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About Depression

sad woman sitting

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What is depression?

  • Everyone feels sad about things sometimes.
  • Depression is when someone feels sad most of the time.
  • Depression can last a long time.
  • Depression does not always go away by itself.
  • Depression makes it hard to enjoy friends and activities.

Depression can happen for many reasons.

  • Depression can start when something bad happens, like:
    • Someone you love dies.
    • You get sick.
    • You are abused.
    • You break up with someone or get a divorce.
    • You fight with friends or family.
  • Depression can run in families.

Other things in life can lead to depression such as:

  • A long illness
  • Problems in your family
  • Problems with money
  • Problems at work
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Difficulty making friends

People act differently when they are depressed.

  • Someone who is depressed may:
    • Cry a lot.
    • Look sad or angry all the time.
    • Yell, scream, or swear a lot.
    • Sleep a lot or not at all.
    • Eat a lot or very little.
    • Lose or gain weight.
    • Stop liking things he or she used to like.
    • Spend more time alone.
    • Move around all the time or not at all.
    • Begin talking about death or about people who have died.
    • Not be able to do anything for very long.
    • Stop taking care of himself or herself.
    • Stop seeing friends.

Depression can lead to suicide.

  • People who are depressed may try to hurt themselves.
  • People who are depressed may try to end their own lives.
  • If you start thinking about death or about hurting yourself, tell someone right away.
  • Learn how to prevent suicide.

What can you do if you or someone you know is depressed?

  • Tell someone how you feel. Talk to a family member, friend, or support provider.
  • Visit a doctor – especially if depression gets in the way of everyday life.
    • The doctor may suggest you see a counselor.
    • A counselor will talk with you about how you feel.
    • The doctor may give you medicine to help you feel better.

How can someone with depression feel better?

  • Talking is a good way to show feelings of sadness and do something about them.
  • Spending time with family and friends may help you feel better about yourself.
  • Join a support or advocacy group to talk with other people.
  • Don’t make big decisions (for example, moving or quitting a job).
  • Do fun activities or hobbies.
  • Set a goal for every day. Make it simple – like calling a friend or exercising.
  • Exercise is a great way to feel better. Just walking can help.
  • Use positive thinking and say positive things to yourself about yourself.
  • Follow your doctor’s plan closely. Take the medicines they give you. Visit a counselor if they tell you to.

You can get help if you or someone you know is depressed.

  • If you feel depressed and can ask for help… ASK!
  • Sometimes, a person can only show they are depressed by how they act.
  • If someone you know doesn’t use words and seems depressed, tell the people who care for him or her.

Learn more about depression

Learn more about treating depression on the DDS SafetyNet


PDF icon FP_Depression_3.31.15_UPDATED.pdf735.12 KB
Last updated on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 14:46