Everyone feels sad at times. People with depression feel bad all the time. These feelings can get in the way of everyday life.
About 1 woman in 5 has depression in the U.S. Many people don't know the signs of depression. The good news is that most people get better with treatment.
What causes depression?
No one knows what causes depression. It is an illness. It may have something to do with:
- The way different parts of the brain "talk" to each other
- Depression runs in the family
- Being very sick or being sick all the time
- Using drugs or alcohol
- Having a baby
What are signs of depression?
- Things that used to make you happy, don't make you happy anymore
- No interest in eating
- Eating too much or all the time
- Sleeping too little, or all the time
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feeling nervous or cranky
- Crying a lot
- Feeling guilty
- Feeling hopeless
- Trouble paying attention
- Thinking of death or trying to kill yourself
How do I know if I am depressed?
If you have some of these signs for more than two weeks, you may be depressed. Go to your doctor or your clinic.
How is depression treated?
Depression is treated with medicine or counseling. Sometimes both are used. If you don't feel better, or feel worse, go to your doctor or clinic right away.
I just had a baby. Am I depressed or is it the blues?
- Lots of women feel sad or cry a lot right after they have a baby. This is called "the baby blues."
- The baby blues only lasts for two weeks.
- If you still feel very sad after two weeks, go to your doctor or clinic. You may be depressed.
To learn more:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
6001 Executive Blvd., Rm. 8184, MSC 9663, Bethesda, MD 20892