Coping With Depression
Everybody gets the blues now and then. Those feelings can be especially strong during times of stress or loss. That's a normal part of life. After a while, the darkness lifts and things start to feel enjoyable again.
Sometimes, however, the sadness or loneliness persists, or gets worse, despite all attempts to "snap out of it." Tears or anger come easily and the simplest tasks seem difficult.
Such feelings can be signs of clinical depression, which is the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder among teens and adults. Left untreated, it can lead to serious behavioral, emotional and physical problems -- even suicide. Fortunately, there are very effective ways to treat clinical depression through a combination of therapies, medications and support groups.
If you or someone you know has been battling any of the signs and symptoms of depression listed below, it is very important to get help. Talk to someone who cares -- your parents, school counselor or psychologist, or family physician.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- A persistently sad mood
- Feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless
- Increased anger, fighting and self-destructive behavior
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Social withdrawal
- Sleep or appetite disturbance
- Excessive or uncontrollable crying
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Preoccupation with thoughts of death
- Drop in scholastic or academic performance
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