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People often use the word “depression” to refer to general, everyday feelings of sadness or being down. In fact, depression is a medical condition that can affect a person’s ability to work, study, interact with people or take care of themselves. The symptoms of depression can last months to years if untreated.
Depression isn’t always easy to spot.
It may be expressed through the abuse of drugs and alcohol; sexual promiscuity; or hostile, aggressive, and risk-taking behavior. Many factors can contribute to the onset of depression, including the presence of other emotional disorders, stress, poor nutrition, physical illness, personal loss and relationship difficulties.
The good news is that depression is highly treatable. Medication and/or counseling can help. It is not uncommon for people who are depressed to think about suicide, and it is important to for someone having these thoughts to seek help immediately.
Connect to more information on diagnosing and treating depression through our resources and links section.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Persistently sad, anxious, irritable or empty mood
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, including sex
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling tired or rundown
- Significant change in appetite and/or weight
- Anger and rage
- Overreaction to criticism
- Feeling unable to meet expectations
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, remembering or making decisions
- Feeling restless or agitated
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt
- Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems or chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment
- Substance abuse problems
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Learn more about other common emotional disorders and their warning signs:
Helping Our Student Veterans Succeed
The Jed Foundation, with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, is offering a FREE Continuing Education online program to raise awareness and provide guidance on how to better integrate student veterans into college campus life.