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Depression: It’s Okay to Say You’re Not Okay.

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Salisbury, MD –  Depressionis a complex illness that affects more than mental and emotional health – it can affect every other aspect of one’s physical, social and professional life. Affecting over 17.3 million Americans, depression can impact anyone and although its symptoms are easily recognizable, many sufferers intentionally hide their symptoms. The holidays also bring additional activities and stresses that can amplify feelings of depression. 

Recognize the Signs

Depression is different for each person. Symptoms generally include:

·         Trouble concentrating, remembering details and making decisions

·         Fatigue

·         Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness

·         Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much

·         Irritability

·         Restlessness

·         Loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy

·         Overeating or appetite loss

·         Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away

·         Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings

·         Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Getting Help

Most of us feel sad, lonely or depressed at times, but when these feelings become overwhelming, last for long periods of time, or cause physical symptoms it may be time to get help. Depression can be treated and there’s no shame in seeking help.

·         Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health professional.

·         If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, any healthcare professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.

Getting Emergency Help

·         If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

o   Other Help Hotlines include:

§  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

§  Crisis Text Line – Text HELLO to 741741

§  Veteran’s Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255, press 1

§  Life Crisis Center 410-749-4357

·         If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person until help arrives.

o    Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.

o   Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell

o   If you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest emergency room.

For more information about depression or suicide prevention, visit the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov, the National Alliance on Mental Illness at www.nami.org, or connect with us on  www.wicomicohealth.org, Facebook, Twitter (@WicomicoHealth), and Instagram.

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