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About Depression

sad woman sitting

Print the full article here!

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:

  • A long illness
  • Problems in your family
  • Problems with money
  • Problems at work
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Having a hard time 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 doing exercise.
  • 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 medicine 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

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FP_Depression_3.31.15.pdf 600.83 KB
Last updated on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 14:46