Depression is a serious illness that affects more than 20 million Americans. Although anyone can feel upset or sad at certain times, depression is a prolonged feeling of emptiness that affects many facets of your life. If you have depression, it does not mean that you are weak, or a failure or that you have given up. It means that you need help. Treatment is available. Through counseling or medication, most people do feel relief from the symptoms that are a result of depression. People do get better. Even if you feel like nothing will change — it can, you just have to give it a chance.
Symptoms of Depression
If you feel sad most of the time for at least a two-week period you may have clinical depression. If you have some of the symptoms below, ask yourself the following questions: Do these symptoms keep you from your regular routine or schedule? Are these changes you are experiencing causing distress in your everyday life? If so, you may need to talk to a professional.
- Loss of pleasure or interest in the things you normally like (including hobbies like sports, music, and being with friends) or if you feel like nothing good will ever happen to you again.
- Change in sleep habits, too much or too little.
- Feelings of sadness or crying for little or no reason.
- Irritability – losing your patience or your temper easily.
- Difficulty concentrating or making up your mind.
- Medically unexplainable aches and pains.
- Nervousness, restlessness or less commonly, slowed movement.
- Fatigue or decreased energy or feeling numb, like you have no feelings.
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness for no reason – feeling you are no good, or you’ve lost your confidence.
- Changes in appetite and/or weight (either loss or gain).
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
IF YOU EXPERIENCE FIVE OR MORE OF THESE SYMPTOMS OR HAVE PERSISTENT THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE YOU NEED TO BE EVALUATED BY A PROFESSIONAL.
You can contact University of Bridgeport Counseling Services for assistance. Call (203) 576-4454 or drop by Carstensen Hall, 2nd Floor
10 Things Everyone Should Know About Depression
- Depression affects the mind and body.
- Depression can have many causes
- Anyone can be depressed.
- Depression is not just a bad mood that will go away.
- A person can have a few or many symptoms.
- Talk to a doctor to get help for depression.
- Most people will feel better with treatment.
- It takes time to get well.
- Family and friends can help.
- For more information talk to your doctor, call your local mental health services or visit:
If you need help for a crisis right now or are afraid you might hurt yourself, call toll-free: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Who Can Help?
The following is a list of people who can help you decide whether or not to get help. Talking about your feelings is a great way to relieve the pressure that can build up from feeling sad or alone. No one should have to carry this weight around all by themselves.
Remember that you are not alone — there are people who can help you:
- A trusted friend
- A family member
- An R.A. or Hall Director
- A clergy member
- A faculty member you feel you can trust
- A counselor
- Southern Connecticut State University
- Wheeler Connecticut Clearinghouse
- National Institute of Mental Health www.nimh.nih.gov
- National Alliance on Mental Illness www.nami.org
- Mental Health America www.mentalhealthamerica.net