, and usually lasts a few days or up to two weeks. However, Post Partum Depression is a more serious condition that needs immediate medical attention, and often includes psychotherapy.
Below are some warning signs that you may be experiencing postpartum depression:
- Thoughts of wanting to harm or neglect your baby.
- Depressed mood or severe mood swings.
- Diminished ability to think clearly.
- Difficulty bonding with the baby.
- Changes in appetite.
- Intense irritability.
- Inability to sleep.
- Excessive crying.
If you are having thoughts of wanting to harm your baby, call your doctor immediately, or tell a trusted family member, friend, or partner. Left untreated, postpartum depression can worsen and last up to several months or longer.
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