• Definition of Depression

    Depression is a medical illness that affects a person’s feelings, behavior, mood and physical health.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

    • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings

    • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

    • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

    • Irritability, restlessness

    • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable

    • Fatigue and decreased energy

    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions

    • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

    • Overeating or appetite loss

    • Thoughts of suicide and/or suicide attempts

    • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Risk Factors that May Cause Depression

    • Lack of social support

    • Recent stressful life experiences

    • Family history of depression

    • Having certain personality traits including having low self-esteem and being overly dependent, being self-critical or pessimistic

    • Early childhood trauma or abuse

    • Financial strain

    • Loneliness

    • Alcohol or drug abuse

    • Health problems or chronic pain